Accountability For TriMet
The Transit Riders Union opposes the proposed 5-cent fare hike by TriMet [see “End of the Line,” WW, Feb. 17, 2010], as well as the cuts to over 60 bus routes. As the TriMet board is unelected (but appointed by Oregon’s governor), this is the third proposed cutbacks to bus service—with zero accountability to transit riders and the community alike. In January, TriMet’s puppet board of directors (headed for 13 years by George Passadore, ex-regional head of Wells Fargo Bank) ignored 1,400 petition signatures gathered by the Transit Riders Union and started charging for buses in what had been, for 35 years, Fareless Square.
Moreover, as transit activists in both Los Angeles (twice now) and San Francisco (already in 2010) have been able to get judges in courts to halt fare hikes and service cutbacks to transit agencies (in San Francisco, a court in January halted $70 million in proposed cuts to local bus service!), metro transit activists will continue to explore bringing a lawsuit to stop the cuts. Apparently, the funding system for TriMet is unique among big city transit agencies nationally, and Transit Riders Union will work for an immediate halt to this “transit shock doctrine,” as well as more long-term funding and democracy solutions. Stop the cuts and elect the TriMet board!
Lew Church, Treasurer
Transit Riders Union
CORRECTION: Last week’s cover story, “Power to the Pedal, ” incorrectly stated “more than one in five vehicles that crosses a Portland bridge each day [is] a bicycle.” The sentence should have read “that crosses the Hawthorne Bridge.” WW regrets the error.