Friday, December 31, 2010

Flash of Genius

You know that awesome feeling you get after you post a blog post you're proud of? Well, I just got that feeling again. Only, this time, it wasn't my blog post.

Cameloparadis?, aka the MAX FAQ's blogging guy, posted a post that really opened my eyes, and I'm posting it here.

Like This.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All Right, Technical Difficulties Cleared

Here's a tip-right after everyone in the community posts a link to your blog, don't change the address of it. All those linkies get broken and that's no good. Anyway, I changed it back to the very incorrect address I had before. Oops. :)

Keep on reading!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

And in the midst of all of this

A Name Change!

Yes, I promised one last month or the one before that, but now I followed through with this! And you know why it took a month to change it? Cause I thought of this in 15 seconds. And 5 more to actually change it. Meaning-I don't know. But now I got a new better name! Now if I could only figure out how to change its color

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Speech-HOLY CRAP 189 VIEWS IN 1 DAY?!

Hello, I am Cameron Johnson, 16 year old member of OPAL Bus Riders Unite. And I think it's time I said what's been on nearly everybody's mind. First off, TriMet, with all its flaws, is a top of the line Transit System, don't get me wrong on that. But it's rapidly deteriorating, because of reasons many people have stated before. Paying $2.30 for a bus that runs at best every 20 minutes. 4 Rounds of service cuts back to back to back to back, and to top it off, a fare increase. I'm going to be perfectly frank, if I hear the phrase "It was necessary to fill up budget holes." one more time, I'm going to hurl. You're right now proposing more than $150 million of your own funds on "Transit Related Projects" which, I may add, has nothing to do with the hundreds of miles of Bus Service and has everything to do with 5 miles of light rail. $150 million. What does that mean in terms of bus service? That's tens of thousands of bus hours saved, true "frequent" service, as opposed to the current joke, and dozens of needy bus stops improved with amenities and infrastructure. You may not view this as a choice between one or the other, but when you're crying poverty, it absolutely is. [cut - Now for all of those who can't fathom $150,000,000, I'll put it simply. It's a whole lot more than TriMet filled up with their service cuts! So it may as well have been that the whole reason for our mainly bus service cuts and then some was to fund the Milwaukie MAX Line.
I was really excited to see in the Tribune front page strewn around the back of my line 14 bus that "TriMet's not letting bond measure failure slow them down." I was almost proud at first, because I thought "TriMet's really listening to people and taking something away from this!" Then I read the sneakily placed subtitle that said "Board proceeding with Milwaukie Light Rail Project." I almost ripped said article to shreds. In fact, I could imagine that said article got left on the bus in the first place when someone else read said article, got frustrated and threw it back down on the seat across from him.
I'm going to say this as straightforward as I can, because I'm sick of beating around the bush and because you're don't seem to get it. The Milawukie MAX Line IS NOT NECESSARY. It only benefits one part of the metro area, and half of the people there don't even want it. It may be a nice addition, but it is definitely
NOT worth its $1.6 billion price tag that all these sources like the Lottery and the City itself are putting towards with when it could be going to so many better sources,
namely improved bus service. The biggest problem is not the original investment or approval, it's continuing to throw money at a black hole, with no analysis justifying the increasing cost. When the federal government said they would provide only 50% match instead of 60%, that should have been a reason for smart people to pause and consider the opportunity cost of throwing more money at a problem. But TriMet seems to have viewed this as just another schoolbook challenge, without considering the consequences on real people. People are losing trust in you for this, including me.
Not only are you ignoring what people actually want, but you're doing it without good reason.
such as safety and education and helping people who truly need it, like the HOMELESS or the impoverished or the otherwise suffering, or a much easier way to help the environment than THIS. Instead, we're blowing all that money on a way that a few thousand people could save 10 minutes getting around instead of taking the 33, which will run at the same frequency as this MAX Line. It's POINTLESS. If this gets voted for, I may as well abandon all hope right now, and I'm darn well about to. This company is making a transition from a Transit Agency to a Development Agency. A Development Agency can be good and all, but here's the catch, if you become a Development Agency, THERE IS GOING TO BE NO TRANSIT AGENCY LEFT FOR THE CITY. Listen, I know you're good people. I have no doubt about it. But you really gotta understand that the MAX line is nothing more than a pet project by you guys and for you guys. I understand, I'm an Author, and It would be a dream for a book of mine to be published. But Draining a billion and a half out of the city and its people to see it completed is like me publishing a book of slander of everyone I know and love- It's going to hurt everyone involved, including you.

You've got to understand that not only SHOULDN'T vote for this, you CAN'T vote for this. It's going to be a huge blow to the city
and our future ability to take care of all our riders.
Because if you continue on your "development at all costs" approach, you will lose the confidence of your core riders, and there won't be any transit agency left.
From all of us in the city to you, do not vote for this. For once in your term, actually let what people are saying influence your vote, because if there were no people, there would be no TriMet.

Whew. I needed to get that out. BADLY.

So, there's my speech, and I really hope to make no edits to this, i.e. no one from OPAL thinking this too risque, God bless their lives. Because they really need to listen to this. BADLY.

Well, see me tomorrow! Bye!

Edit: Expansion edited. Thanks Jon and Grayce at OPAL!

Oh Yeah I Have A Transit Blog That's Right

Heh, I'm back. For those of you wondering where that kid with that weird transit blog went. Well, I went to the land of IF I LOOK AT ANOTHER TRANSIT RELATED THING I'M GONNA SCREAM which, shortened is called ABSOLUTE AND TOTAL BURNOUT.

Yeah, this TriMet agency wore me out. I needed to take some time to NOT be frustrated about the endeavors of this confused company and focus on happy things. Like War Video Games. And Writing. And that other stuff I do.

But fret not! I'm back! And if you thought I've gone soft, also fret not. Coming out of my burnout, I decided to take all my frustration and make a speech out of it. :D And the board of directors will be my lucky audience. This time, no abstract nice guy beating around the bush, I'm going to tell them exactly what's on my mind.

Ah, but you're gonna half to wait. Aw!

Till my next post that is. :)

See you there!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You Know What's BS?

Ticket Vending Machines. Sure, they're sorta helpful, but there's some major BS around it.

First off, has this ever happened to you? You're going to get a ticket outside the station and like a little bit down the way you see your train coming. You're drastically trying to mash buttons and throw your money in, and your ticket decides to take its sweet time coming out. You're muttering one expletive over and over in frustration and anxiety and finally you grab your ticket and run to the train, and it LEAVES right before you get there. Doesn't that just RUIN your day?

Or even worse, you're in the same situation and you're trying to get your old wrinkly dollar bill in, and it keeps jamming or coming back out. That just makes it 100 times worse. I mean, who's the sadistic guy who programmed those money scanner thingies to only accept your bill if it's in the right way, president facing west, right side up, unwrinkled, unfolded, and made in 2003 or sooner... Okay maybe not the last part, but that machine is sure discriminative.

Or how about when you are using loose change and you get up to the machine and it turns out you dropped a nickel along the way or didn't bring enough fare. And with the godforsaken $2.05/$2.30 fare here, I can't blame you. Now, you're up there, anywhere between a couple blocks or a mile away from home, your only choice is to go back home and get a nickel, missing a train or two while doing so, or you could always choose the DELIGHTFUL option of begging for a nickel. Now you may say "Can't that happen on a bus too?" Well, yeah if the driver is a bitter old man, but most of the time they'll be nice and let it slide. A ticket machine has no heart. It has no soul. It is unforgiving and uncaring. It comes from Satan. If you don't have that extra nickel, you're screwed. Now imagine that happens to you on the streetcar outside Fareless Square, where the ticket machines are INSIDE. You realize you lost a nickel and you're stuck IN the streetcar. You're pretty much SOL and although you rarely ever see a fare inspector there, you sure can't transfer without that dang nickel unless the bus operator is nice. So time to head back home. Which also sucks since there's little to no sidewalk on Moody in the mile between the South Waterfront and Riverfront.

Oh, and if a ticket machine is broken, that's always fun, right? Isn't that FUN? Sure, you may get a free ride out of the deal, but most likely you'll get off at the next station and get a ticket there, wasting time, or you'll get pulled over by a fare inspector and have to explain that the previous machine was broken. Yeah, that's convenient. Fun Fact: The chances that the fare inspector will believe you are really really low.

And last off, this is a small thing, but it really really really annoys the crap out of me. If you buy a Month ticket at the store, it looks really cool, like all decorative and stuff. If you buy it at the ticket machine, it comes out all bland, like a normal ticket, just a letter and a date. What, you couldn't think about easily sticking nice Monthly passes in the machine? And that's why Ticket Machines are BS.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Name?

Yeah, I was just thinking, I am, in fact, a TriMet Ally.

But most of my stories are about TriMet Executives and their doings.

And I do NOT like TriMet Executives for the most part. -_- Which makes me look like I thrive off of planning the destruction of TriMet. Which I am TOTALLY NOT DOING! *kicks away battle plan sheet targeting 4012 SE 17th Ave* Hehe...

Anyway, methinks I need a new name. I was tossing around the name The Great Equalizer, to show I take the side of both TriMet and the public, and maybe something to show my humorous (or at least I hope so to God) styling of the blog, uhm... something, well, humorous!

So what ideas to you have? :D

Oh, and can you EVEN change the name of a blog? O_o


Yep! What a way to start a morning! I woke up to a cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese and a cup of coffee that suddenly lost its flavor in comparison to the cinnamon roll and then, as per usual to a electronic nut as I am, checked my Facebook.

A Graphical representation of the expression of my face upon reading the big news in Transit this Morning

:D ... :o ... :/ ... -_- ... X( ... XO ... *insert throwing phone back onto the couch here*

If you want a video representation of my response, here you go.

Yeah, the TriMet measure didn't pass this morning. And you can bet I'm gonna blog about it. I mean, how can you expect me to hear this and not B*tch and moan about it, pardon my French?

Okay, I'm not gonna get into the fact that the bond measure became a bombed measure. I don't think cussing out most of the Clackamas County will make me look very good, and besides, they've got Mt. Talbert, and... and... and ...

What I want to focus on was this particular quote.

Although the bond measure failed, General Manager Neil McFarlane has said TriMet still needs to purchase new buses, but it would take several years and possibly slice further into operations funding.


Let's get this straight... because you didn't buy buses awhile back, and the bond measure failed, you're JUST NOW gonna buy buses, at the expense of bus service.

Let's all say it again...

Listen. If you guys hadn't delayed it for so long (Can't really blame McFarlane too much, more like the Board of Directors and Fred RailSen... Light Hansen... RailEd HanLightSenMaxMaxMax... okay... you get my point) then we wouldn't have had to rely solely on the measure in the first place. Now that it's failed, you still need new buses, and now us, the bus riders, are going to have to pay for that. What an oxymoron, emphasis on MORON. Thanks for your lapse of judgment guys. I look forward to waiting 30 minutes for my 14 from now on.

Oh, and one last reminder- Congratulations.

That is all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The board meeting laydown

Featuring SELECT tweets from my tweeterboard

Whoa... Jon Hunt of the ATU just got the biggest applause at the board meeting than every other testified combined BEFORE HE SPOKE.
Ah, one of the perks of bringing a protesting crowd of 50 into a crowded room. :D

Why is it the one meeting Lehrbach, the only sane board member, misses is the one where he is really needed? <_<
Yep, his presence was missed in this meeting of half-hearted board members.

Ah, look at all the smiley faces on the TriMet board. Seriously, all of them look like they ate a roadkill skunk. -_-
Yeah, seeing all the unhappy un-bull-tolerating members wasn't pleasant for them as much as it is when we swallow the bull with a fake smile on our faces. ;)

Van Beveren has the most discriminative habit of telling SOME people to hurry up if he doesn't like them. X_x
They installed a timer Wednesday! How nice! That means if they don't like your speech, they'll interrupt you until you leave. I mean, seriously, only if it's negative, as I'll explain later.

Shirley Carter is the most sensible person asked ever to speak by the board at the board meeting.
I don't know much about the safety committee, or if it's as full of it as the TriMet board, but if Shirley Carter's a sign of the Safety board she represented, then I wish I had been there. Spoke very intelligently about the interaction of bus drivers in people, defending both sides. I was in awe.
John Charles is now urging the board to postpone the decision on some grants. Watch as the board ignores everything he says
And then

Wow! I was right!
Seriously! I'm that awesome. -_-

And as a follow up

Here come the public speakers! Heck, you know what would shock me? If TriMet took ONE Single thing they said to heart
Spoiler Alert: They Didn't. Wait, wait a second...

I may just get my wish. A public speaker is supporting the Milwaukie rail. The one thing that matters to the board. <_<
Dang it, I gotta rephrase that wish.

Wow... never thought I would say this, but I miss that grouchy George Passa-something board president. Beveren's an inconsiderate old crab!
Okay, before some huge blogging community scandal breaks out, I may have used too strong a term for Beveren. But seriously, his scowl, his discrimination and his general attitude to non-worshipping speakers drives me up the wall, the ceiling and the chandelier.

Heh, I have never felt more confident speaking to the TriMet board

(borken link) I killed it. I'm that awesome.

I hate it when people don't like all the cuts to the building of MLR when so many people are being completely screwed over by bus cuts.
Yeah, a nice lady who was nice enough to quote me in her speech unfortunately used her speech to complain about the rather insignificant cuts to Milwaukie MAX. Let's see... Cutting 6 whole bus lines in the last year or walking an extra block to a bus stop on Bybee. THIS IS NOT HARD PEOPLE.

Hey, board member. When you're doing a sigh of complaint, try not to do it into the microphone. X_x
A bit of a morbid LOL moment

'I ran into another friend of mine, this is Sandi Day.'-David Sale. I still gotta pull my jaw up! This is a guy who can forgive! Respect!
Quite possibly the best moment ever in a board meeting outside of my awesome, colorful presence. (JK)

Whoa-lee shiiiiiiiiiz... This guy has guts!
Nice way to tell TriMet to screw the timer, David Sale! :D

:) I am glad to see a special needs person speaking directly to TriMet. We need more positive.

A technically disabled but obviously very intelligent woman with a "disability" (I prefer to think of them as obstacles you can use to your advantage) praising TriMet for their easy use for handicapped people. And it may not seem like this, but even though I criticize the crap outta the board, I am a huge ally of TriMet's riders and system. It's pretty good.

Wow, Rick, nice way to let a Light Rail worshiper go as long as he wanted.
As I was saying earlier, the timer. It was red for 2 minutes while a person I do not remember the name of praised the Milwaukie Light Rail.

Lew Church is talking about sensitive subjects. Even though Lynn isn't here, I'ma duck my head to avoid gunfire.
Yeah... something about Reedville Cafe... I was too busy wincing to notice the rest.

'It is interesting when you speak to a committee and they give you blake stares.' A testifier says to a board full of blank stares.
Yep. Another dark irony brought to you by the Board of Developers.

Heh, the meeting is done. And that's not EVEN the most nervewracking thing I'm gonna be doing all day.

Yeah... no. You wish you knew. Or not.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sneak Peek On My Rather... Abstract... Board Meeting Speech (Pre-Approval)

Hello, I am Cameron Johnson, 16 year old represneting OPAL Bus Riders Unite and to some extent the Mt. Scott Community Center Teen Volunteer Corps. And I brought with me some perturbing news.

Based off of blog commenters, something I observe very often, I have a feeling that the TriMet bond measure is going to be shot down, and not just shot down, but shot down by those with a vengeance.

I'm going to quote a blogger's comment who I will not name who said something that made me want to punch in a wall. He said, and I quote "Like to help you out TriMet, but you kind of lost your chance when you cut my bus line. Funny how it comes around, isn't it?"

Now while this absolutely disgusts me for two reasons, one being that vengeance is a stupid and useless thing, and two being that this guy's childish vengeance is part of what is costing me, someone unable to vote, new buses and bus stops, it shows a sign. It shows that you're changing the public's view of you into negative, and that is going to cost you.

Three things have been ticking riders off lately. The first is the service cuts and fare increasements, the second is the union situation which I know very little about, and third, the focus on light rail. And before you say "Oh this is only one commenter, how bad could it be?" Oh, it's bad. It's really bad. I read about 50 similar comments on ONE news article that read the same. There were 78 commenters. 50 is more than half of 78. If this is a sample, I'd recommend you fish out the white flag out of the basement.

People have been giving you reasons to stop service cuts because it impacts them. To be critical of you, you frankly haven't listened to those reasons. So I'm giving you a reason for yourselves to stop service cuts. People are your backbone, and when you hurt them, they're inclined to hurt you back. And thus begins a vicious cycle.

So how do you react? Some people, including me, fear that you will simply see this as a sign that bus service does not matter and when funding gets low, bus service will be first in line for the guillotine. I urge you, for all that is sane, do not do that. If you do that, you're no better than these vengeful commenters, and the vicious cycle will rage on until there is nothing left for either party. When you recover the body of the TriMet bond measure, learn from this loss. Learn that if you fire the first shot, you have started a war. If you are the first to make peace, you have not only ended the war, but unskewed the view of those on you. It's only beneficial to everyone.

Besides, I was never one to like war anyways, well, outside of video games. But that's another story...

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Among other things, the group recommended eliminating the term "accident" from its vocabulary, saying it implies that collisions are unpreventable.

So... what I'm hearing is that everytime a car crashes with a bus, even if it is an accident, someone is gonna get the blame, most likely the driver. Seriously. Is TriMet TRYING to fire drivers?

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to Fix the Mall Layout without getting wrecking balls and Going Crazy

(as posted on Michael Anderson's Post on BikePortland of a similar name)

Personally, as pro-bus as I am, The Green Line MAX was a relatively good idea. It serves lower income areas and such. (I could be biased because there's a stop right outside my house, but oh well)

But the idea to put it on the mall was total and complete stupidity. They had to take half of the buses off the mall to make room for it (14, 14, wherefore art thou 14?)and it obstructs traffic with that effed up layout. Seriously, what the hale is with that.

But it's too late to do anything about that, so here's what I propose.

Make the Mall MAX A seporate One-Train line between the Trolley Lloyd Center Station (Which would have a second track.)and PSU. The Gold line, perhaps (taking into account the price of it XD ) It would run every 10 minutes at the very least, because it makes no sense to run a MAX down the same place 10 buses run, except for the fact that it's free, and you can wait 3 minutes more surely.

The Green and Yellow Line would provide service on 1st and Yamhill, boosting it to 3.5 minutes every train. The Yellow and Red lines can stay at Galleria and the Green line could go to Beaverton to provide an East-West MAX Corridor, and let's face it, the only place along the rest of the Red Line tourists could go (besides homes in Beaverton-a slim chance) is PGE Park and Washington Park, and I doubt people will really get off the plane and cart their luggage there, and if they are crazy enough to do so, it can be timed so that a Green Line train comes 4-5 minutes before the Red line Train.

It'd cost more, but it'd relieve half of the MAX troubles (literally) and create an excuse for an East-West MAX line.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why pictures of the day haven't quite materialized

For one reason and one reason only

Before, I had every picture I took on two computers- mine, which is packed away, and my parents', which I use. Before the blog started my parents' computer crashed, and everything was wiped out. So all my pictures are on my packed away computer and I've been using salvaged pics on this computer.

Not to mention my camera's still out of commission.

So, yeah, if I get my old comp back up I can start again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

TriMet Picture of The Day-*insert name of picture here*

O_o This picture turned out big. Anyway, took this during a leisurely stroll down the Hawthorne Bridge, surprisingly recently, in August, right before you-know-what broke.

What I Really Hate About When Voters Say No About The TriMet Bond Measure

Yeah, as you can tell, the TriMet Bond Measure is gonna fall flat on its face. Mostly because the Oregonian, but another fact that really bugs the crap out of me has come into play.

TriMet has screwed bus riders over before, so some bus riders are taking revenge and saying No.

Uhm, I've got a really good question, hold onto your seat cause this is a really good- WHAT KIND OF SENSE DOES THAT MAKE?!

Seriously, take a second. Picture yourself as a kid. Your mom said she was going to get you the newest edition of Halo in a few days. (I'm don't even like Halo, but hey, I was short on examples.) She doesn't buy it for awhile, and you get frustrated and start saving up. When you get some money together, you go to buy it. To your surprise she covers most of the funds with what she has. Sure, you had to use some of your money and your mom was late on her promise, but, hey, she came through, and you've got Halo.

Now imagine if you told your mom "No, you don't cover it. I don't even want it anymore, and it's all your fault." when she went to help you pay for it. You'd have no halo and your mom would be pretty upset. She might even ground you for embarassing her.

Not take that in account to TriMet. If you vote no out of vengeance, you'll have nothing to show for it, you'll punish others because of your decision, and you'll be watching TriMet cutting bus service because of your no votes saying "Hey, they don't really care about Bus, let's cut it all!" So really, vengeance begets vengeance.

If you vote no, vote no because you think the measure is a bad idea. Because you can't afford it. Or vote yes. I wish I could. But I'm a teen. Therefore I don't count.

So, watch your reasoning behind your no vote.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I wonder who the lucky person is- anyway, I've gotten 1,000 views for my blog, in just under a month! This makes me really cheerful all of a sudden! Thanks to all the TriMet allies who took a look, if only for a minute or two!

As a thank you, here's my first good TriMet picture! Taken during the snowstorm of 2008 from the Pioneer Place Skybridge on 4th with my old camera phone. It's been a loooooooong time.

(Oh, and I know I don't have 1,000 fans. For all I know I've got 10 readers reading this 100 times. If so, you 10 are the coolest. ;) )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So SickOut of this Hate

You probably heard of all the Union vs TriMet wars stuff. It is really getting on my nerves, mostly because a lot of this stuff is out of my league. Trust me, I'd hate that people are losing their benefits, but to be honest, the way some of them plan on taking this out is just... wrong.

Tons of Transit Drivers may or may not be planning a sick out tomorrow. Now for those of you who don't know of this, from what I gathered, it's when a bunch of employees call in sick in protest to something the company is doing, i.e. in TriMet's case, the benefits problem.

Now let me say that a Sick-Out is a horrible thing to do in this case. Hundreds, if not thousands of people will be inconvenienced or totally screwed over if the bus runs less. This seems almost... selfish. Trust me, it's frustrating not being heard, trust me, I don't think the board really listens to my work or anyone else's speeches when they speak. They've proved this time and time again by hearing a heartfelt speech by someone who wants the best for their community and unanimously voting yes on what said speaker was protesting and not even noticing half the room moan in disappointment and hopelessness.

Yeah, yeah, it seems overdramatic, but that's pretty much it. The TriMet board are made of nice enough people who don't have a clue about Transit and only about construction. They are by far my least part of TriMet and what make it so hard to be TriMet's ally.

But where was I? Oh yeah, the sick-out.

I know that doing a sick-out will get you heard, but you know what they hear? They hear "These drivers are unreliable and rebellious. We told them not to do a sick-out and they did anyway." They'll fire you and any driver that really is sick. Or, since it's about Bus, they'll just *insert a joke about them being anti-bus here*

Ahem... sorry about that.

But there's better ways to get a voice heard, and you've already planned one- a Board Meeting Protest outside the Portland Building. I say, rant and bullhorn through that entire meeting! If they don't pay even a sliver of attention to you guys, there's leverage for you to use. You can say the board doesn't care about bus drivers.

And if they do pay attention, and actually listen, then that's obviously good in obvious ways. Things may actually get better.

Doing a sick-out means nothing gets better. It just gets worse, for drivers, for TriMet, for passengers, pretty much everyone in the city. And this isn't Union-approved, far from it, The ATU president actually said "Don't do it." He knows better.

So, I urge the few drivers who do read this, please don't do it this way. You're only going to harm yourself.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This epic picture was taken the day the Transit Mall opened up again for Buses. A really grand experience. One of the inspirations for me to start work in Transit.

This thought scares me

Did you know that TriMet has a $54,000,000 shortfall for the Orange Line MAX? Even after all the cuts happened to the MAX (shocking, cuts to MAX) there's still a $54,000,000 shortfall?

Now that in itself is scary enough, but read this Article, Courtesy of PortlandAfoot.
Basically it's saying that $50,000,000 would be generated hopefully to restoring BUS service.

$54,000,000 and $50,000,000 are awfully close.

Anyone else worried that they'll take the $50,000,000 and put it towards the MAX and flip the bird to all the riders by cutting $4,000,000 more of bus service just to fill it?

I am.




God, you know, It's really hard sometimes to be a TriMet ally. It's certainly hard to blog it. But I still am. Even if they do screw up big time a lot.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TriMet Picture of The Day and its Story-

This may not technically be a bus picture (there is a little bus in the background, so I say it counts) But I felt this should be posted, considering that Sunset TC has been apparently popular among bloggers for some odd reason.

$6 million, 14 Buses, 1 catch

As you may have heard, Feds are granting TriMet $6 million dollars to buy 14 buses IF TriMet merely pays a bit more than a million to cover a fifth of the cost.

All I have to say is, if TriMet doesn't pay that million, I'm gonna be really, really ticked. They will never hear the end of it. So I suggest that you be sure to pay that million. You know, 1 200th of what you're paying for MAX.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

I took this picture 3 different times to perfect it. First time was in January of 09, second time was in May of 09 and the Third was in January of 10. All 3 of them were with different cameras. Still not sure if I perfected it...

Why I Would Vote For The TriMet Measure If I Could

1- TriMet said something about maybe improving bus service if this happens with half of the money. While I have to say this is a bit backhanded, I really think service needs to be restored and even improved.

2- Everyone benefits from new buses. People who ride them, people who see them (less eyesore) and definitely photographers. ;)

3-If we don't... how will TriMet punish us? From what Erik Halstead terrified me with some piece about TriMet using this to say "people don't need the bus" and cut almost all bus service. That literally gave me freaking nightmares after hearing that because I use the bus service to live. I'm such a darn nerd I dreamed I lived in a place where I couldn't get anywhere and all ym friendships went out the window.

Has it ever occured to TriMet that the people who need this bus won't be able to afford the tax, while those who don't can, but don't give a crap about poor people enough to pay it?

4- I can see why teens don't vote, cause frankly, the price doesn't affect me. I don't pay taxes, I'm 16.

That's my piece. Now, if you'll excuse me... I've gotta schedule therapy over my TriMet nightmares.

Only Joking.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Someting Interesting Happen Already!

You see, there's a reason I don't post much anymore.


Sure, there's the union healthcare thingamajig. But bear with me, I'm a beginner at Union stuff, and I don't have a clue what is really going on, therefore I have nothing to say.

So, here's hoping something not-boring happens. Any suggestions?

TriMet Picture of The Day and Its Story-TIMING

It's all about timing. :) This bus was going rather fast for the mall, and that wasn't its stop as far as I remember. ...could be wrong.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TriMet Picture of The Day and Its Story-Triple Threat

Ah, the 3 clean ways to travel. I'm lucky to have gotten them all in one shot. Still not sure how it happened. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

TriMet Picture of The Day and Its Story-

This picture really helped me out of a photography slump back in August of 09. I had gone into the Portland City Grill (and annoyed the bejesus out of some employees) in the Us Bancorp building, then tested out the new yellow line MAX on the Mall. Very overrated, but overall, it made for this shot! :D I love the bus, but personally don't think it'd quite be the same in this picture.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Board Meeting Speech This Month

So, what do you think? Did I Kill it or Destroy it?

C-Tran Picture Of The Day and Its Story- Syndicate Hijack!

Yep, today C-Tran takes over the TriMet Picture Of The Day.

You see, I was up on Vancouver on my way back from the Fort, running to the Fourth Plain bus, and on the way by, I saw the bus, and compulsively took a picture mid-stride.

It turned out as if I was just standing there patiently.

God I love (and still miss) my camera.

What happened to it in the first place? Well, a friend dropped it on its lens. The End.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

TriMet Make Me Sad Face :(Why

Why, you ask?

I read the new rules, courtesy of Al M.

One of the rules was that you may no longer talk to operators.


What the hale, TriMet? What the hale?

Here's my thinking.

All the good operators, all the ones people praise, is because they TALK to people. I never would have made that article about John Hively or have had my life changed by him if that rule was in effect a year ago. You know what this means?

If you can't talk to bus drivers, they can't be "good" bus drivers. You can't compliment them. In fact, people can and will now jump them for the things they used to praise them. Thereby demonizing drivers far more. :/

And another thing- I've never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever seen a driver drive bad because he was talking. What a total misconception on TriMet's part.

This rule is nothing but horrible, and it must be taken down. Who's with me?

TriMet Picture of the Day and its story: Go By Streetcar

Whoa. This picture turned out really big.

Anyway, I consider this one one of my best pictures of all time. Truly worth the 20 minutes standing on my knees waiting for the Streetcar. But, hey, I had good music.

UPDATE: Dissecting the Depth of a TriMet Priority Future Service Alert

You may have seen my post yesterday on the little amount of information on TriMet's Service Alert for Sunday Parkways. I sent it off to TriMet yesterday and I got a response from Dareth Murray.

Hi Cameron,

Thanks for taking the trouble to point out the lack of information we provided in our alert. I think if you look at it again you will see that we DO link to their website which does explain the event and where it affects our service.

But to make it more clear right up front, I put a couple of paragraphs that explain what the event is and also put a link to the PDF of their map on our alert.

I hope this answers all your questions.


Dareth Murray

TriMet Webmaster

Epic, aye? I've already made a difference! Yay!

Friday, September 24, 2010

PortlandAfoot has Earned Its Plug

No I am not a sellout, first off.

Second off, with Michael Anderson giving me an awesome gift, I figured it's only fair to say that, as Jay Leno puts it, he earned his plug.

PortlandAfoot is a site revolving around a pretty cheap small magazine-newsletters, a large Wiki about the transportation in, you guessed it, New York (JK), and the occasional blog update. They were the best coverage of OPAL's rally, which I owe him a lot for, and this definitely more than an "Honorable Mention" in the list of the best Transit Blogs and Sites.

So, yeah. That's the plug. :D

*Earning your plug may not happen often and I am not trying to be a mooch, i.e. give me a gift and I plug you. I really owe this guy for something and thought this'd be a great way to thank him. All rights reserved, all lefts reserved.

*All Rights Reserved, All lefts Reserved is the catchphrase of Al M. His copyright. All rights reserved, all- wait, that was close to a paradox.

Dissecting the Depth of a TriMet Priority Future Service Alert

Here's a TriMet Future Service Advisory. The kind that are important and are posted on FB. While posting them to FB, Twitter and adivse them in advance... well, take a look.

Expect minor delays downtown on Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. due to the Sunday Parkways event in Northwest Portland. The following lines will be affected: MAX, Portland Streetcar bus shuttles, 12-Barbur/Sandy Blvd, 15-Belmont/NW 23rd, 19-Woodstock/Glisan, 20-Burnside/Stark and 77-Broadway/Halsey
No no no, TriMet. Wrong.

The main problem?

Where are the detours, and where do they go? I mean, how can I plan ahead if I don't know which stops are gonna be closed? How do I know if on line 15, I catch it on Thurman Street, it will actually arrive, and will it take me to my destination on Burnside?

I guess the only way to actually know is to look at A Sunday Parkways Map... but where do I find that? You don't say. And you don't provide a map of Sunday Parkways so we can at least get a small GLIMPSE of where to not rely on service.

And for that matter, what is Sunday Parkways? Will I be interested in trying it?

It's not what you have in the detour announcement, but what you DON'T have.

It won't even cost anything just to type more.

Here's an updated version of the service alert.

Expect minor delays downtown on Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Due to the Sunday Parkways in NW Portland, the following bus lines will be detoured
MAX: (Insert STOPS Closed or amount and/or length of delays)
Portland Streetcar Shuttles: (what stops are closed or amount of delays, and, since it's a shuttle, where it may stop instead)
Line 12 Barbur/Sandy Blvd: (insert area of detour here and where instead to catch it)
Line 15 Belmont/NW 23rd: (insert area of detour here and where instead to catch it)
Line 19 Woodstock/Glisan: (insert area of detour here and where instead to catch it)
Line 20 Burnside/Stark: (insert area of detour here and where instead to catch it)
Line 77 Broadway/Halsey: (insert area of detour here and where instead to catch it)
About the Sunday Parkways:
(Insert summary of Sunday Parkways here)
Voila! A quick and easy way to show your public you care.

TriMet Picture of the Day and its Story-QuickSnap

When I see a photo opportunity, I jump at it. I had just finished a bike ride along Waterfront Park and Eastbank Esplanade when I saw a new MAX coming, threw my bike down, got on my knees and snapped it as fast as I could. It turned out pretty good and remains one of my favorites.

Oh, and in case you wonder what my criteria for my picture of the day is

1. It's one I took
2. It'd look good as a wallpaper on my phone
3. Never deliberate before looking on which one you want. Make it completely random.

Dear Uptight Ageists on Joe Rose's Hard Drive


First off, I don't hold anything against you. Your opinion is your opinion. And so is mine. Difference? I don't attack you personally and hold any of the following against you- race, age, sexuality, or anything else touchy.

I happen to get really offended when people discriminate against ANY teenager because, well, they're teenagers. And usually, society portrays them as heartless, careless and stupid people who are no contribution to society except for alcohol and drug use and teen pregnancy.

Okay, maybe not THAT overboard but... yeah, you get where I'm coming from. So it bugs the crap out of me to hear that I'm not a good enough blogger because I'm 16. It's rather hurtful, because, heck, I can do just as well as a 30 year old blogger. (And for the record, I've never smoked, done drugs, drank or had a girlfriend. The only thing I get high off of is music and life.) Not to brag, but I do know EVERYTHING about the transit system. That's my special little Autism skill.

Yep, in case you didn't read the intro, I am Autistic. :) And I count it as one of my biggest blessings. You see, the whole reason I blog is because I, thanks to Autism, have an extremely heightened, almost unnatural, interest in TriMet.

So, now you know why I blog. Please don't EVER use my Autism against me.

And, like I said, I don't care if you disagree. Sure it bugs me when you go more over the top than parents over Katy Perry and Elmo and act like the world depends on your post (seriously, relax a little) but go ahead and disagree. I have my reasons and standpoint and you don't have to like it, but you don't have to blame it on my age or say I don't deserve to have it.

That is all.

Cameron Johnson
Transit Advocate
16 Years of Age
Never Backing Down

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sorry I neglected you, Picture Of The Day, Old Pal!

Heh, looking at this now, it looks just like the Facebook page picture of TriMet. Only I beat them to it. This trip I took to tour SW Portland (Hillsdale, Multnomah Village, PCC-Sylvania and Lake Oswego) in (I believe) Fall of Last Year sure did pay off.

P.S. I still miss my camera.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You'll Not Oft Be "Board" At This Meeting!

Ok, if anyone wants to stand up and shoot me now for that pun, I invite you to- AFTER I finish telling you about the board meeting- IN TWEET FORM. I posted tweet-notes on my twitter page (well, just posted random thoughts to store for later on my page) And I'll lengthen them out in detail for you.

Tweet #1

'99.9% of our bus drivers know and follow the rules'-Neil. But it's the .1% that is magnified

Neil McFarlane touched up a bit on the Kindle Driver. He went on and on in a sort of Merry-Go-Round sermon about how it was unacceptable and he was on administrative leave, but he did manage to throw in the above statement, which leaves me to wonder "Why on earth do all the news in the city focus on that .1%?"

Tweet 2

A board member called accounting and audit exciting. I wouldn't know, I was too busy reading American Idol news.

Well, in reality, I spelled reading wrong, cause It's a phone. And right about this time, the Finance and Audit Committee came up for a very long report... right about then I zoned out and read Google News and so bored I was I read up on American Idol. Did I mention I was bored?

Anyway, at the end, Hakeem Olanrewaju (and yes I cut and paste the name) was telling one of the reporting peoples (doesn't feel right to call them reporters) that they were wrong about Accounting and Audit being boring. I had to hold in the urge to laugh. Trust me, I do a lot of math when making my plans and it's rarely fun or exciting. Olanrewaju sure needs to get out.

@trimet sure is mysterious about how much less of a chance buses get because of Light rail Buildings
Simply, Lynn Lehrbach asked how much the real estate TriMet was buying for the MAX was and Neil refused to tell him in public. But that's OK! My trusty friends at OPAL sorta knew the answer and told everyone later as part of their speech. (A total of $52,000,000 so far in 2010, don't quote me on that)

Jesus, we could get 100,000 people against Milwaukie max and it'd still be 7 ayes
Yep, that's classic TriMet. A guy comes up and makes a passionate, heartfelt, and hard-hitting speech about not buying said property on the MAX, and they voted 7 ayes quick as lightining. Half the room groaned, but did they care? No! Sure not, they just brushed it off like nothing happened and no bus service was going to be destroyed because of a building they were gonna destroy anyway for a few hundred feet of track.

As my English Friend Max Corby once said "I'm allergic to Bullsh**. Achoo."

In fact, that's what the whole agenda is! Rail, rail, rail, and replacement engines for our 1700s!

Pretty Self-Explanatory. Nothing but rail improvements on the agenda list except replacement engines for the buses. Which I was surprised to see pass.

God, Trimet, you make it SOOOOO hard to be an ally.
Also Self explanatory.

Go David Sale, even if I don't follow the religious influences

This guy is an amazing speaker. I mean, I don't like to say anything good came out of the tragic Old Town deaths, but if there was, his ability to speak is. He's definitely one of the best Safety Speakers out there. He spoke with long-time Safety Advocate Darla Sturdy and they both were amazing. They took up well over 20 minutes but no one seemed to care. If you want the video, I'd recommend checking Al M's Blog in a day or two from the post time for his full speech, because it is hard to describe in its entirety. I will say that I agree with most of it, even if I don't pray out loud during my speech. Was a nice touch though.

Just gave my speech. Rick spent half of it taking with someone. Thanks a lot.

Yeah, nice, huh? I was Thanking the board for their enactment of the Making A Difference Campaign and talking on educating youth about the bus system, and Rick spent nearly the whole time talking with the secretary. I nearly stopped and waited for him. It was annoying, and to add to it, I don't think I did an overwhelmingly good job at my speech. I also didn't like being told to stay under 3 minutes. I KNOW THAT. I plan ahead for being the only one who has to follow that.

Rick is trying so hard to shut Michael Levine up. SO HARD.

Yep. Mike Levine was giving account on several disabled people's being kicked off of LIFT for things they couldn't help. It went on a bit past 3 minutes, because the other board members were talking with him, and Rick was trying over and over to stop the conversation because, apparently, it was over 3 minutes. Now, as much I respect David Sale and Darla Sturdy, and could hear them talk for an hour, if they get 25 minutes to talk, then have a bit of leniency on the rest of us, all right?

Christ, Rick irritates me.

But the most epic part I didn't get a chance to tweet about.

If I had it'd say

OMG Lew Church and Lynn Lehrbach nearly get into shouting match!

But I may be blowing it out of proportion. I missed half of Lew's Speech during a phone call but when I got back in, I saw Lew walking away, like he had finished. Lynn, who is one of the nicest guys I know, called him back. Lew refused. Lynn simply started shouting out something about how dare he boycott Rick's Cafe, Reedville Cafe. Now, I accidentally read up on this, Ironically while researching Lynn Lehrbach, and I think it was because of their bad food, not because Rick was on the board and therefore Lew hated him and wanted to ruin his life. Lew tried to defend himself, and Lynn kept shouting back. For a bit. Rick himself actually broke in and calmed Lynn down. When the guy you're defending tells you to stop doing so, then that's a bit sobering, and, hey, I'd have stopped too.

All in all, a typical TriMet Board Meeting. One that would make my English Friend have an allergy attack.

Monday, September 20, 2010

TriMet Picture of the Day and its Story-Old Vs New

An Old bus versus a new bus.

Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it? O_o

Whew...whew...whew... this is EPIC!

*gasp* Man, what a long day. I spent all day working on a huge project.

I like to call it "EPIC for Transit" because if by some minute chance the East Portland Improvement Catalog for Transit has some stuff approved, that's exactly what it'd be.

Picture my TBIP plan, and picture it on an East Portland scale. Now picture no boundaries on budget. That's EPIC for Transit, isn't it?

I'll get a PDF ASAP. I've got to work on my board meeting speech and post my picture of the day... and while I'm at it, post on a few other blogs.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Kindlecident

OK, just about everyone in the nation has heard about the not-too-smart driver who read a Kindle while driving.

Sure, he screwed up. Why are you making such a huge deal about it? If a Bus Driver saved someone's life you wouldn't make such a stink about it. At least, it wouldn't be nationwide. We can hardly get a good story of a local bus driver in a paper, for God's sake.

If you're going to Fire him, Fire him. But Can the city, no, the nation ever let TriMet do that quietly?

TriMet Picture of the Day and its Story-

Ah, a full hour of chasing down test runs of the MAX Green Line back in Spring 2009 was well worth it.

Man, I miss having a Camera.

Friday, September 17, 2010

TriMet Picture of the Day and its Story

Yep. Segments of the Blog that run on a regular basis? Awesome.

This was taken from the Debut Green Line MAX ride. I'll admit, while I do enjoy the MAX, I don't nearly like it as much as the Bus. You can't talk to the operator and you can barely see where you're going. It takes all the fun out of it.

But this was different. The route was new, and by my house, and the trains were amazing-looking. I decided to enjoy this in its novelty.

It was well worth it. I could barely hear the tour guide, but the view off of Johnson Creek was amazing and made up for it. I've probably ridden the Green Line a hundred times since, but in its novelty it was a pleasant ride.

Introduction to my Blog

Hi and welcome to my long-overdue transit blog. This may or may not be a similar name to another amazing transit blog, I dunno, I was out of ideas.

I see a lot of blogs that while they are brilliant, are rather irritated at TriMet. And I'll admit it, I can get really annoyed by their mistakes. But rather than sit here ranting all day about it (no offense to those who do) I decided I'll post some ways they can improve in an orderly fashion, and when praise is due to give it to them.

Also, as a youth, you'll get the input to the only youth who blogs about TriMet. Go figure.

Anyway, a bit about me.

I'm Cameron Johnson. I am an avid Transportation Studier. Why a teenager would spend time researching the routes and schedules of every bus route, I can only thank one thing for. Autism.

I am also an avid volunteer and soon to me intern at OPAL Bus rider's union. With their support I am working on a Plan to improve bus service in East Portland. This should be on the blog by Tuesday.

You may see my posts on PortlandTransport and Joe Rose's blog. Ah, Joseph Rose of the Oregonian. Thank you for inspiring me to make this blog.

I saw that lately, there hasn't been enough coverage on the good things TriMet's done, and Joseph Rose kind of was the essence of this, in my opinion. So, without further ado, here's a good thing someone at Trimet has done. Yes, the Cameron in the article is me.