Portland’s Streetcar Audit: What Went Wrong?

By Matthew Hayes Earlier this month, auditors released a report questioning the Portland Streetcar’s performance. Ridership counts were inflated by 19%. Several additional metrics, including hourly vehicle operating costs and on-time performance, were either unreported or deemed not suitable for … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Metro, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , | 561 Comments

TriMet Violates Clean Air Act While “Regulators” Stay Silent

By John A. Charles, Jr. In previous decades the Portland region failed to meet national air quality standards for carbon monoxide pollution and was designated a “non-attainment” area under the federal Clean Air Act. As a result, the region was … Continue reading

Posted by at 03:51 | Posted in Columbia River Crossing, Environment, Federal Government, Metro, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 259 Comments

TriMet Finally Admits Rail Problems

By John A. Charles, Jr. Earlier this week, I wrote on Oregon Catalyst about the problems TriMet is having with its constantly failing rail system. On Wednesday, TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane announced that the agency is hiring an outside … Continue reading

Posted by at 04:35 | Posted in Leadership, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , , | 418 Comments

The Chronic Failure of Rail Transit

By John A. Charles, Jr. The local transit agency, TriMet, likes to claim that continued expansion of the regional rail system is critical because rail has operational cost savings over buses. Unfortunately, this assertion overlooks a glaring problem: The rail … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , , | 235 Comments

The Portland Streetcar: Time to Reset the Vision

By John A. Charles, Jr. If some Portlanders are confused about why we have a 19th century trolley operating in a 21st century city, they are not alone. City leaders are confused as well. According to the Streetcar Concept Plan … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Energy, Environment, Government Spending, Government Waste, Green Energy, Leadership, Local Taxes, Metro, Oregon Government, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, State Budget, State Government, Taxes, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , , , | 35 Comments

The Columbia River Crossing Takes Another Blow

Early in comedian Steve Martin’s career, while he was still performing on Saturday Night Live he created a bit that has become part of cultural history: “You say, Steve, how can I be a millionaire and never pay taxes?” Martin’s … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Columbia River Crossing, Leadership, Liberalism, Oregon Government, Portland Politics, Public Transportation | 428 Comments

Sen. Doug Whitsett: Concerns with the CRC

by Sen. Doug Whitsett There is little doubt that something needs to be done to improve traffic flow on Interstate 5 across the Columbia River. The current levels of traffic congestion, delays and the number of vehicle crashes are unacceptable. The … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Columbia River Crossing, OR 77th Legislative Session, Public Transportation, Transportation | 8 Comments

Mythbusting at OMSI – Part 2: Earth Hall

by Eric Shierman In a follow up to my article last week about a trip to see the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s Mythbusters exhibit where I noticed some mythbusting of OMSI’s own at Life Hall, I also noticed … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Energy, Environment, Public Transportation | 918 Comments

The end of TriMet’s failed Fareless Square experiment

by Eric Shierman As this month comes to an end so too will end Portland’s 37-year experiment in fare-free public transportation. The last vestige of Fareless Square, known today as the Free Rail Zone, will come to an end. Perhaps … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , | 444 Comments

The New Sellwood Bridge: Subsidizing the Two Percenters

By Michael Nielsen For more than six years, Multnomah County has been considering how best to replace the Sellwood Bridge. The plan that has been adopted calls for removing the current bridge and replacing it with a new one that … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, Transportation | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

A tale of two Oregon made products

by Eric Shierman A good anecdote in the huge costs we impose on ourselves for feel-good gestures to marginally reduce carbon emissions in a way that will have no material impact on climate change is the comparison of two products … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Metro, Natural Resources, Public Transportation | 14 Comments

Transit Hypocrisy

Two years ago, the head of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Peter Rogoff, gave a speech to a room full of transit executives. His remarks were unusually blunt. Mr. Rogoff admitted that the transit planning process for new projects was … Continue reading

Posted by at 11:24 | Posted in Metro, Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , , | 3,144 Comments

Clackamas County’s grass-roots rebellion

by Dave Lister Clackamas County is in rebellion. From overturning a vehicle registration fee to help fund a replacement for the Sellwood Bridge to an overwhelming victory in requiring a countywide vote on any new or expanded urban renewal districts, a … Continue reading

Posted by at 06:35 | Posted in Metro, Public Transportation, TriMet | 10 Comments

Latest Audit Shows TriMet Continuing to Circle the Drain

While TriMet is busy building a cool new transit-only bridge over the Willamette River and seizing expensive private property for the Milwaukie light rail line, the latest outside audit shows that the agency’s expenses are piling up at a much … Continue reading

Posted by at 04:45 | Posted in Leadership, Local Taxes, Metro, Oregon Government, Portland Politics, Public Employee Unions, Public Employees Retirement System, Public Transportation, State Taxes, Transportation | Tagged , , | 41 Comments

What are voters in Clackamas and Clark Counties NOT being told

…about urban transportation and the Columbia River Crossing light rail project? What does Portland have planned for Vancouver, Lake Oswego and Clackamas County? Why are residents, commuters, taxpayers and voters not being told? And why are voters not being asked … Continue reading

Posted by at 04:30 | Posted in Columbia River Crossing, Initiative & Referendum, Local Taxes, Metro, Oregon Government, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , | 911 Comments

The corruption of Portland transit: How did things go so wrong?

As a young environmental activist growing up in north Jersey in the 1960s, I took transit buses all over – into Newark, Elizabeth, and New York City. Later as a college student in Pittsburgh, I took Greyhound across the state … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:30 | Posted in Energy, Global Warming, Local Taxes, Metro, Oregon Government, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, Taxes, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged , , , | 444 Comments

How many presidential buses does it take to equal the cost of one light rail car?

President Obama is traveling the Midwest on a new bus purchased by the Secret Service. The vehicle is painted all-black with tinted windows and appears to be the size of a standard Greyhound bus. Inside, we can assume that it’s … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Metro, Oregon Government, Portland Politics, President Obama, Public Transportation, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

Cascade Requests Congressional House Committee to Delete Funding for Milwaukie Light Rail

Last week Cascade Policy Institute sent a letter to Rep. John Mica, Chairman of the Congressional House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, requesting that he delete all $750 million in federal funding being requested by TriMet for the Milwaukie light … Continue reading

Posted by at 01:00 | Posted in Economy, Federal Budget, Gov. Kitzhaber, Leadership, Local Taxes, Oregon Government, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, State Budget, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , , | 56 Comments

TriMet’s New Transit Bridge to the Last Century

On June 30 TriMet formally began construction on the new Willamette River Bridge for the Portland-Milwaukie light rail (PMLR) line. The bridge will be part of a 7.3-mile rail spur running from the Portland State University campus to a parking … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Leadership, Oregon Government, Public Transportation, State Budget | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

It’s time for a West Side Interstate route

by Ron Swaren While it is virtually a non starter that anything comparable to the I-205 freeway would ever be built on Portland’s West Side, there are cost effective solutions that can continue the prosperity in Washington County that started in the 1980’s … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation | 2,998 Comments

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