Tri-met cannot release ridership data due to terrorist

Mel Zucker of the Oregon Transportation Institute never believed the hype about a public demand to build a light rail from Hillsboro to Forest Grove and people wanting a train from Beaverton to Wilsonville. Zucker called Tri-Met for the ridership data to see if the thriving metropolis of Forest Grove was truly flooding our transit system and in need of their own light rail gift from taxpayers. Tri-Met said it could not release such data and referred him to their legal council. This was a surprise to Zucker who says that Tri-Met usually is always more than helpful in public requests.

Legal council said they were acting at the request of Oregon’s Homeland Security Office based in Salem. A call to the office revealed that they would not allow ridership data to be public because terrorist might use it. The fear is that if terrorist knew when people use mass transit the most, they would detonate a bomb during that time. It was told that this decision was part of a higher national policy. Zucker who has transportation experts across the county was unable to find any other state that censored public transit data. A few lawmakers are looking into the matter to see if they can obtain the data (or should I say more accurately get access to top secret files that will imperil the lives of millions of transit riders coming out of the terrorist hot target city of Forest Grove).

This type of over-reaching hinders in the real effort to fight terrorism while balancing civil liberties.

  • John Fairplay

    While I’m for a strong anti-terror security appartus, this seems extremely cautious. I suspect you could detonate a bomb on most light rail trains at any time and not injure or kill more than a handful of people. You might get 100 if you set it off during rush hour, at other times, probably fewer than 10.


    Whatever! this crappy excuse comes from the same people who won’t detain, prosecute and turnover for deportation illegal aliens caught by the police in this state! What a joke!

  • Tim Lyman

    Just a wild ass guess, but might the busiest times be between 7 – 9 AM and 4-7 PM – also known as morning and evening rush hour – and might pretty much any potential terrorist be able to figure this out without statistics from Tri-Met?

  • OR. Dept. of Homeland inSecurity

    Mr. Lyman,
    Please cease and desist disclosing secuirty information on rush hour.
    If you proceed, we will be forced to tap your phone and invade your library records.

    To the public we would like to announce that there is no such thing as a rush hour. Please go about your business.

  • Jerry

    These morons are just not wanting to release any data that might do anything to show that light rail is not the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    They are completly full of nonsense and should be removed from their “jobs”.

  • Jerry

    Dear Mr. Jerry,
    Know you are on the Homeland watch list.


    Right on Jerry! Too bad the majority of the voters in this state can’t figure things like this out, lol, lol!

  • What is TriMet trying to hide?


  • Jerry

    They are hiding low ridership along with increased crime everywhere along the light rail paths and increased car traffic everywhere the light rail goes. That’s about it.

  • Hugh Bris

    Remember that Tri-met was created when Neil Goldschmuck made the Portland City council take over Rose City Transit.

  • Dave A.

    This sounds like something someone needs to SUE TriMet over. Not only are these people attempting to hide their low ridership numbers; but they are unwilling to have their ridership numbers independently verified. Anyone want to bet the latest transit “boondogles” will NEVER meet their projected ridership numbers?


    Everyone especially Tri-Met them knows their ridership numbers are a joke, but in this liberl state who is going to challenge them? GW’s ignobance gave the liberals the power, now we all pay!

  • Marvin McConoughey

    Basically, Tri-Met hopes to conceal information that might not redound to its advantage.

    Terrorists are unpredictable, true. Perhaps they will select Tri-Met as a target during light traffic periods because escape will be easier. Or during medium traffic periods because that is the most normal time when travelers are least alert. Or maybe at peak times because that is when the terrorist got off work.

    The Tri-Met functionary who withheld public information does not have a clue as to who, why, or when Tri-Met might be targeted. This is one more example of a public agency stonewalling an innocuous inquiry that has nothing to do with terrorism.

  • Captain_Anon

    Why is it no one here can actually believe that a lawyer told them not to divuldge the information due to a request by Homeland Security? Homeland Security wants tons of information withheld, and it is entirely reasonable to expect it in this situation. Tri-Meet LOVES publishing thier ridership information because it almost always is way above predictions. The westside Max extension was above predictions, the north portland line was above predictions, as was the airport line. the Tram was way above predictions and the street car has always been above predictions. so, it would seem to me that tri-met would like to release it because thie ridership is almost always above expectations.

    AS for the person who suggested someone sue Tri-Met. that’s just what we need, someone bringing an expensive and useless lawsuit against the taxpayers based on some conspiracy theory that Tri-Met is trying to dupe the public. thanks for wasting my money on stupid court cases. These are the same people who sue McDonalds for making hot coffee, or Michael Jordan because he has the same name as they do and they look similar.

  • Marvin McConoughey

    Captain-Anon asks “Why is it no one here can actually believe that a lawyer told them not to divuldge the information due to a request by Homeland Security?” I can believe it if sufficient corroborating evidence is provided. Did Homeland Security make this a blanket national policy, in advance of the local Portland Tri-Met response to an inquiry? Or did Tri-Met, striving to deny the request, think cleverly to ask a helpful Homeland-Security representative? If the latter, who was the representative, what is his official title, where is his letter to be found, and what is the precise text, so that it can be scrutinized by more than Tri-Met officials?