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Old 01-18-2014, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,533,646 times
Reputation: 7830

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
It is not wrong. Please supply links to indicate it is thriving and where the previous poster is wrong in his comments.

The service has been declining for years and there has been a public outcry that has finally made TriMet sit up and take notice. We have been promised that some of the many cutbacks in bus service will be restored this year. So even they are now admitting to a problem. It is true they have also added new buses but these replace old ones that no longer can be of service. So, yes, these are improvements but they will have to go much farther to restore the system to what it once was.

Right now, the emphasis is on costly light rails from a suburb that doesn't want it and a shiny new streetcar that will only serve a portion of a small area while the majority of the city is still without the good bus service it once had while other parts of the city remains making do with the poor bus service it always had to put up with.

Much of what we have is geared toward the downtown area and commuters during rush hour with little or no thought those who need public transportation throughout the day. You can see the link to OPAL for more information on this.

I have been riding TriMet steadily for nearly 35 years as one who has depended solely on it since I have never owned a car. That is where my information comes from, as an actual TriMet transit rider. What was once a great system is now a helter skelter scramble with unfinished train tracks due to lack of funds and ever shrinking bus routes.

Here is an interesting interview by Jeff Gianola of channel six's KOIN and Neil McFarlane, TriMet's general manager, that attests to some of the problems. Our local newspaper, especially the free press has had many articles about this same topic and the mismanagement of Tri Met when it comes to serving the needs of the people. Also a link to OPAL, a group of people who actually ride the buses and trains on a daily basis and not only for commuting purposes just as people do in cities where the public transportation system works as it is supposed to as it once did here.

http://www.opalpdx.org/

TriMet execs receive hidden raises, while fares go up

Portland covers both the OP's questions. It is considered left-wing and has taken millions from the government to build its shiny trains and streetcars that serve only a portion of its citizens.
I never said Portland's transit was thriving, I said it wasn't abysmal. For me, Virginia Beach's public transit is abysmal, Portland is 1000 times better.

Many of the Trimet cutbacks happened because of financial issues rather than ridership issues. The light rail has an average daily ridership of 120K, that is far from abysmal if you ask me. Combine that with their bus ridership of about 201K daily ridership and you are talking about 321K people who commute by bus and light rail in the Portland metro every day. Those are really good numbers, could they be better? Sure, but I would never call those numbers abysmal.

Beyond that, we will be at a disagreement on Trimet. The light rail system is the best way to properly connect the suburbs to the city, and the streetcar and BRT is the best way to provide transit to higher density neighborhoods. The tricky part has more to do with cross town buses that don't run to and from downtown, even San Francisco and Seattle have an issue with this.

I do agree with you, I don't like seeing top execs getting raises, but that doesn't have much to do with fares going up, but it looks bad.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,533,646 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Sorry. but the upper" poster has hit the ball head-on -- and put it way up in the cheap seats. Anyone who has worked in high-volume industrial or distribution operations within the past few years knows that the pressure to "dumb them down and speed them up" has been slowly intensifying (and never retreating) since the mid 1980's. And gaining knowledge and control of an employee's means of getting to and from work is just one more step in the process.

Whether you call it "scientific management", "Taylorism" or just "standardized work", the springs are being wound just a little tighter every day. It doesn't matter who's in control of Congress or the White House, and the (hypothetical) pursuit of "continuous improvement" will keep the safety valves tied down until some extraneous event forces us all to step back and think. We can only hope that that event doesn't involve a lot of people getting hurt -- or worse.

And I have no idea how to empower the individual when both sides in the Potomac power-game have fooled too many of us into believing they serve or protect some imagined "greater good".
huh?
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,672,920 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I never said Portland's transit was thriving, I said it wasn't abysmal. For me, Virginia Beach's public transit is abysmal, Portland is 1000 times better.

Many of the Trimet cutbacks happened because of financial issues rather than ridership issues. The light rail has an average daily ridership of 120K, that is far from abysmal if you ask me. Combine that with their bus ridership of about 201K daily ridership and you are talking about 321K people who commute by bus and light rail in the Portland metro every day. Those are really good numbers, could they be better? Sure, but I would never call those numbers abysmal.

Beyond that, we will be at a disagreement on Trimet. The light rail system is the best way to properly connect the suburbs to the city, and the streetcar and BRT is the best way to provide transit to higher density neighborhoods. The tricky part has more to do with cross town buses that don't run to and from downtown, even San Francisco and Seattle have an issue with this.

I do agree with you, I don't like seeing top execs getting raises, but that doesn't have much to do with fares going up, but it looks bad.
Trimet is already beginning to listen to the people, those who ride the system, and is seriously considering dumping some of its previous plans to spread the light rail and opt for BRT's. Also more crosstown buses are needed to alleviate the "switchback" problem; having to go to downtown just to go from one neighborhood to another not just in high density neighborhoods but also in the farther out "forgotten neighborhoods." Those are the ones in which people have been pushed out to due to being unable to afford those in which they formerly lived closer in due to gentrification.

Crosstown buses do not need to go downtown. The majority of bus routes already end there. Again, no one should have to travel downtown to transfer to a bus to take them to a neighborhood that parallels theirs just a few miles away because there is no cross town bus for them to transfer to.

As I mentioned, I am not saying that Trimet is terrible or the worst, what bugs me is that with all its problems and disservice, it continues to tout itself as the best which it is not. As many have pointed out in recent years, the only best about Trimet is its PR department. Those who must depend upon it would disagree. For what it's worth, it's good but not as good as it purports to be.

I keep reading that ridership has gone down. I don't have any stats handy on that though. Also I know that light rail keeps breaking down. Where I last worked, a large insurance company with over a thousand employees, the running joke was anyone who rode light rail to work was automatically allowed extra time to arrive to work due to the constant break down of the trains.

You may disagree, and you have every right but when you actually move to Portland and begin to depend upon it as your sole means of transportation from a neighborhood that isn't well served, get back to me and tell me what you think. I am serious about this.

With apologies to the OP for "derailing" his thread. This kind of fits in with the question about left-wing city supporting public transportation. Portland is considered to be left-wing and has supported it to the "MAX" (pun intended) and has used government funds. In my opinion and a lot of others, some of it has been an improvement but also it's gone a bit overboard with no watchdogs to control the people in charge. As an example, the City of Milwaukie fought tooth and nail against light rail but was trampled on by the city of Portland and Trimet. Militant liberalism at its finest. It wasn't what the people wanted any more than a lot of what Trimet has given us. So to answer your question about what is perceived as a left wing city, I'll leave it to you to be the judge.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,069 posts, read 16,090,068 times
Reputation: 12647
In defense of TriMet, it's not really them that is touting it as anything. Everything I've seen coming from them seems like they've got a good grasp on reality. If you look at the 2014 budget, they're putting a renewed focus in on buses. BRT is just kind of a necessity because of bang for the buck. Federal stimulus dollars are drying up.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,513,144 times
Reputation: 15950
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
huh?
OK ..... I respectfully ask you to have a talk with anyone you know who has been working in a distribution or light-manufacturing environment for the past few years; the pressure to micro-manage, usually via electronic and cybernetic media, has been slowly, but constantly, intensifying.

I work in such a place -- a "distribution center" stocking a variety of products. Most of the basic tasks; stowing inbound merchandise, picking orders, and packing small shipments for delivery by outsiders rather than company trucks, have been closely studied and reduced to simple tasks, and everyone is expected to "dance" at the same speed -- no regard for differences in height, reach, and especially -- age. Every time the performance improves, however slightly, that becomes the new standard.

This particular practice has roots that go back for several generations, to a man named Frederick W. Taylor -- hence the term "Taylorism"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Winslow_Taylor

In fairness, I can't offer an answer; the economy is littered with the remains of industrial enterprises that could not compete because an aging, but strongly-unionized work force, Below is a link to one of the best-known case studies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rath_Packing_Company

I don't recall the name of the judge who, when asked to define pornography, replied "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."; a similar rationale can be applied for those of us who work in the "cyber-sweatshops", whether they be "fast-pace" warehouses, call-centers, or anything in between.

Until the near-monopoly on heavy industry which the United States and Canada enjoyed after World war II, older employees often found roles as clerks, inspectors, union stewards, etc. This practice is no longer as sustainable under globalized economic trends, and when physical performance begins to diminish, these individuals are often "culled out" and steered to toward the 'gray-collar ghetto".

My point was simply: "The pressures of the 'Orwellian workplace' are intensifying, and many of those close to the front lines see the advocacy for 'collectivized transportation' as one more facet of something likely to be viewed as a threat.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 01-19-2014 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,533,646 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Trimet is already beginning to listen to the people, those who ride the system, and is seriously considering dumping some of its previous plans to spread the light rail and opt for BRT's. Also more crosstown buses are needed to alleviate the "switchback" problem; having to go to downtown just to go from one neighborhood to another not just in high density neighborhoods but also in the farther out "forgotten neighborhoods." Those are the ones in which people have been pushed out to due to being unable to afford those in which they formerly lived closer in due to gentrification.

Crosstown buses do not need to go downtown. The majority of bus routes already end there. Again, no one should have to travel downtown to transfer to a bus to take them to a neighborhood that parallels theirs just a few miles away because there is no cross town bus for them to transfer to.

As I mentioned, I am not saying that Trimet is terrible or the worst, what bugs me is that with all its problems and disservice, it continues to tout itself as the best which it is not. As many have pointed out in recent years, the only best about Trimet is its PR department. Those who must depend upon it would disagree. For what it's worth, it's good but not as good as it purports to be.

I keep reading that ridership has gone down. I don't have any stats handy on that though. Also I know that light rail keeps breaking down. Where I last worked, a large insurance company with over a thousand employees, the running joke was anyone who rode light rail to work was automatically allowed extra time to arrive to work due to the constant break down of the trains.

You may disagree, and you have every right but when you actually move to Portland and begin to depend upon it as your sole means of transportation from a neighborhood that isn't well served, get back to me and tell me what you think. I am serious about this.

With apologies to the OP for "derailing" his thread. This kind of fits in with the question about left-wing city supporting public transportation. Portland is considered to be left-wing and has supported it to the "MAX" (pun intended) and has used government funds. In my opinion and a lot of others, some of it has been an improvement but also it's gone a bit overboard with no watchdogs to control the people in charge. As an example, the City of Milwaukie fought tooth and nail against light rail but was trampled on by the city of Portland and Trimet. Militant liberalism at its finest. It wasn't what the people wanted any more than a lot of what Trimet has given us. So to answer your question about what is perceived as a left wing city, I'll leave it to you to be the judge.
I was simply pointing out that the member was incorrect when he called Portland's transit abysmal.

Your opinions of Portland transit is valid, though a correction for you, crosstown means not going downtown. If the bus goes downtown then if can't be called a crosstown bus unless downtown happens to be in the middle of what it is crossing. A crosstown bus on the east side would be one that ran up and down 30th St.

I actually did rely on Portland transit heavily when I lived there. When I lived in Cedar Mill I commuted by light rail most of the time. When I later moved next to downtown I relied on light rail, streetcar, and bus to get around to prevent needing to use my car when I didn't need to. Though I also walked and biked a lot as well which did reduce some of my transit needs.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,533,646 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
OK ..... I respectfully ask you to have a talk with anyone you know who has been working in a distribution or light-manufacturing environment for the past few years; the pressure to micro-manage, usually via electronic and cybernetic media, has been slowly, but constantly, intensifying.

I work in such a place -- a "distribution center" stocking a variety of products. Most of the basic tasks; stowing inbound merchandise, picking orders, and packing small shipments for delivery by outsiders rather than company trucks, have been closely studied and reduced to simple tasks, and everyone is expected to "dance" at the same speed -- no regard for differences in height, reach, and especially -- age. Every time the performance improves, however slightly, that becomes the new standard.

This particular practice has roots that go back for several generations, to a man named Frederick W. Taylor -- hence the term "Taylorism"

Frederick Winslow Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In fairness, I can't offer an answer; the economy is littered with the remains of industrial enterprises that could not compete because an aging, but strongly-unionized work force, Below is a link to one of the best-known case studies.

Rath Packing Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't recall the name of the judge who, when asked to define pornography, replied "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."; a similar rationale can be applied for those of us who work in the "cyber-sweatshops", whether they be "fast-pace" warehouses, call-centers, or anything in between.

Until the near-monopoly on heavy industry which the United States and Canada enjoyed after World war II, older employees often found roles as clerks, inspectors, union stewards, etc. This practice is no longer as sustainable under globalized economic trends, and when physical performance begins to diminish, these individuals are often "culled out" and steered to toward the 'gray-collar ghetto".

My point was simply: "The pressures of the 'Orwellian workplace' are intensifying, and many of those close to the front lines see the advocacy for 'collectivized transportation' as one more facet of something likely to be viewed as a threat.
Again, not following your rant, are you trying to tell me that public transit is somehow evil because it advocates an "Orwellian workplace?" I am a huge fan of 1984, but you trying to connect it to public transit is a stretch.

Also, my comment I was saying was based on the fact that cars were much less common to working class people prewar era, therefore people relied more on transit and walking. It is also one of the many reasons why cities were much more compact then.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,513,144 times
Reputation: 15950
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Again, not following your rant, are you trying to tell me that public transit is somehow evil because it advocates an "Orwellian workplace?" I am a huge fan of 1984, but you trying to connect it to public transit is a stretch.

Also, my comment I was saying was based on the fact that cars were much less common to working class people prewar era, therefore people relied more on transit and walking. It is also one of the many reasons why cities were much more compact then.
The recent upsurge in the advocacy for mass transit, High Speed Rail, and similar measures is linked primarily to the emergence of the Milllenials. I don't have a problem with that, but even thirty years ago, I saw such enthusiasm wane among people my own age as they began to advance in years and were confronted with cramming more job and family responsibilities into the same fixed amount of time --- a personal vehicle simply allows the owner to combine and deal with more demands, and the intensifying pressures of a workplace which is more interested in "fresh meat" than a wider inventory of skills and experience won't act in favor of 'collectivized mobility'.

Dismiss it as a "rant" if it doesn't suit your predisposition, but adult responsibilities have a tendency to reinforce the argument on a daily basis.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,533,646 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
The recent upsurge in the advocacy for mass transit, High Speed Rail, and similar measures is linked primarily to the emergence of the Milllenials. I don't have a problem with that, but even thirty years ago, I saw such enthusiasm wane among people my own age as they began to advance in years and were confronted with cramming more job and family responsibilities into the same fixed amount of time --- a personal vehicle simply allows the owner to combine and deal with more demands, and the intensifying pressures of a workplace which is more interested in "fresh meat" than a wider inventory of skills and experience won't act in favor of 'collectivized mobility'.

Dismiss it as a "rant" if it doesn't suit your predisposition, but adult responsibilities have a tendency to reinforce the argument on a daily basis.
And that is fine, but why should people in their 20s be forced to live the same way those in their 40s live? I love Portland, Oregon and one of the things I love most about it is its options in transportation. If you own a car, you can drive, you can use the bus and/or light rail depending on where you live, the streetcar depending on where you live, you can bike, and you can even rely on commuting by taxis depending on where you live.

It makes no sense to have cities and metros only be built around the car and expect everyone to only use cars because it is convenient to people in their 40s. Also, when a city offers alternatives, it helps reduce the car traffic so that it makes driving much easier and reduces the demand for more lanes of highway.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:55 AM
bu2
 
10,010 posts, read 6,444,734 times
Reputation: 4161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
I agree and as a long time resident of Portland who has spent 35 years of taking public transportation everywhere, not just to and from work, I can vouch for the fact that the ridership is abysmal because service is abysmal and people have chosen their cars because public transportation is no longer the reliable service it once was. The expenses incurred did not meet revenue taken in because the management of the company was so poorly executed for years. A lot was uncovered last year in regard to that.

So people are jumping in their cars and bypassing what was once a very reliable public transportation system.

Even the once strict rules for the creation of taxi cab companies have been lifted by the city and new companies are flourishing. Who would have ever thought that would happen in good old left-wing Portland?

So the Field of Dreams approach doesn't work. You need to build things that are cost-effective or you starve the transit system.

Much of Europe (I'm not talking about mega-cities like Paris and London) operates without rail. They have dependable, predictable buses. Building ultra-expensive rail systems when dependable, predictable buses would be cheaper and leave you more funds is a trendy decision, but often a poor one.
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