The long-awaited budget cuts for TriMet's 2013 budget are finally set in stone. After six months of bouncing around debatable ideas, the board released its final product today. The changes will go into effect September 1, so take advantage of what you'll miss while you can. Here's the dish:
Fare Zones: Eliminated
There will now be a flat fare rate for riders in all zones. Meaning the cost of riding from Beaverton to downtown will be the same as a short inner-city trip.
Flat Fare Increase
Yup, you saw it coming. The adult flat fare rate is up to $2.50.
Free Rail Zone: Eliminated
You can no longer catch the MAX downtown or by the Lloyd Center for free. Womp womp.
Ad Revenue Boost
TriMet's helpful website will host a plethora of more ads to distract you from getting anywhere.
Non-Union Job Cuts
They call this "internal efficiencies." TriMet staff face even more cutbacks in their pay, benefits and jobs themselves.
A total of 15 different bus routes that currently overlap each other will be fiddled with to boost efficiency and 9 routes face major trip cutbacks during low-commute hours.
TriMet's LIFT door-to-door service for disabled riders will be cut back based on commuting times as well.
Reduced Streetcar Contribution
Instead of a hefty $400,000 in funds going towards the streetcar project, TriMet will only dole out $300,000.
There you have it. TriMet General Manager (who Occupy TriMet protesters fought to fire last week), Neil McFarlane's final words on the plan: "With nearly 16,000 comments received from the community, it truly helped shape our proposal and focus on our shared priority that preserving service was the top priority."