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‘Rapid’ bus plan on Powell-Division stalls after it turns out not to be rapid

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on March 18th, 2016 at 10:53 am

full route
Until now, this has been seen as the preferred route for an express bus line.
(Map: Metro)

A $200 million project to improve bus service and change zoning through Southeast Portland and Gresham is in limbo after project managers realized that it wouldn’t actually make it faster to ride the bus.

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Bus riders’ union launches new campaign: Discount fares for low-income people

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on March 11th, 2016 at 9:45 am

TriMet bus with rack
Great transit access is closely linked with
less driving and more cycling.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One year after it persuaded TriMet to add 30 minutes to the life of every transit fare, a local transit advocacy group has a new goal.

Bus Riders Unite, a rider-led project of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, will launch a new campaign chosen by its members: for the Portland region’s transit system to follow Seattle’s and San Francisco’s by offering lower transit fares to lower-income people.

“We think the most reasonable and simplest approach would be to let low-income people have the same fare honored citizens currently receive,” said OPAL spokesman Shawn Fleek.

Due in part to federal law, TriMet offers half-price tickets to people ages 65 and up, people on Medicare and people with disabilities, a grouping the agency refers to as “honored citizens.”

But over the years, U.S. poverty trends have shifted. As of 2014, 15 percent of Oregonians age 19 to 64 live in poverty. So do 20 percent of Oregonians under age 19. For Oregonians aged 65 and up, the figure is 7 percent.

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TriMet driver publishes his latest ‘Report Card’ for Portland bikers

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on February 26th, 2016 at 8:30 am

Ride Along with Ali Reis-23
A time for empathy in both seats.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Dan Christensen, a former TV writer and stand-up comedian turned TriMet bus operator, is one of the best windows Portlanders have into the emotional life of our transit system.

On his recently rebooted Roll Easy Blog, Christensen has an interesting set of perspectives about the things he feels the city’s bike users are doing well, and where they (or the streets beneath them) could improve.

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Bicycle rider involved in collision with WES commuter train in Tualatin

by on February 23rd, 2016 at 8:51 pm

wes-collision-location
View of path where the collision occurred. View is standing on SW Boones Ferry Road south of Tualatin-Sherwood Road.
(Google map)

A man riding a bicycle was involved in a collision with a TriMet WES Commuter Rail train south of Tualatin this evening. It happened just before 5:30 pm.
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Gamification and ‘ubiquitous mobility’: Inside Portland’s $50 million ‘Smart City’ grant pitch

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on February 10th, 2016 at 9:36 am

mobile girls
The city’s plan includes a “Marketplace” mobile app that would let you plan and buy trips by every mode.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

Portland is one of 77 cities around the country that have put in for a one-time federal ‘Smart City’ grant that’s looking to promote big ideas about urban mobility.

An award is a long shot — only one city will get the $50 million prize — but the city’s application (which wraps together a wide variety of concepts for improving and integrating digital transportation data) is an education in itself, offering various details about the city’s vision that we haven’t seen publicly until now.

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Activists (temporarily) take the swing out of TriMet’s swing gates

by on February 2nd, 2016 at 11:54 am

gates
TriMet’s swing gates at SE 11th are working as intended again as of this morning.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The latest chapter in swing gate-gate wasn’t open for long.
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TriMet to add 200 covered bike parking spots to MAX system

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on January 29th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

trimet bike parking
Concept art for a new bike-and-ride facility at the Goose Hollow MAX station, due to open by the end of 2016.
(Images: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency expects to add new locked “Bike and Ride” facilities this year to its Goose Hollow, Beaverton Creek and Orenco Station MAX stops, greatly increasing the west side’s capacity for bike-to-transit commuting.

It’s especially welcome news for MAX commuters through the crowded Robertson Tunnel between Portland and Washington County. Job and residential growth in Central Portland and urban Washington County have been leading to more and more people looking to reach those stations by bike.

At at least one of the facilities, there’s even room being set aside specifically for cargo bikes.

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Videos show difficulties navigating TriMet’s swing gates

by on January 28th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

A new video just released by veteran transportation reform advocate Doug Klotz (we profiled him back in November) shows that the new swing gates installed by TriMet along the Orange Line in inner southeast Portland pose a significant barrier to people in motorized wheelchairs.
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Powell-Division Transit Project in-depth: Bike lanes and bus lanes both unlikely on 82nd

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on January 20th, 2016 at 10:52 am

south on 82nd
A draft rendering of one possible design for 82nd Avenue with one block of “business access transit” lane approaching the right turn onto Division. Cars could legally use BAT lanes only to turn into a driveway.
(Images via TriMet)

The Oregon Department of Transportation says it needs to preserve five auto lanes on 82nd so the dramatically increased number of cars that Metro expects on the street by the year 2035 will have somewhere to sit during rush hour.

Should a new high-capacity express bus line through Southeast Portland run on the most important street in Southeast Portland, or 30 blocks away?

The question seems odd. But as Metro and TriMet ask the region whether the new “bus rapid transit” line they’re planning should run on half a mile of 82nd Avenue, here’s part of the subtext: In order to get permission to run the bus line on 82nd Avenue, project planners have agreed not to aspire to do anything for biking, walking or transit on 82nd that might significantly reduce the number or capacity of cars there.

In fact, even if the highest-quality version of the project currently being considered were built, buses there are projected to travel slightly slower in 2035 than they do now. Rush-hour travel times would rise to about four to five minutes for the half-mile stretch, up from about three minutes during the afternoon peak today.
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Could driving get catastrophically cheap? One smart Portlander speculates

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on January 15th, 2016 at 11:55 am

car2go in the wild
Still pretty expensive.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Here’s an interesting argument about the near future from a Portland entrepreneur who’s also been a longtime advocate for biking and mass transit.

It’s a useful counterpoint to yesterday’s news that the U.S. Department of Transportation will kick off a $4 billion program to write national rules for self-driving cars.

The futurism here comes from Steve Gutmann, a Southeast Portland resident who has worked at various transportation-related startups since becoming an early employee at the local company that later merged with Zipcar. He’s also on the board of the anti-sprawl group 1000 Friends of Oregon.

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