Tri Met Gives

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Victoria,
 
My comment is based on my own analysis of TriMet financial trends going back to 2004 (see attached). The alleged “revenue shortfall” is pure PR-spin, as in “we were EXPECTING even more but since more isn’t coming we’ll define that as a shortfall.”
 
It’s very simple: every January, TriMet increases the regional payroll tax rate by .01%, and tax revenues continue going up, while service is going down. The agency is simply mismanaged.
 
Solution:
 
(1) Stop all rail planning/construction projects, now. The $750 million in “local match funds” required by the feds could be re-allocated to other purposes, including (in some cases) better bus service. TriMet by itself is scheduled to sell at least $60 million in bonds this year for Milwaukie LR, which will have to be paid back by future payroll tax funds. Every penny of that will be cannibalized from the general fund that helps pay for bus service.
 
(2) Give up the futile negotiations with ATU and start contracting out for service. Unionized TM labor has priced itself out of the market.
 
(3) End the “free-rail” zone and collect fares from everyone, including streetcar riders.
 
I’ve passed on these comments to TM via the goofy website portal, for whatever that’s worth.
 
JC
 

http://theskanner.com/article/VIDEO-YouthPass-Funding-Restored-PPS-Students-Will-Keep-Free-Transportation-This-Year-2011-12-08
Tri-Met Passes Extended through 2012

 Students in grades 9 – 12 will continue receiving free Tri-Met service through June 14, 2012, thanks to a new YouthPass program agreement.  The popular YouthPass program provides Tri-Met service to about 13,000 PPS high school students, including those in Education Options.  Under a new agreement announced December 5, YouthPass organizers Tri-Met, the City of Portland, and PPS extended the passes through the 2011-2012 academic year.  We will distribute the stickers when students return from Winter Break! 

From: Thompson, Clay [mailto:ThompsoC@trimet.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 3:09 PM
To: Alison Wallisch
Subject: TriMet service change considerations
As you may have heard, TriMet is facing a $12 to $17 million budget shortfall. Tough budget choices are ahead and we want to know what’s most important to you and your employees/constituents/community. We created this discussion guide trimet.org/choices because we want you to be aware of our funding issues and the  challenges they present.
We invite you to review the issues presented in this guide trimet.org/choices. You will see that “everything is on the table” when it comes to possible cost-saving measures. All options are being discussed. One of these options is the possible reduction of low-performing bus service.This includes lines that serve less than 15 riders per vehicle hour. Thus, I want to give you an early heads up that, these lines include 18-Hillside. We currently are researching who rides, when they ride and for what purpose. This information will assist with the decision-making process.   
TriMet is just beginning the outreach process and is seeking input from everyone via an online questionnaire at the back of the discussion guide, meetings, onboard bus outreach and other tools. The initial feedback we receive by January 20, 2012, will help us develop a specific proposal before our public open houses occur in February. The feedback period continues through the public hearings in March.
We welcome the opportunity to talk to your employees/constituents/community. Please forward this information, encourage them to consider the options presented in this guidetrimet.org/choices and provide feedback.  Again, we want to hear from everyone.  
I will be giving you a call soon to discuss.  Of course, please give me a call anytime at 503-962-6438. Your partnership and input are much appreciated – and necessary as we move forward towards difficult decisions.
Regards,
Clay Thompson
TriMet Marketing
4012 SE 17th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202
P: 503-962-6438
F: 503-962-6469
“See Where it Takes You”

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