Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

Trimet Sacrifices New Buses to Get Money For Light Rail

From: "John Charles" <john@cascadepolicy.org>

Subject: TM throws bus funding under the bus

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 14:46:43 -0800


If ever there was any doubt about the 2nd-tier status of bus service at TM, it is erased in the memo

linked below, which is a background paper for next week’s Oregon Transportation Commission meeting

on Wednesday. TM is seeking $13 million in ODOT Flex Funds to help fill the last hole in local funding

for the Milwaukie LR project. The ODOT staff is recommending the money, which will come from a

number of sources, including ODOT’s Capital Bus Program. Under this proposal, “TriMet would

receive approximately $13 million, and would agree to refrain from requesting Capital Bus

Program funds for bus purchases for the next three biennia…” (page 2 of memo).


Just two days ago I attended the TM board meeting where the CFO made a budget presentation; she

said TM has “one of the oldest bus fleets in the nation”; 161 buses (26% of fleet) are 18 years or older;

TriMet’s average fleet age is 12 years, while the national average among the largest 100 transit

agencies is 7.4.


And of course, TM went to the voters last fall asking for $125 million for bus capital projects.

Yet TM is quite willing to give up any ODOT bus capital grants for the next 6 years so they can feed the

light rail beast.



%20Flex%20Funds/Attachment%20A%20-%20Staff%20Report.pdf   (Local Copy)

I will be at the meeting next week arguing that the Oregon Transportation Commission should reject this

request. I don’t expect to win, but do hope to shine light on TriMet’s hypocrisy.