When I was considering moving to Portland from the East Coast in 1997, I quickly realized Portland had the best public transportation system west of Chicago. It still does ["TriMet Life," WW, May 30, 2012].
I never bothered getting a driver's license when I lived in the East (NYC and D.C.), and in 15 years here I still haven't bothered. (Yeah, I should, I know.) I can walk to the MAX in eight minutes or the No. 75 bus in less than three minutes, and get pretty much anywhere I need to go with one transfer.
The service cutbacks are painful, and I feel very sorry for the people who will be hit hardest by the fare increases. But I love TriMet. The drivers are almost without exception kind and tolerant, until it's time to not be tolerant anymore. They understand the importance of what they are doing. I only wish more Portlanders did too.
I have been riding TriMet as my primary mode of getting around the region for the better part of 15 years. Never once in that time have I felt "demeaned," not until I read the first several paragraphs of this self-indulgent, hateful tripe from an otherwise blasé paper.
Aaron Mesh's reduction of people who ride buses to a nameless series of deformities and inconveniences in combination with his own navel-gazing about his "journey" on public transit comes off as the worst sort of PeopleAtWalMart.com, lolpoorpeople, barely blog-worthy idiocy that I honestly thought WW was better than.
This was a well-written and compelling story, and I thank the author for his evenhandedness. I ride TriMet twice a week (I work from home the other three days), and I've experienced that same feeling of low-level tension, of anger on the verge. At the same time, I've yet to see any actual violence.
TriMet is often the landing spot for desperation—getting to jobs we don't like, to government agencies that are supposed to aid us when we don't have jobs, sometimes simply to move us from place to place when we have nowhere to go. I don't love TriMet, hell sometimes I don't like it, but I appreciate that Portland wouldn't be what it is without it.
TAXPAYERS AND THE KICKER
[State Sen. Ginny] Burdick seems to be speaking for corporations, not individual taxpaying citizens ["A Smack in the Kicker," WW, May 30, 2012]. Why let perfect get in the way of good when it comes to tax reform?
I say pick off bad policies one at a time. Some of us have been waiting for the Legislature to figure out tax reform since the 1970s.
Time to get a move on and stop waiting.
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