Terrible 24 hours for Tri-met

First, the Sunday Oregonian reported that Tri-met is $33 million over-budget on their Westside commuter rail for which the agency knowingly dumped millions into a one-bid company that has a stark history of problems. Instead of clamping down on the failed business Tri-met kept sending more advanced funds ahead of schedule.

Second, during the snow yesterday Tri-met’s light rail switches froze causing big delays with some passengers waiting three hours for it to move. Another light rail failure happened this morning as well. Everyone understands bad weather creates problems, but light rail’s inflexible structure means they have to depend on flexible buses to bail them out.

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Posted by at 11:06 | Posted in Measure 37 | 18 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • JesseO

    It was an even worse day for those stuck in the old technology of the automobile. People were stuck in their homes because they don’t have choices.

    • cc

      “It was an even worse day for those stuck in the old technology of the automobile. People were stuck in their homes because they don’t have choices.”

      Sure they “have choices”. They can stay warm at home, after heeding the week plus warning about the weather, they can drive their cars if they’ve got the proper equipment (studs/chains) and experience, or they can “choose” to waste all day freezing their asses off waiting for a bus or MAX.

      And what, by the way, is *new technology* about busses and trains?

      I’ll answer myself – not a flippin’ thing. In fact trains are WAY older , technology-wise. Looks like all that *new technology* got trumped by something as mundane (and foreseeable – if you’re not too stupid or unprepared) as freezing switching equipment.

    • Anonymous

      Trains are not new, I used them to get from one town to another in the 1950’s. Not new and definitely not as good as a car.

    • Anonymous

      I did just fine in my 4wd with studded snow tires because I made the CHOICE to be responsble and have a vehicle equipped for snow travel.

    • Anonymous

      I’d rather be stuck in a warm car or home than to be standing at a train or bus stop

  • Jerry

    TriMet is the king of money management. I love these guys.

  • Fred

    FYI: A TV news reporter said that light rail switches failed because the copper wires to heaters had been “vandalized.”

    • cc

      “FYI: A TV news reporter said that light rail switches failed because the copper wires to heaters had been ‘vandalized’.”

      FYI: If Tri-Met had checked their cold-weather-related equipment before our well-advertised “arctic blast” arrived, they’d have discovered the problem – that is, if that “TV news reporter” got his/her story right (see: “…too stupid or unprepared” above).

      Which “reporter” was it?

    • Anonymous

      What is it with the switches?

      I mean, train switches have been operating in freezing weather for 150 years. How come Tri-Met can’t get it right?

  • John Fairplay

    Sorry, but there’s no defense for Tri-Met on this one. I suspect, were anyone to investigate, they would find Tri-Met bought non-cold weather switches because they were less expensive then the cold weather resistant ones.

    I loved the interview with the woman on the news last night who recounted her 3 hour trip from Lloyd Center to Gresham (I think) on the MAX. This is a trip of 14 miles. 5 miles an hour. You could have made the trip faster 150 years ago on a horse. What a wonderful transportation advance.

  • are you sure?

    I was monitoring Tri Met’s website Sunday midday because my son uses it to get from Hollywood to St. Vincents hospital. There were no reported delays on the Max system, at least not from noon until about 3 PM. He got off at 11:30 PM and had no problem riding it back. Where were these interruptions reported?

    • Anonymous

      I got this off the tri met web site\
      —————————————–

      Current detours/delays/closures

      Updated 8:40 pm Sun, Dec 14, 2008
      MAX Red Line
      https://trimet.org/alerts/index.htm

      Alert in effect: MAX running on regular schedule
      except between Gateway Transit Center and PDX.
      Switches have frozen and the blowing snow is making
      it difficult to thaw. Shuttle buses are serving
      riders between Gateway and PDX.

      This likely will be for most of the evening.

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