Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
By Joseph Rose, The Oregonian
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Marin Independent-Journal - San Rafael,CA,USA
Saturday, March 28, 2009
This would save money by cutting overtime.
Only one problem; THE BUSES CAN'T RUN WITHOUT A DRIVER, and they have no drivers at straight time!
They canceled the directive less than 6 hours after they issued it!
San Diego Union Tribune - San Diego,CA,USA
Bus routes to be closed; stimulus money can't help
CNN - USA
Missouri has last, clear chance to avert mass transit collapse
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - St. Louis,MO,USA
Public transit at a crossroads, needs overhaul
The Desert Sun - Palm Springs,CA,USA
Legislature plans fix for NYC transit budget
Newsday - Long Island,NY,USA
Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority needs more money to keep ...
KTKA.com - Topeka,KS,USA
MassTransitMag.com » Article » Bay Area Officials Set to Try Anew ...
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Cabanatuan)
March 24, 2009
By General Manager Fred Hansen
We are facing unprecedented challenges to meeting our mission at TriMet. It is impossible to read the newspapers or watch the news and not see what perilous times we as a nation, let alone a state or region, are facing. And on a personal note many of us know of a family member, friend or neighbor who has been laid off or is facing substantially less work than they enjoyed just a few months ago.
I believe as I hope you do that we will emerge from this recession stronger and with the best years of TriMet and our region yet ahead of us. But until then, we need to take bold and decisive actions to keep TriMet on solid financial footings.
On Wednesday March 25,we will be announcing service cuts that will be taken out to public hearings, adopted by the Board in May, and in place for service beginning in September. This is one of the most difficult decisions any of us in transit ever have to make - cutting the very thing that we are all about, particularly at a time of increasing demand for transit service. But it is absolutely necessary.
Many of you have seen the reports of where we are financially today. Let me reiterate. For the FY 2010 budget we are down $13.5 million. In January of this year I imposed a hiring freeze covering all positions in TriMet (unless specifically approved by me in emergency situations) and a wage freeze on non-union positions. This will be in effect from now through at least all of FY 2010.
Overall, about 55% of our revenue comes from the payroll tax, an additional 20.5% comes from the fare box and the remaining comes from various Federal programs with a very limited contribution from some state sources such as a little cigarette tax money for the elderly and disabled LIFT service. The only source that is up is fare box revenue as we have seen more riders, but this increase is not nearly enough to offset the reduction in payroll tax revenue.
To address our $13.5 million reduction I initially directed a 5% cut across the whole of TriMet, including service. And although we received almost $45 million of stimulus money (ARRA) we are only able to use a small portion to offset service cuts. Most of the stimulus money is required to be used for capital building, thereby putting some of our fellow Oregonians back to work. But by directing what stimulus money we could to preventative maintenance we were able to offset about half of the expected 5% service cuts.
These budget reductions were based on reduced payroll tax receipts; however, unemployment continues to increase. Recently the unemployment rate hit nearly 11% further reducing payroll tax revenues. As a result, I asked each division to prepare an additional budget reduction of 3% as a contingency. This 3% additional reduction, combined with the original 5% reduction, reflects essentially flat payroll tax revenue when comparing FY 2009 with FY 2010.
As of today, I am directing that this contingency budget be put in place because I am convinced it will be necessary when we see actual payroll tax revenue payments in mid-May. Meantime, I am asking each Executive Director, Director and Manager to closely review every expenditure this fiscal year to determine whether it is absolutely necessary.
Further, I have imposed on myself an unpaid 2-week furlough during this year and have asked the Executive Directors to do the same. I believe that in these very difficult times it is appropriate for your senior management to lead by example.
As we learn more about payroll tax revenues in mid-May, we may need even further reductions. Our options will include layoffs, other budget cuts, furloughs, a fare increase, and additional service cuts. These are options that will need to be weighed as we deal with the continuing deteriorating economy.
Because the last thing we want to cut is service, I am holding off ordering any additional service cuts until we actually see the payroll tax receipts in the mid-May timeframe. Knowing the lead-time necessary to do run-cuts and meet postings for the December operator signup, holding until mid-May for these decisions makes sense.
I wish I could say that all these steps will be sufficient to see us through this very challenging economic time. But I can't. We will closely monitor the employment picture and the subsequent affect on payroll tax revenues and take additional steps when necessary.
I know that the changes we are implementing including a combined 8% budget reduction, the wage and hiring freezes and the executive furloughs are not easy. But we all have an obligation to ensure that the most important service we provide, transit service on the street, must be preserved to the greatest degree possible.
Thank you for your assistance during these difficult times.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Of course, the Times misses a large part of the Portland tragedy: the part about the City Council wrecking the municipal government's financial future with one expensive, harebrained stunt after another for the benefit of the local developers and construction companies.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com - Portland,OR,USA
Two executive directors received retention bonuses in January: Neil McFarlane, executive director of capital projects, received a $25,000 bonus in addition to a $188,085 salary; and Steve Banta, executive director of operations, received a bonus of $15,000 in addition to a $181,892 salary. Both are subject to the planned two-week furlough.
More cuts announced
Because TriMet gets most of its revenues–55 percent–from the employer payroll tax, and with unemployment climbing, TriMet also announced today that it will cut an additional 3 percent throughout the agency for the FY10 budget. Those cuts could ultimately include staff layoffs, additional budget cuts, furloughs, but no additional service cuts will be considered until mid-May when there is additional information on actual payroll tax receipts for the first quarter. If additional service cuts are necessary, they would be proposed over the summer.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Progressive Rail Roading - Milwaukee,WI,USA
TriMet will use $1 million of federal stimulus for bike parking
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com - Portland,OR,USA
Sandy man sues Gresham, TriMet
Bus Driver Punched In Face By Teen - Portland News Story - KPTV ...
Aloha teen accused of punching TriMet driver
by The Oregonian Tuesday March 10, 2009, 10:43 PM
An Aloha teen was accused today of punching a Tri-Met driver he thought had missed his bus stop, the Washington County Sheriff's Office reported.
Deputies were called about 4:55 p.m. to Southwest 149th Avenue and Farmington Road, where the driver on Route 52 had stopped to let a passenger out the front door, said Sgt. David Thompson, a sheriff's spokesman.
The driver said he had not noticed anyone at the rear door. However, the teen contended the driver had ignored him.
The driver said the teen cursed and threatened him, then hit him in the face. The driver let him off the bus and called police.
Byron L. Bearyman, 17, was arrested at his Aloha apartment, Thompson said. The teen was taken to the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center on accusations of assault and interference with public transportation.-- Staff reports
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Daily Journal of Commerce - Portland,Oregon,USA
Grace period is over, now you'll get a ticket
KATU - Portland,OR,USA
The Commuting Chronicles: Good trimet article a couple days ago
Who's turning U.S. flags upside down in West Linn?
Monday, March 9, 2009
Stimulus funds will provide secure parking for 250 bikes, upgrade 100 older bike lockers. More
News - Monday 3/9 - TriMet's Gambit On Diesel Fuel Goes Bust
KUIK - hillsboro,or,USA
Is federal spending a helpful silk purse or a sow's earmark?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
More big-time bungling at Tri-Met
Following right up on buying commuter trains from a manufacturer that it knew was about to go under, the wizards running Portland's transit agency went out and bought hedge contracts from a bank, locking in high fuel prices right before they dropped dramatically. Brilliant move!
You've got to wonder who made how much of a commission on that deal. And they're in their bunker today telling us, "It was the right thing to do -- we'd do it again."
Do you ever get the feeling that we need to clean house over there? The geezer board that Governor Ted has overseeing the place (starring Homer Williams's stepdaughter) isn't getting it done. And how much are we paying Fred Goldschmidt-Hansen for his, ahem, remarkable leadership as general manager?
Ore. starts laying out plans for stimulus dollars
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com - Portland,OR,USA
... said the stimulus package would result in $102 million in projects in the Portland region, including $44 million for the mass transit agency TriMet, ...
I'm taking all the testimonies I have gotten from people who will be affected by Trimet service cuts and posting them to a separate blog.
This will be a living history of the faces and words of the people that are going to get whacked by this latest government rip off.
If you know people who are going to be affected by these cuts and they are willing to put their voice and face out then they can either send me the video or upload the video somewhere and send me the link so it will be added to the other faces and voices.
It may or may not do any good, but it will be a piece of history that will not be so easy to ignore.
The most likely scenario for fareless is for it to be limited to the MAX--now that MAX will be travelling up and down the transit mall.
How many times have drivers had to pass up paying customers at rush hour who wanted to go home because they had full loads of fareless passengers? It happens frequently on the 12 and 9. It happens in the a. m. on the 8, forcing drivers to pass up paying passengers needing to go to OHSU.
People travelling to downtown already have transfers or passes. The primary beneficiaries of fareless as it is now are people living in the Pearl who do not need a free ride, transients, and people boarding in fareless and remaining on the bus as it leaves the zone. No driver can keep track of every person who boards in fareless and drive safely at the same time.
Why should taxpaying passengers living outside of fareless, who may seldom travel downtown, subsidize the minority who live downtown? Service is being cut on outlying lines and elderly people without cars will be without transportation so that downtown Portlanders can have free rides. How logical is that?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Facility Management’s Administrative team is available as a resource to both internal and external customers regarding Facility Management related topics: Facilities Systems, Environmental, and Facilities Services. We are committed to providing high quality administrative and clerical support, superior customer service, and responding to needs in a timely manner, with mutual trust and respect to all.
The annual celebration and competition will be put on hold this year, but will return in the future.
3/4/09 Taking a break from the Ro(a)deo
Stephen R. Banta, Executive Director Operations
Yesterday our general manager wrote to employees about the importance of celebrating our achievements while keeping in mind the financial challenges facing our agency. The changes to Employee Recognition Week reflect this reality, and we have been charged to find new and creative ways to recognize excellent performance in balance with our financial situation.
The most meaningful way of recognizing an employee is to tell them that they did a good job, that their work is important to the success of our agency. This isn't a new or radical concept; it is, however, something that is all too easy to forget when we are knee deep in alligators, as we are so often in Operations. I am committed to making sure that we do not forget to thank and recognize employees despite the difficult times.
There is no one at TriMet who believes more strongly than I in the value of the Ro(a)deo. This event provides an opportunity for us to celebrate and recognize excellence together. It is also an important event where families and retirees come out to mingle and engage in friendly competition. The winners of last year's event will still represent TriMet at the national competitions this year. However, we have decided to cancel the Ro(a)deo this fall, and we will not be sending anyone to national competitions next year. When the financial tides turn towards the better, I promise you that this event will be one of the first things to return. I appreciate your support and understanding of this difficult decision.
The upside of this is that the extra time will allow me get more practice in for next year's competition!
Recognizing performance still important
March 3, 2009By General Manager Fred Hansen
This year is one of challenges and triumphs. In February, we opened WES and in May, buses will be back on a revitalized Mall. Green Line will open in September and on December 1, TriMet will celebrate its 40th anniversary. We also look forward to receiving federal stimulus money for infrastructure and capital projects that will help put Oregonians back to work.
We balance this good news with the reality of what is happening in our region, our state and our country. FY10 must reflect 5 percent across-the-board cuts and reductions in bus and MAX service. This not only has a serious effect on our employees and riders, but on the entire region. And as we know, if the economy continues to deteriorate, even a 5% cut will not be sufficient.
Recognizing outstanding performance becomes even more important in tough economic times when staff is being asked to do more with less. With this in mind, it was time to rethink our formal employee recognition activities. After much reflection, it seemed that a series of smaller celebrations throughout the year would be more appropriate than one large Employee Recognition Week event.
Formal recognition events will reflect the times
We will begin these smaller celebrations on April 29 when I announce, and we all celebrate, the new Operators of the Year. At that time, we will acknowledge National Safety Award recipients. In May, we will celebrate buses returning to the Mall and in September, the Green Line opening. We will have a ceremony to announce General Manager Award recipients in October and will end the year recognizing TriMet's 40th anniversary. Along with these agency-wide celebrations, each executive director is being asked to find the best way to acknowledge their division's accomplishments.
Steve Banta and I also made the difficult decision not to have the bus and rail Ro(a)deo this fall. The time, coordination and people it takes to make this event successful is a lot to ask of our Operations staff who will have had an extremely busy year, and at a time when resources will be limited. I enjoy the Ro(a)deo for the opportunity it offers both maintenance and transportation employees to demonstrate their skill and professionalism, and I have no doubt we will hold this event again in the future.
Informal recognition always the most important
I have long felt, and continue to believe, the most meaningful recognition an employee can receive does not involve celebrations, meals and awards. It is when a manager or supervisor tells an employee specifically how he or she has performed well. I have shared this belief with you on many occasions and have consistently encouraged staff to find more informal and personal ways to thank employees.
It is critical to acknowledge each employee's unique contribution to the agency. TriMet's strength is its employees. It is no different this year. None of the changes described above alters the mandate to say what our coworkers value the most - a simple thank you for a job well done.
It is also important for us to celebrate together. Individual performance creates strong teamwork and strong teamwork results in extraordinary achievements.
I look forward to expressing my appreciation for your outstanding work as we celebrate our accomplishments throughout the year.