Okay, so some of you were obviously not sufficiently impressed with the debut of the new MAX Green Line that will ferry you from downtown to Clackamas Town Center in 45 minutes. Some of you were not wowed by July's Green Line confetti cannon and scoffed at last Friday night's Green Line-themed martinis.
Some of you said things like, "Greeat, pat yourselves on your back and eat your Foie Gras while the rest of us stand waiting for a packed bus for 30 minutes." And, "Making your customers suffer because they made a huge, impossibly stupid, bet on fuel prices and toasting to it on the day the cuts kicked in pretty much sums up everything you need to know about their management's attitude."
Some of you obviously lack SPIRIT and as we all learned in high school pep rallies SPIRIT is crucial to being a successful COMMUNITY MEMBER. For those of you who will be receiving an F in SPIRIT, I recommend this re-educational video of the Green Line dance crew spliced with TriMet-lovin' bigwig speeches, all of which took place at the celebratory Green Line kickoff last Saturday (where you would have been eating Green Line CUPCAKES if you had SPIRIT! Even Jasun Wurster has more SPIRIT than you!).
After the dancers wrapped up and all the cupcakes were eaten on Saturday, I took my first real ride on the Green Line with the MAX's arch nemesis: president of "free-market environmentalist" think tank the Cascade Policy Institute, John Charles. This self-proclaimed train lover and MAX commuter has testified before the state senate against increasing TriMet's funding and penned editorials against the new MAX line. He, too, was unimpressed with the city's recent Green Line love fest. As we passed the green balloons hung in Pioneer Square and shared the train platform with an large-mustached man brimming with excitement about riding to Clackamas for free, Charles brought up some of the points you spiritless commenters have raised.
"It's the same as all the other light rail lines. It creeps through downtown at an exceedingly slow five miles per hour. There's a bunch of tourists on it. All it has done is replace very inexpensive bus service with very expensive rail service," said Charles, who harshly criticizes TriMet for cutting bus lines while funding big rail projects. Bringing up the cuts to free bus service downtown, Charles added, "It is completely predictable that bus riders got the short end of the stick. TriMet discriminates against bus riders to give the kid glove treatment for rail ridership."
There will be more on BUS-ting the Green Line party with Charles in this week's print edition. In the meantime, discuss.