I'm Michael Andersen. I edit Portland Afoot, a new 10-minute newsmagazine about low-car life in PDX. You should totally check us out at PortlandAfoot.org.
busing, cycling, galloping, MAXing, pogosticking, skating, skipping, somersaulting, walking, WESing
Hey, thanks for the nice words, Denis! Hank, sorry if my PA post overdosed on snark. I hope you found its facts fair and useful, at least. I don't think anybody's arguing that your point of view is invalid, though certainly the operators' union would tell you that driving a bus is much harder on the body than typing and talking for a living. :)
Heads up: In "the $3.5 million cost of the program," I think you're counting the $800,000 from PPS twice. According to the ECONorthwest report funded by TriMet last October, YouthPass costs TriMet $2.7 million annually, of which $800,000 is offset by payments from PPS.
I suspect you took the $2.7 million cost to TriMet and added $800,000 to it. The correct total cost of the program is about $2.7 million, according to ECONorthwest.
To clarify a little: I didn't mean to say there's anything wrong with ODOT giving money to TriMet. That's just fine. My concern is that TriMet might find itself always being pressured to put up a little more money for rail ... a little more ... a little more ... to unlock big capital grants from state and feds. The agency is just in too much trouble to spare any of it's operating revenue for construction.
Sped, I think that bike money is mostly for building stuff like speed bumps, curb extensions and road blocks that reduce auto traffic on the bike boulevards, redirecting non-local auto trips toward the larger arterials.
Sarah, the O's piece says reduced street paving would be "about $4 million," though it's not clear from what baseline. You say the reduced street paving would be $1 million from a $9.5 million baseline. What's the discrepancy?
Quick thought on TriMet's comparison of union costs: I think those are distorted a fair amount by TriMet's choice to compare to all transit employees rather than transit employees in large cities, where driving a bus requires a fair amount more skill and a lot more tolerance for bad stuff.
I ran the numbers a couple years ago on TriMet's labor costs per service-hour, and they weren't out of line compared to other big agencies. What's weird about their costs are that they've been growing faster (twice as fast as the average large agency's since 1994), and that their medical benefits, especially for retirees, are unusually generous.
I think much of the cost of the event is in the overtime paid to police officers. For whatever reason, this isn't treated as part of the police bureau's normal duties.
This is great news for the thousands of folks who ride it, but don't forget this is only funded through May! It's a stopgap measure for which there isn't continued funding.
All Comments »
All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
Contact Info |
Production Guidelines |