Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:24 am
TriMet’s ballot measure did not pass last night. The measure sought to raise funds to replace aging buses, improve 300 bus stops, upgrade their LIFT fleet (which services elderly and others unable to use standard buses), and free up money in their general fund. The measure passed in Multnomah County 54-46, but couldn’t survive losses in Washington and Clackamas Counties where it was rejected by 56 and 60 percent of voters respectively.
I asked Portland Afoot (a local news magazine about low-car living) publisher Michael Andersen and the Executive Director of the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition how they felt about the results.
“All in all I’d call it a rough night for TriMet riders.
Most obviously, the TriMet ballot failure means the agency will be stuck with its disintegrating old buses and wheelchair-unfriendly stops, and when they are replaced it’ll probably come out of money that’s desperately needed to improve service. (I’ll never understand why TriMet didn’t make this argument part of their campaign.) TriMet’s not ready for the wave of aging boomers coming its way. Less money for TriMet could also slow or possibly even kill the Orange MAX Line to OMSI, Sellwood and Milwaukie.”
“We are deeply disappointed that the TriMet bond measure didn’t pass. The bond measure would have provided $20 million for bus stop improvements that would improve walking access to bus stops (4 out of 5 riders access transit by walking) and provide universal accessibility to those stops.
At a time when transit ridership is up nationwide while transit agencies across the country are facing crises (as described by Transportation for America), we need to be looking creatively at ways to fund transit equitably. The bond measure was a missed opportunity.”
I’ve asked a few other folks for reactions and will update this post when I hear from them.
Get the latest Oregon election results via The Oregonian (races for governor and Metro President still undecided as I write this!).