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.