Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Stephen R. Banta, Executive Director Operations
Overall, the transition from 3rd and 4th avenues back to the Mall has gone smoothly. This is due to the hard work of TriMet employees who put an incredible amount of effort into preparing for the move, and who remained focused throughout the implementation of this massive service change. The hours of training and coordination between agencies was worth it, and along with our general manager, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to you all.
It has been a pleasure to see the excellent teamwork of our employees out on the street. All week, trainers, supervisors and station managers have been at the garages and up and down the Mall helping operators to navigate the new environment. Operators have told me that they appreciate driving on streets designed for transit operations. By and large, our customers appreciate being back on the Mall as well.
Many of the feelings of uncertainty that operators experienced on their first trips through the Mall have gone away. Soon, traveling along the Mall will become second nature. Remember that trains will return to the Mall for rail operator training next week. Because train presence will be intermittent for some time, it is critical that everyone pays close attention to the environment. Remember to be patient, and keep the safety of yourselves and your customers always at the front of your mind.
Analyzing TriMet cuts
TriMet's budget woes has prompted its board of directors to approve Ordinance 306, the much discussed service cuts slated for September 2009.
How much will these service cuts save? Unless I missed it, no one has asked or TriMet planning officials have not provided estimates on how these cuts will help fill the budget gap.
While Ordinance 306 refers to a "line-by-line/trip-by-trip technical analysis" of each of the service cuts, Kelly Runnion, TriMet's executive and board administrator, was recently unable to provide me a copy of the analysis. It appears that the board of directors have voted to approve substantial transit cuts without understanding what they voted on.
Last Friday, I joined City and University leaders at a bus parade and street fair to celebrate the return of buses to the Portland Mall.
By all accounts, our months and years of preparation are paying off in a smooth return to the Mall. Customer service staff reports that more than half of our customers knew about the change ahead of time. We have received only two-dozen negative comments from customers - a fraction of what we received when we relocated to 3rd and 4th. Almost all of the concerns have to do with where the buses are running - not how they are running. Customers are seeing benefits of the new revitalized look and feel of the Mall that will further be enhanced in the next phase of this project, as we finish work on shelters and introduce MAX stations on 5th and 6th avenues.
Every day, operators -newer and higher seniority alike- are becoming more and more accustomed to using the knowledge they learned in their training class. What I have observed is bus operators navigating the new operating environment with care and skill; customer service staff and Ride Guides assisting customers who have questions about where to find their buses; managers and supervisors offering operators support onboard and on the street; and TPD officers and other employees from our partner organizations emphasizing that transit has returned to the Mall and it's time for all users to follow the new rules.
I cannot think of a group of employees who do not deserve a hearty "thank you" for bringing the vision of a revitalized Transit Mall to reality. Of course there have been challenges. Some have been quickly fixed, like the signal timing at SW 5th and Ankeny that threatened to stack buses up at 5th and Burnside. We noticed the problem on Sunday, and worked with the City of Portland to have it fixed by Tuesday morning.
Others involve more of a learning curve, such as motorists and bicyclists making illegal and unsafe right turns. On issues like these, we continue to work with our partners to educate and enforce. What we're seeing is that most people who travel downtown frequently are following the new rules. But there will always be newcomers to the Mall, which is why we continue to refine signage and other elements of this unique operating environment.
Sunday, May 24, was a landmark day for TriMet. The return of buses to the Portland Mall is a big step forward for our total transit system. Now, we are in the final planning stages of changes on the Mall, bringing the Yellow line onto the Mall at the end of August followed by the Green line in September.
Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for your role in making the return to the revitalized Mall a smooth transition and furthering our goal of making this region the most livable in the country.
Tips & reminders for Bus Operators
Know your designated stops
Because of the different places routes enter and exit the Mall, the ABCD/
WXYZ system exists only between Madison and Oak. There’s no substitute
for reviewing a complete list of your line’s designated stops downtown.
Clear, easy-to-use lists appear in a number of places, including:
· The large, green pocket card that began circulating today;
· Printed schedules;
· Binders in the report area.
Note that detailed stop lists do not appear on route descriptions or paddles.
Service lane yields to the travel lane
-When you’re in the service lane, yield to buses and trains on your left.
-When you’re in the transit way, remember that buses on your right will yield to you. Trying to let them in just slows traffic and creates uncertainty.
Boarding: 1st and 2nd positions
Deboarding: Any position
Keep the double white line on your left
When the MAX track curves, keep driving straight. Don’t follow the curve.
See your station agent for info
Station agents have pocket cards for you and service alert brochures for your customers, along with schedules and line-by-line downtown stop lists.
Operating condition updates
-The City of Portland has adjusted the timing of the light on 5th at Ankeny
to reduce the chance of buses backing up at Burnside.
-Operators have raised concerns about the visibility of South Mall stop signage. Modest improvements may occur in the coming months while we experiment with reflective material for the route numbers and finish installing shelter lighting all along the Mall.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
When the bus stops, sensors will notice a passenger approaching the rear door
and automatically open it.
The system is expected to be especially helpful for senior citizens, riders
carrying packages and passengers with small children.
NYC Transit says the first buses with the sensors are due in January.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
THIS IS MORE THAN A LITTLE SHOCKING TO THINK ABOUT.
TRIMET is functioning as a cash cow!
Who are all these people and do we really need them?
"The Thinkers undertake residencies of 2 - 6 months, in which they assist South Australia to build on its climate of creativity, innovation and excellence. The Thinkers provide the State with strategies for future development in the arts and sciences, social policy, environmental sustainability and economic development."
As stated above, these people are here to assist South Australia!
Obviously they should pay the whole cost for whoever they decide is worthy of being named to their program.
The people of Oregon should not have to shell out ONE DIME TO SEND FRED HERE!
And it clearly says 2-6 months, so it appears Fred may be lying once again.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Mechanical problems have been fixed and WES is back to regular schedules.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
ADELAIDE'S next Thinker in Residence will put the city's public transport system under the microscope.
Transport Minister Patrick Conlon today announced Fred Hansen, the general manager of transport provider TriMet in Portland, Oregon, will begin in October.
Mr Conlon said Mr Hansen's experiences would help South Australia implement its next phase of public transport projects and would influence the state's first transport-oriented development at Bowden.
"Mr Hansen's home town of Portland is internationally recognised as one of the finest exponents of a sustainable and integrated public transport system," he said.
"In particular we are looking to benefit from Mr Hansen's expertise in the provision of higher-density development along transport corridors as we pursue a more liveable and sustainable city."
Last week's Federal Budget announced support for extensions of the Gawler and Noarlunga rail lines and another $61 million to gives O-Bahn buses priority in the city.
Mr Hansen will take over from Professor Laura Lee, who has focused on the integrated design of cities.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
TriMet was represented at the 2009 APTA International Bus Roadeo competition held last week in
On the bus maintenance side, Powell mechanics Randy Reusser, Victor Kuss and Brian Zach took 15th place out of 36 teams. One reason they did so well is that they found time to practice for several hours on a new bus engine module and computer diagnostic program, which TriMet doesn’t have. The team scored 300 out of 350 possible points in that event, beating King County Metro and
Transportation was represented by Karen Asio, a bus operator from
Congratulations to them all for their hard work, their achievements and for representing the agency. While the Roadeo will not take place this year, it will return in the future. It is an important event for showcasing the talent of our employees and building community among employees.