Sunday, August 23, 2009
TriMet has now established a clear, discriminatory policy regarding its passengers.
The first-class rail riders continue to receive freebies from the expensive MAX system with its large, sheltered platforms, Transit Tracker signs and a complete police force. The Portland Streetcar receives $3 million annually despite not being owned or operated by TriMet. The WES system costs $33 per boarding ride to help pay for the "free" wireless Internet and specifically denies ridership to anyone without a credit or debit card. And now, Fareless Square will be exclusive to streetcar and MAX riders.
The steerage-class bus rider is subjected to the oldest, dirtiest and most congested bus fleet on the West Coast where the majority of boarding locations lack sidewalks, shelters or any amenities besides a bus stop sign. One out of three buses lack air conditioning. Buses frequently don't show up on schedule or are so full they must pass up willing riders. And now, bus passengers must pay full fare downtown.
Portland is no longer the leader in transit innovation. Instead, it has established that bus riders are no longer worthy of quality transit, while rail service receives infinite attention and funding.