Today the Port of Portland voted unanimously to enter into an Air Service Development Agreement with Delta Airlines. Under the terms of the agreement, the Port of Portland will pay Delta a service retention fee in the amount of $3.5 million in exchange for Delta’s commitment to continue daily nonstop service between PDX and Tokyo, Japan, from September 1, 2009 through May 31, 2010. This program is also available to any other air carrier willing to commence new daily nonstop service between PDX and Asia, so it creates an open-ended liability for the Port. If 7 other airlines sign up for the same deal, then presumably the Port would have to pay out $24.5 million, regardless of whether it actually has the money and regardless of whether PDX needs the service.
Why should taxpayers be disappointed with TriMet right now? Between 2004 and 2008 TriMet’s revenue increased 60%, but they actually reduced their level of service. As taxpayers, and consumers, we want to get our money’s worth.
For Release June 24, 2009
The Cascade Policy Institute released a report today documenting that President Obama’s proposed high-speed rail program will cost $1,000 for every federal income taxpayer, yet the average American will ride high-speed trains less than 60 miles a year. The report estimates that the average Oregonian will take a round trip on high-speed trains only once every 10 years.
Senate Bill 34 gives TriMet authority to increase payroll taxes. Watch Representative Wingard’s compelling testimony here.
SB 34 passed the House on a 32 to 28 vote.
Listen to this testimony at 2:55:51-3:09:05 on this audio file.
My name is John Charles and I am president of Cascade Policy Institute, a non-profit policy research organization. I have extensive experience with urban mass transit, both as a consumer and as a researcher. During the past 29 years I have used the TriMet transit system over 20,000 times.
Read the full text of the bill here.
April 15, 2009
As a member of the Oregon Road User Fee Task Force, I support the policy direction of SB 580-6. The construction and ongoing maintenance of highways, tunnels and bridges should be financed through direct road user fees, collected via electronic tolling technology.
Political leaders from Oregon and SW Washington agreed last week to build a 12-lane bridge over the Columbia River to replace the I-5 Interstate Bridge. The new facility will be financed in part through tolls, collected electronically at travel speeds via tolltags.