John tells TriMet Board, “Milwaukie Light Rail: You Will Own the Problem”

TriMet Board Meeting is currently considering Resolution 10-11-57 which would be a thumbs up to move forward with the Milwaukie Light Rail project as planned. John Charles provided the below testimony in response to this resolution. This resolution is scheduled for Wednesday. **** Members of the Board: Resolution 10-11-57 must be considered within the context […]

The politics of light rail pork

Although the phrase “light rail” wasn’t even mentioned in the hearing, it seemed to be the elephant in the room today when the Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development of the Joint Ways and Means Committee met to move forward a $100 lottery bond measure to fund transportation projects throughout Oregon. As introduced in the […]

Failing Grade for PSU and Light Rail

On Thursday, July 8, a Metro committee will finalize the funding plan for TriMet’s $494 million “South Corridor” light rail expansion project. It will run to Clackamas County and through the Portland bus mall. The committee is counting on Portland State University to contribute approximately $5 million. Unfortunately, putting light rail on the

The Mythical World of Transit-Oriented Development: Light Rail and the Orenco Neighborhood, Hillsboro, Oregon

Executive Summary During the past decade, Portland-area planners have embraced Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) as the dominant land use/transportation strategy. They assert that TOD, especially based on light rail, will reduce traffic congestion, increase transit use, improve air quality, and attract private investment. Dozens of TODs have been constructed in the Portland region since 1990, with […]

Energy-Efficiency Myths of Commuter Rail

Advocates of rail transit tend to argue that we need trains because they are more energy-efficient than buses or cars. Unfortunately, that’s only true in some cases. According to a new report by the Federal Railroad Administration, the average energy consumed by all commuter rail systems in America during 2011 was 2,923 British Thermal Units […]

TriMet Finally Admits Rail Problems

Last week I wrote about the problems TriMet is having with its constantly failing rail system. On Wednesday, TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane announced that the agency is hiring an outside firm to review light rail maintenance needs. The contract will cost a maximum of $245,000. This is an important acknowledgment by TriMet that the […]

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