Wednesday, January 21, 2009
BEAVERTON -- TriMet showed off its new commuter train Wednesday at a "first ride" for westside community leaders, the first public passengers on its route between Beaverton and Wilsonville.
The Westside Express Service started as a proposal to ease congestion along the Interstate 5 corridor. After 14 years of planning and troubles with its manufacturers, full service will begin Feb. 2. Trains will run about every 30 minutes Monday through Friday during morning and evening rush hours.
"This is not the silver bullet for congestion," Tom Brian, chairman of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, said. "But it's silver buckshot: part of the transportation solution, in a way."
Transit officials estimate that WES will have 2,400 riders a day as soon as service begins. They expect it to reach 4,600 by 2020. Three self-propelled cars and one trailer will complete 32 round trips a day. Each car has about 80 seats, along with standing room and space for bicycles and wheelchairs.
In addition, WES will have free Wi-Fi onboard and interactive public art at each of its five stops. Parking for cars and bicycles will be available at most of the stops.
"(We will provide) daily, reliable service and superior customer service," said Jeff Lowe, TriMet's director of commuter rail.
WES was supposed to start running last fall but was delayed because of trouble with the company contracted to build the train. TriMet had to take control of the company, Colorado Railcar Manufacturing, after it ran out of money to complete the vehicles.
Still, Brian said the final cost of the train would be comparable to building a new highway.
"It's another good day in Washington County," he said.
-- Megan Crepeau; firstname.lastname@example.org
by The Oregonian Wednesday January 21, 2009, 3:19 PM
A former TriMet labor leader was sentenced to a year in prison today for stealing more than $450,000 in union benefit funds.
Thomas V. Wallace, 50, of Wamic, admitted in May 2007 to forging checks drawn on bank accounts controlled by Local 757 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
During the sentencing hearing, Wallace's attorneys asked the court for leniency, noting that Wallace had repaid about $140,000 to the union. They also claimed that the thefts were the result of a gambling addiction and other personal and health related circumstances.
U.S. District Court Judge Garr King ordered that he could remain working and repaying his debt until July, when he must report to prison. He will be allowed to leave his home only for work, medical appointments or as permitted by his probation officer.Wallace served as the elected financial secretary and treasurer of the union since 1997. The union represents transit workers in Oregon and southwest Washington, including about 2,100 of TriMet's 2,500 employee
It’s WES Time! TriMet’s new WES Commuter Rail service, connecting Wilsonville, Tualatin, Tigard and Beaverton, opens Monday, February 2, 2009. We’d like to invite you to celebrate with us:
January 30: Free WES preview rides
Come out for a free ride on Friday, January 30, 2009, between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Space is limited. Rides will be on a first come, first served basis.) Learn more
February 2-6: WES Week
Join us for activities and giveaways at every station as WES opens for service. Learn more
Learn more about WES at trimet.org/wes.
We’ll see you there!
In addition to free WES rides on January 30 as part of the WES Commuter Rail Grand Opening Celebration, we're now offering a limited number of preview rides on January 23, 26, 27 and 28 between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Space is limited, so act quickly to reserve your ride! RSVP now by calling 503-962-6474 or email email@example.com.