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Old 03-16-2012, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 12,138,742 times
Reputation: 5860

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Parking is easy in the city? I really disagree with that. I stopped driving downtown because parking became such a pain.

I think if you're going to use public transport, you just have to live with the fact that it's not going to be faster than driving your car. It's just not. But I do think it's much cheaper, what with gas and parking prices.

Most people have unrealistic expectations of public transport. If it doesn't pick them up at their door, and drop them off at the door where they want to go, it's not good enough.

If you don't live near a MAX line, drive to a Park & Ride. We used to drive downtown and park free (after 6 pm) and ride over to the Rose Garden. So much cheaper than paying parking.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,695 posts, read 28,433,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramedud View Post
The same argument can be made for any transit system in the country.
But we are specifically talking about one city: Portland where public transportation is hyped more than in "any other cities," for which, as you say, the same argument can be made. So why is Portland's considered better?

Actually I have a theory about this. I think the sterling reputation came about when the service was better and there were more bus routes. And it was very much deserved. But that is not true today even though it is still perpetuated.

Perhaps it is better than many cities of its size. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less worthy of all the praise it is receiving.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,695 posts, read 28,433,203 times
Reputation: 35863
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enrico View Post
Parking is easy in the city? I really disagree with that. I stopped driving downtown because parking became such a pain.

I think if you're going to use public transport, you just have to live with the fact that it's not going to be faster than driving your car. It's just not. But I do think it's much cheaper, what with gas and parking prices.

Most people have unrealistic expectations of public transport. If it doesn't pick them up at their door, and drop them off at the door where they want to go, it's not good enough.

If you don't live near a MAX line, drive to a Park & Ride. We used to drive downtown and park free (after 6 pm) and ride over to the Rose Garden. So much cheaper than paying parking.
I never met any bus rider who expected to be picked up at their home. I think most people who depend upon public transportation are just happy to see their routes not get cut back or eliminated altogether. I don't think that is unrealistic. That is the biggest complaint I hear from my fellow bus riders.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Nutmeg State
1,176 posts, read 2,561,885 times
Reputation: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
Parking is easy in the city? I really disagree with that. I stopped driving downtown because parking became such a pain.

If you don't live near a MAX line, drive to a Park & Ride. We used to drive downtown and park free (after 6 pm) and ride over to the Rose Garden. So much cheaper than paying parking.
I get what you're saying. But these two statement are kind of contradictory. You said there is no parking downtown, but then talk about parking in downtown. I just know that I've never had any issue finding parking downtown, even around PSU during farmers market or at the Timber's game on Monday. Half the time you can find free parking, and almost all street parking on the east side is free.

I'm also not expecting door to door service. But I don't think it's too much to ask to have MAX trains running at least every 10 mins.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:52 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 12,138,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
But we are specifically talking about one city: Portland where public transportation is hyped more than in "any other cities," for which, as you say, the same argument can be made. So why is Portland's considered better?

Actually I have a theory about this. I think the sterling reputation came about when the service was better and there were more bus routes. And it was very much deserved. But that is not true today even though it is still perpetuated.

Perhaps it is better than many cities of its size. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less worthy of all the praise it is receiving.
Have all the other cities in the country not been affected by this recession? I would imagine funding issues are coast-to-coast. That doesn't mean that Portland's service has degraded more than anyone else's.

And I'm not even claiming that Portland's transit is "the best." That's nothing quantifiable, just a judgement call. And until we've tested everyone else's system (like that's going to happen)... we have no way of defending or deriding what "the experts" say.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:25 AM
 
343 posts, read 692,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
True, but almost no other city gets the kind of press and hype about it's transit system as Portland does (and cities like Boston, NYC, DC should, as their systems are a good bit better in my estimation).

I'm not attacking you, I was in the same boat, and though Portland was going to be this amazing transit system, but I've been a bit disappointed with the reality.
I think the city has done a great job in marketing it's transit to outsiders, I just think that some who moves here hoping to only survive on transit is going to have a tougher time than they anticipate. I think TRIMET would have to almost double in size (Both max lines, and increased bus and MAX frequency) to live up to the expectations many have of "Portland Transit".

(I'm not trying to bash the city, I really do like it here, but I guess I'm a little sensitive with my disappointment in TRIMET)
It sounds like you were let down by high expectations. I come from a place where the buses can smell like stale urine, sunflower seeds are on the ground, people are blaring music/talking on their cell phones, rude bus drivers/riders, emergency escape latches open, the list goes on. When I hopped onto a TriMet bus for the first time I was shocked. I was shocked because it was exactly at my level of expectation. A no-frills bus ride with clean seats, floors and a quiet environment. People just trying to get from Point A to B.

The buses were clean, people were very quiet, and no one talked on their cell phone. When riders got off the bus, they all said "Thanks!" to the bus driver! When I got to downtown Portland, there were television screens at the bus stops telling me exactly when the next bus was arriving. Try finding one of those bad boys in Downtown SF... because you won't! Perhaps the biggest shocker: the buses were (for the most part) on time. Where I'm from buses can be up to 15~30 min late. No joke. It's so unreliable I bought a car. Never looked back.

TriMet works. Period. End of story. The reason why a lot of you guys can argue about how not-so-great it is (not everyone in this tread, of course), is because you've been having it so good for so long. Here's my advice: fly down to the Bay Area, ride on our buses for a week, then let me know how bad TriMet is. Living here isn't a prerequisite to figure this one out. Sure TriMet had its share of cut lines and schedules, but we've suffered the same cutbacks. As EnricoV mentioned, what part of the country hasn't? Even in its current state TriMet is way ahead of anything in the West.

Last edited by ramedud; 03-17-2012 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR / Las Vegas, NV
1,818 posts, read 3,835,450 times
Reputation: 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
Have all the other cities in the country not been affected by this recession? I would imagine funding issues are coast-to-coast. That doesn't mean that Portland's service has degraded more than anyone else's.
I read posts about TriMet having a $17 million shortfall in their budget. As a comparison Chicago had a shortfall of more than TriMets entire budget. Over $300 million. They has to lay off 1100 employees and when I was in Chicago in 2009 they were running a fleet that was very old (trains). Everybody is feeling the pinch.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,695 posts, read 28,433,203 times
Reputation: 35863
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
I get what you're saying. But these two statement are kind of contradictory. You said there is no parking downtown, but then talk about parking in downtown. I just know that I've never had any issue finding parking downtown, even around PSU during farmers market or at the Timber's game on Monday. Half the time you can find free parking, and almost all street parking on the east side is free.

I'm also not expecting door to door service. But I don't think it's too much to ask to have MAX trains running at least every 10 mins.
While waiting for the bus at 27th and Hawthorne, I used to watch people drive up and park either on the street or the old Safeway parking lot and then walk to the bus stop.

They would be driving down Hawthorne, see a bus, and then zip past it to park on the street or Safeway parking lot and then wait on the corner until the bus caught up with them. I was able to determine there was a bus coming soon by watching them do this.

Safeway allowed people to park in their lot until too many people decided to use it. Then they began having the cops hand out tickets to cars parked there all day. So more people parked on the streets.

I worked with several people who parked as close to the Hawthorne Bridge as possible and then took whatever bus that came along over the bridge to downtown.

That's the SE version of a Tri Met Park 'N Ride.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Nutmeg State
1,176 posts, read 2,561,885 times
Reputation: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramedud View Post
TriMet works. Period. End of story. The reason why a lot of you guys can argue about how not-so-great it is (not everyone in this tread, of course), is because you've been having it so good for so long. Here's my advice: fly down to the Bay Area, ride on our buses for a week, then let me know how bad TriMet is. Living here isn't a prerequisite to figure this one out. Sure TriMet had its share of cut lines and schedules, but we've suffered the same cutbacks. As EnricoV mentioned, what part of the country hasn't? Even in its current state TriMet is way ahead of anything in the West.
See, I feel like you just proved my point. I've never lived in SF. I've visited there a lot, and have always been impressed with their bus system and especially with BART. The grass is always greener on the other side. You're doing the exact same thing about Portland.

Apparently TRIMET doesn't work if they're eliminating routes and cutting down bus frequency because of a budget shortfall.

I agree for its size Portland has a pretty decent transit system.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,695 posts, read 28,433,203 times
Reputation: 35863
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
See, I feel like you just proved my point. I've never lived in SF. I've visited there a lot, and have always been impressed with their bus system and especially with BART. The grass is always greener on the other side. You're doing the exact same thing about Portland.

Apparently TRIMET doesn't work if they're eliminating routes and cutting down bus frequency because of a budget shortfall.

I agree for its size Portland has a pretty decent transit system.
I agree with your assessment of SF's public transportation system. Based my obeservations as a visitor. But since I don't live there I am not judging either way.

I have seen all of Ramdud's description of what he has seen on SF buses on Portland buses. Except for the sunflower seeds.

It probably depends upon what route you are taking and the time of day. During the rush hour it is quiet with the exeception of people talking on their cell phones. During the day on the off hours when I take it a lot, you find the people who like to talk to everyone including themselves, spilled pop on the seats, people taking up one whole seat while others stand and sometimes but fortunately not very often, the looney tuna who decides to threaten the other riders. I have seen all of this.

Hey, it's all a part of urban living no matter where you go. As long as the bus gets me there, I'm not complaining about my fellow riders.

Portland does have a decent bus system now. But watching service deteriorate over the years even before the recent financial crisis took place makes me worry that someday it won't be.
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