|Where I was yesterday.|
As a transit rider in Portland, I'm just as mobile as any person with a car.
MAX light rail goes to lots of important destinations, as does the grid system of frequent service buses. Trimet is comfortable, convenient, and frequent - plus light rail is free when you're in Downtown PDX. Trains operate late into the night, the stations are clean and well lit and are accessible to the pedestrian. Real time information displays with modern shelters and comfortable seating are on every block, the buses clearly tell you which stop is next, trip planning with stop-by-stop navigation is available at the click of one button (with an Android smartphone) and there are all-day passes available there every day, not just on weekends. You feel like a first class citizen when you're riding transit there.
|Where we are today.|
- Denial: "This can't be right. There has to be another bus home after 10pm. We used to have buses that ran until 1am! I've got a copy of The Bus Stops Here that says so."
- Anger: "Hourly headways???!?!? Ending at 7pm?!?!?! #$%*"
- Bargaining: "I'll pay a $5 fare for late night service!"
- Depression: "Why has Pierce County not passed a single transit measure since 2003?!"
- Existential crisis: "Am I a transit rider if I call a friend for a ride or take a taxi?"
- Acceptance: "Fine, I'll phone a friend, or catch a cab. I should also bring my bike just in case something goes wrong."
The most effective cure for this trauma: More service hours.
Before we can get more service hours though, Pierce Transit still needs more chemotherapy. The October 2nd service change was a good first start, that brought costs down and shielded the majority of ridership. But fundamentally, it comes down the fact that the Pierce Transit service boundary encompasses so many unservable, anti-tax, anti-transit gated rural and unincorporated subdivisions that a minimum of 100 precincts would need to be pruned off the periphery to have a fighting chance at passing a ballot measure.
Until the Pierce Transit Board OR the County Council OR two municipalities OR 10% of registered voters wake up and call for a Public Transit Benefit Conference, more of us are going to be stranded and suffering from Transit Trauma.
If you're experiencing Transit Trauma, please report it to the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners.
Special thanks to Cody Bakken and Julian Garst for their help with this post.