TriMet struggles in budget battle – Reality Begins to Take Over

TriMet struggles in budget battle

Union fight costly, as Clackamas County opponents slam plans

(news photo)

Nick Fochtman / TRIBUNE PHOTO

Workers prepare the foundations for the Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail Line in South Waterfront. TriMet is struggling with budget problems but agency officials say the project doesn’t significantly affect its bottom line. As TriMet struggles to close a potential $12 million to $17 million funding gap, it is fighting more than just a budget battle. It is facing criticism from liberals, conservatives and just about everyone in between.

OPAL, a grassroots environmental justice organization, has launched Bus Riders Unite, a campaign to protest proposed fare hikes and service reductions.

“The most transit-dependent riders are going to be hurt, including the poor and people of color,” says OPAL Executive Director Jonathan Ostar.

Fiscally conservative Clackamas County activists have launched a ballot measure campaign to block funding for the $1.49 billion Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail line.

“Grassroots opposition to this project is overwhelming,” says Jim Knapp, a co-sponsor of a ballot measure to require a public vote on the county’s $25 million share of the project.

Advocate Michael Levine accuses TriMet of being insensitive to the needs of the disabled by raising fares for its LIFT paratransit service.

“TriMet is raising prices too high for many of them,” says Levine.

And, labor union officials accuse TriMet of unfairly trying to balance its budget on the back of the agency’s workers.

“It’s time for new top management leadership at TriMet. No more excuses,” says Jon Hunt, president of Amalgamated Transit Union 757, which represents the regional transit agency’s rank-and-file employees.

Two TriMets

The situation has prompted TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane to launch of an unprecedented defense of the beleaguered agency.

Speaking to the City Club of Portland on Feb. 24, McFarlane said that when he was named general manager 20 months ago, he inherited an agency inspired by a Dickens novel that he called, “A Tale of Two TriMets.”

One tale, McFarlane said, was that of a world-renowned transit agency with a history of innovative projects that benefit the region and offer transportation alternatives to thousands of people every day who travel by bus and train, reducing sprawl, pollution and rush-hour congestion.

“Whether you ride or not, TriMet keeps us all moving,” McFarlane told the City Club.

The other tale is a transit agency slowly strangling from a prohibitively expensive union contract, declining federal revenue, and a lingering recession that has reduced payroll tax collections, a major portion of TriMet’s budget.

“We currently face a $17 million shortfall, and there is no low-hanging fruit left to pick,” McFarlane said.

Critics say many, if not most, of TriMet’s wounds are self-inflicted. Among other things, they accuse the agency of favoring expensive rail projects over basic bus service, failing to prioritize services to the neediest customers and violating labor laws during the last round of contract negotiations.

Taking the lead

TriMet hasn’t operated in a vacuum, however. Since it was created in 1969 to take over the failing Rose City Transit Co., TriMet has always worked closely with local, state and federal agencies to achieve regional transportation goals. Its partners include the Federal Transit Administration, the state, Metro and all the Portland-area counties and cities. Some or all of them have been involved in planning and funding TriMet’s bus and rail systems.

The joint planning and funding efforts began early. The 1969 Oregon Legislature passed a law allowing the creation of transit districts funded in part with payroll taxes. TriMet soon adopted a 1990 master plan that led to creation of the downtown Transit Mall and dozens of park and ride lots throughout the region.

Then, when public opposition killed the proposed $400 million Mt. Hood Freeway through Southeast Portland in 1973, congressional, state and city leaders convinced the federal government to allow much of the money to be spent on the first light-rail line from Portland to Gresham along the Banfield Freeway.

Regional voters subsequently approved property tax measures to fund a MAX line to Hillsboro, and then one from Vancouver to Clackamas County called the North-South line.

The North-South line ran into trouble when Clark County voters rejected their share of the plan in 1995, invalidating the regional vote. A statewide funding measure for the Oregon portion failed the next year. Milwaukie voters expressed their opposition to the line in 1997 by recalling two City Council members who supported it.

Some light-rail critics argue that TriMet should have stopped building MAX lines and concentrated on increasing bus service after that. Congressional, state, regional and local elected officials did not see it that way, however. Working with TriMet, they figured out how to finance the Interstate, Airport and Clackamas Town Center MAX lines without public votes on property tax levies.

Work has already begun on the 7.3-mile Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail line. In recent years, Metro has taken the lead on planning such projects.

McFarlane argues that the MAX projects have not hurt the service of TriMet’s lines. He told the City Club that TriMet has paid less than 5 percent of the cost of each project. The rest has been paid by other governments. And McFarlane also says it costs TriMet far less to move passengers on MAX than by bus.

“This pattern is intentional,” McFarlane told the City Club. “It preserves TriMet’s precious operating resources for bus and rail operations and, in additional to the jobs it creates, we get a highly efficient system with only a minimal investment.”

Many of the critics do not believe MAX provides equal – let alone better – service than buses, however.

“Buses are more flexible. They pick up and deliver people to more places. And when one of them breaks, they don’t strand hundreds of passengers at a time somewhere,” says Ed Zumwalt, a longtime light-rail supporter who is fighting the Portland-to-Milwaukie project.

Critics also say that while TriMet’s annual rail-related debt payments may be relatively small, at least some of the money could be spent in other areas.

Union offers to save

Union officials do not accept McFarlane’s blame for the agency’s budget problems, either. Their contract negotiations are headed for arbitration after the state Employment Relations Board ruled that TriMet’s final offer violated labor laws.

Union officials say that before the negotiations broke down, they submitted an offer to reduce health care costs that was rejected by TriMet, which wanted concessions that the union found unacceptable. Union officials say their offer would save the agency around $3 million a year.

Union officials also say TriMet could save millions by hiring the drivers for its LIFT paratransit system instead of contracting for them. According to the officials, a 2008 audit commissioned by TriMet says the agency would have saved $3.6 million in 2004 by bringing the system in house. They believe the savings would be even greater today, and have asked that TriMet update the audit with current budget figures.

The union officials also say TriMet could save an additional $5 million by reducing the number of management positions to 2006 levels.

Altogether, union officials argue they have proposed and identified at least $11.6 million in cost savings that TriMet management is refusing to act on.

McFarlane says the only answer is for the union to resume negotiations on the next contract, however.

• TriMet’s altered budget plan makes fewer service cuts

TriMet recommended cutting $12 million from next year’s budget in the refined proposal presented to the agency’s board of directors Wednesday morning.

According to TriMet managers, the cuts are necessary for several reasons, including $3 million less in anticipated payroll tax revenue, an estimated $4 million cut in federal transit funds and unresolved contract issues.

The proposed cut is $5 million less than the maximum $17 million that agency officials anticipated. The change occurred after TriMet managers realized that contract negotiations with Amalgamated Transit Union 757 may not be resolved for another year.

Although the unresolved contract issues could cost $10 million, the managers decided to cover only half the cost in next year’s budget. If an additional $5 million is required, that issue will be presented to the board at that time.

The reduction means that TriMet won’t have to cut bus and rail service as much as previously discussed. No weekend bus lines would be eliminated. However, 25 lines would be reconfigured and have trips reduced, saving $1.1 million. Affected lines include routes 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 36, 37, 43, 47, 48, 50, 55, 59, 67, 70, 73, 77, 82, 87, 89 and 92.

MAX service would remain the same.

TriMet is still proposing to eliminate all zones and move to a flat fare for the entire service area. The lowest fare would be $2.50. Tickets would be good for two hours in any direction, however, instead of just one way, as originally proposed.

The charges are estimated to generate $6 million in new revenue.

The Free Rail Zone would still be eliminated, meaning that tickets would be required to ride MAX trains downtown and in the Lloyd District. The change is estimated to generate $2.7 million in additional revenue. Free bus service was eliminated from the zone two years ago.

The board already has approved raising LIFT fares to $2.15 in April, and each year after that until they match the other fares, after which they will increase at the same rate.

The first increase will generate an estimated $700,000 in additional revenue.

Other proposals TriMet officials are considering to close the budget gap include reducing support for the Portland Streetcar, internal efficiencies and selling advertising on TriMet’s website.

The agency will have five public forums this month to discuss the new budget proposals. The forums are:

• March 19, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Clackamas Town Center Community Room, Lower Level, 12000 S.E. 82nd Ave., Happy Valley

• March 20, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Beaverton Library Conference Room, 12375 S.W. Fifth St.

• March 21, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Portland Building Auditorium, 1120 S.W. Fifth Ave.

• March 22, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Multnomah County East County Health Center, Sharron Kelly A & B, 600 N.E. Eighth St., Gresham

• March 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Multnomah County Library, North Portland Branch, second-floor meeting room, 512 N. Killingsworth St.

For more information, visit the agency’s website: <a href="</p>

Honolulu’s Money Train- Assess $10,000 on every household


Honolulu is set to construct an ambitious urban rail project. It’s a $5.125 billion behemoth that this metropolitan area with less than a million residents may not be able to afford.

Honolulu’s Beleaguered Residents

Critically, there is plenty of competition for the scarce dollars that Honolulu residents have to spare. The city’s basic infrastructure is in bad shape.

(Sewer) Water, Water Everywhere: A consent decree signed between local officials and the Environmental Protection Agency requires major upgrades to the sewer system. Sewer overflows are not unusual. Just a few days ago, 51,000 gallon raw sewage spilled into a local stream. The state issued a brown water alert for the entire island of Oahu (which is also the combined city and county of Honolulu), including Waikiki Beach and all other beaches. As of this writing, the brown water advisory has not been cancelled. Just in the last year, the state has reported 17 sewage spills and four brown water alerts. For this to happen in a highly tourist dependent economy is nothing short of astounding.

More than Leaky Pipes: The city’s water system is in need of major upgrades. From 2004 to 2009, water main breaks were virtually a daily occurrence. In an effort to solve the problem, the city has raised water rates 60 percent in the last five years and plans another 70 percent increase over the next five years. How much more will be required after that is anyone’s guess. “How are people going to make it? I just don’t know” reacted City council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi.

Unfunded Government Employee Liabilities: In just three years, unfunded city and county employee pension and retiree benefits have risen from $15,000 to $21,000 per Honolulu household. The state’s actuarial consultant says things are going to get worse. The demographics are skewed against financial control, since people are living longer, and the number of retirees is rising relative to the workers who must pay (most of whom cannot even dream of such rich benefits).   All of this means higher tax bills for Honolulu households.

High Cost of Housing, High Cost of Living: Honolulu residents already endure the most unaffordable housing  in the nation, with median house prices 8.7 times median household incomes. That is three times Dallas-Fort Worth.  Honolulu’s overall cost of living is also the highest in the nation, outside six metropolitan areas in the greater New York and San Francisco Bay Areas. Honolulu residents pay $1.41 to buy what $1.00 buys in St. Louis, 1.24 for each $1.00 in Austin and $1.21 for each $1.00 in Phoenix.

Choices: This is not about easy choices. The sewer remediation, water system maintenance, government employee pension and government employee retiree health care benefits are mandatory. The rail expenditures are not.

The Rickety Rail Project

Yet the city of Honolulu would tax its residents even more to pay for a 20 mile rail line to empty farmland well beyond the urban fringe. This is a project not unlike the early 1900s land speculation schemes of Henry Huntington in Los Angeles and the Sweringens of Shaker Heights (Cleveland). There is, however, one important difference. The Huntington and the Swearingens bet their own money. Honolulu is betting the money of its taxpayers.

End of the Honolulu Rail Line

The city hopes to receive $1.55 billion from the federal government, with local residents left to pay a hefty 70 percent of the cost. This $3.575 billion local share would create the highest tax burden for any urban rail line ever built in the nation, at more than $10,000 per household. But residents should “thank their lucky stars” if that’s all they have to pay, given the history of cost overruns on such projects around the world.

Stacking the Deck: The Federal Court Challenge: The planning process is being challenged in federal court. The plaintiffs argue that the rail selection process eliminated more cost effective options with biased analysis. This would not be the first time.

Annie Weinstock, Walter Hook, Michael Replogle, and Ramon Cruz of the Institute for Transportation Development and Policy (with a foreword by Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenaur),  cited circuitous routing of a busway that biased ridership forecasts in favor of light rail for the suburban Washington Purple Line. Weinstock, Hook, Repogle and Cruz refer to a similar “deck stacking technique” that favored an expensive rail project over a busway in the suburban Washington Dulles corridor. They fault local officials more than federal:

While there is no outright pro-rail bias at the FTA, there is indeed FTA complicity in the rail bias of city and state level mass transit project sponsors. The FTA, when evaluating New Starts and Small Starts project applications, tends to bow to political pressure to favor locally preferred alternatives and ignore certain forms of rail bias by the project sponsors

Pulling the Plug on Rail? Former Governor Ben Cayatano has filed to run against Mayor Carlisle in the August 2012 election. In announcing his entry, Governor Cayatano said “I will pull the plug on rail.” Polls show Mr. Cayetano ahead of both Mayor Carlisle and a third candidate.

Capital Cost Escalation: A state report indicated that construction costs could rise well above forecast. Every penny above the $5.125 billion capital cost will be the responsibility of local taxpayers. Based upon the international experience, this could easily raise the per household cost from $15,000 to $20,000.

Ridership Optimism Bias: Echoing general concerns raised by Weinstock, Hook, Repogle and Cruz (above), the state report indicated concern over an optimism bias in the ridership projections. For example, the city expects 60 percent of rail riders to use the bus to get to the train.  This is four times the rate of the largest new rail system built in the nation (Washington’s Metro).  Using the bus to connect to the train makes travel much slower and this factor has often been over-estimated by rail planners. This unrealistic assumption alone could qualify the Honolulu ridership forecast as among the most inaccurate in history.  Fewer riders. more money out of residents pockets.

A Billion Here, A Billion There: As if all of this were not enough, a report for the Federal Transit Administration, obtained by the Star Advertiser through a freedom of information request, indicates that the operating costs of the transit system may be understated by as much as $1 billion over the next 20 years. That’s $3,000 per Honolulu household (Note 1).

Federal Doubts: Federal Transit Administration Regional Administrator Leslie Rogers expressed concern about Honolulu’s ability to afford the project in a letter to local officials, noting that the funding program is insufficient. Local taxpayers likely will need to pony up more.

Debt Limit Suspended: After having claimed it could afford the rail debt, the city suspended its debt limit — a fact discovered four months after the fact by the Star Advertiser.  Usually, breaches of trust like this become evident only much later in the rail construction process. A suspended debt limit means more money out of taxpayer pockets, or worse. Jefferson County, Alabama filed bankruptcy after not being able to afford payments on its sewer debt.

How Would Rail Change Honolulu

With rail, Honolulu there are two ways that Honolulu will be changed:

What Will Change: Walling Off the Waterfront. The elevated design of the rail system is so intrusive that the local chapter of the American Association of Architects opposes the proposal. The elevated line would run directly in front of the waterfront. Its oppressive design would separate the rest of the historic Aloha Tower area from the rest of the city and could preclude future attractive “placemaking” development (see lead photo, courtesy of the Honolulu Chapter of the American Institute of Architects).

No Traffic Relief: Despite being only the 52nd largest metropolitan area in the nation, Honolulu has the second worst traffic congestion in the nation (see figure), according to INRIX, the leading international reporting source. Honolulu and Los Angeles are the only US metropolitan areas ranked in the worst 25 out of 200 in Western Europe and the United States. Even with the rail system, local plans call for traffic congestion to get worse.

Getting the Choices Right

Incumbent Mayor Peter Carlisle recently returned from a Potemkin Village tour of Manila, raving about that city’s rail system. Governor Cayateno, whose familiarity with Manila extends well beyond a scripted tour, called Mayor Carlisle’s comparison with Manila “comedic,” noting that most residents cannot afford a car or that Manila has more than 10 times as many people.  

Manila Rail System: Part the Mayor Did not See

The mayor may not have been aware that more than 4,000,000 – more than one-third – of Manila’s (National Capital Region) residents live in slums, shantytowns and informal settlements, where sewers are rare if not non-existent. Government projections indicate that the slum population will rise to 9,000,000 by 2050. More than one-half of Manila’s population will be in slums.

Manila Slum

In his recent “state of the city'” address, Mayor Carlisle mused “Manila without rail transit would be unthinkable.” That may be the view of an itinerate visitor, but not of the majority who never ride it. For millions, a Manila with sewers is unimaginable. First world urban areas all have sewers. But many do not have rail systems. Honolulu could use some genuine prioritization and less contempt for the hard earned income of its residents.

Wendell Cox is a Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris and the author of “War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life


Note 1: Illinois Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, who was minority leader of the United States Senate in the 1960s is reported to have said: “A million here, a million there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” The line has been often repeated, though the rise in government spending is indicated by the inflation from “millions” to “billions.”

Note 2: Manila’s rail system serves a very small market and represents a small share of transit ridership. The latest available data suggested that barely five percent of transit ridership was on rail.

Top Photo: Visual of rail system in downtown Honolulu (courtesy of American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter) 

Photo credits: All others by author

Governments all over the country are on “crack” it seems. Nothing else matters.. they MUST spend-spend-spend to retain a sense of worth. Naturally, they’re spending money that is not theirs, which once again proves the point.. when you’re not wasting your own money, it’s not so important. Wasting money coerced from taxpayers isn’t “intentional”.. it’s just a necessary fact of life from the point of view of those who recline in the imperial public trough.

As in every other state, the cost for public employees is growing beyond “sustainable” levels. But public unions now control the legislatures and law makers are simply bought off. Until the people rise up in opposition, the transfer of wealth from private job creators to the public freeloaders will continue.. or until the parasite kills the host (Look to Greece for insight)

TriMet Light Rail- Crime Saga

Tri Met does nothing.. claims security tape was “corrupted”.. Now three weeks since the “non incident”.  Can’t seem to find the perp’s.  Hmm.

I guess this happens so often that, if no gashes, blood, or broken bones are involved in the assault, everyone gets a pass. 

Welcome to Progressive, “Politically Correct” Multnomah County.  Assaults are now encouraged and given free pass.  It’s the Progressive approach to law enforcement.  Notice the crowd encouraging the “beat down”?  What do you think?

Milwaukie Light rail News –More news stories and links 
about Milwaukie light rail and density

Crime History along the Max 2008 to 1988 click here

This Time We Really Mean It Tri-Met promises to fix the crime problems in the past. We found some headlines from the Past

Crime along Portland’s Max (Light Rail) 2008
We have put together some of the many news stories that talk about crime on and near the
light rail in Portland see Crime history for the years 1988 to 2007

                                 2008 Crime STORIES around the Max

Teen gets prison for beating MAX riderThe Oregonian 6/13/08

North Portland MAX attack renews fear, safety worries The Oregonian 6/13/08

Teens attack woman on MAX line  KATU 6/11/08 

Woman beaten in racially charged attack at N. Portland MAX stop KGW 6/12/08

Fight breaks out on MAX train in North Portland  6/5/08 

MAX Attempted Robbery   KOIN 6/5/08

Teens in custody after fight breaks out on MAX train  KATU  6/4/08

MAX Assault Suspect: ‘It Was Just A Harmless Scuffle’    KPTV 5/29/08

Innocent bystander wounded by gunfire at MAX station   KGW  5/2/08

Man’s Shoes Stolen In MAX Station Assault   KPTV  5/2/08

Woman shot next to Max station          KPAM 860     5/1/08

Deadly shooting at apartment complex on E Burnside next to max  KGW 4/17/08

Suspect arrested in bus stop shooting near Max   KGW 4/3/08

Thieves target Portland light-rail project  KGW 3/28/08

Fairview man arrested after MAX shooting   KGW3/19/08

Teens attacked at NE MAX stop   KOIN 3/17/08 

Pepper spray used, arrest made during Portland protest of Iraq war
They then piled onto a MAX light rail train to a shopping center 
located near a recruiting station. A string of police motorcycles 
and a van of police in riot gear followed the train KGW 3/9/08

14-year-old wounded in possible gang shooting in Portland   KGW2/8/08

Victims: Race a factor in Gresham MAX attack KATU 2/7/08

This should be a crime
Oregon guide dogs for blind shocked by light rail platforms KGW 2/4/08

Knife attack on bus raises security concerns   KGW 1/24/08

Area police say TriMet needs more officers   The Oregonian 1/24/08

Gang member attacks two men on TriMet bus Local News 1/23/08

Knife fight on TriMet bus forces emergency action  KATU 1/23/08

Bus Driver Attacked In North Portland  KPTV 1/21/08

Man Attacked On MAX Train  KPTV 1/21/08

TriMet: Three assaults in one week, 1/21/08 

Mixed news from MAX crime stats Numbers through Nov. 2007 show 
assaults, car thefts up on Westside  these are only the reported crimes 
The Argus  1/18/08

Fareless Square to continue — for now   After a beating and other 
high-profile incidents on the MAX light-rail system   KGW 1/18/08

Hire 160 officers for light rail, city tells TriMet
To protect Milwaukie residents and others who would ride light rail into 
Clackamas County, TriMet needs to hire about 160 law enforcement 
officers, paying for them with increased fares, the Milwaukie police 
chief told TriMet officials last week.The Oregonian 1/17/08

Milwaukie sends officer to MAX force The Clackamas Review 1/16/08

During a meeting last week in Milwaukie about safety and security on the light rail,
Chief Larry Kanzler described TriMet’s current security system as
inadequate and in need of dramatic change.   The Clackamas Review 1/16/08

Sexual assault near MAX falls through cracks The Gresham Outlook, 1/15/08

Lawmakers pushing for more TriMet security   KATU 1/15/08 

Drug dealers could put an end to free rides in Portland’s fareless square KGW  1/14/08

Westside Vancouver business owners display their feelings about light rail 
“Keep the Crime Train (MAX) Off Main” Vancouver Business Journal  1/11/08

Westside Vancouver business owners display their feelings about light rail 
“Keep the Crime Train (MAX) Off Main” Vancouver Business Journal  1/11/08

TriMet works on MAX security Tri-Met vowed to increase the presence of police on
westside MAX rail lines, the transit agency struggled Wednesday to establish its level of
commitment to enforcement on lines east of the Willamette River and its policy for sharing 
news of violent crime.The Oregonian 1/10/08

TriMet adds Westside Precinct, dedicates 5 officers  The Argus  1/10/08

Man Injured In Beaverton MAX Attack TriMet Officials Announce New Safety Plan
KPTV 12 –1/10/08

TriMet works on MAX security 1/10/08

‘Get these citizens protected,’ she urges
MAX – A woman allegedly attacked at a stop says a warning needed to go out The Oregonian 1/9/08 

Decision to add more police to West side MAX stirs controversy  KGW 1/9/08 

After two long months, MAX beating victim returns home The Gresham Outlook, 1/8/08

Mayor Bemis responds to safety concerns
Mayor promises at luncheon to follow up soon with Tri-Met  The Gresham Outlook, 1/8/08

Woman sexually assaulted at Gresham MAX  KGW report 1/7/08

     2007 Crime STORIES around the Max
Crime Map of the MAX The Oregonian 2007 
Crime Map of the Max details   from Ortem Crime Page Map 2007 

Max service disrupted after suspicious device found   KGW report 12/30/07

The Milwaukie City Council’s tour of an existing light rail line Multiple non-functioning 
ticket machines, numerous people smoking on the platforms and a man hopping the TriMet
fence to urinate on a tree in the open lot in front of De La Salle High School 
The Clackamas Review 12/19/07

Locals Wonder: Can TriMet Turn it Around?  The Outlook, 12/14/07

Taking back the rails  The Oregonian 12/13/07

TriMet moves to boost MAX police The Oregonian 12/13/07

Westside MAX riders may see more police
TriMet ponders plan to improve train safety, increase patrols The Beaverton Valley Times, 12/13/07

MAX safety long ago left on a siding  Opinion The Oregonian 12/12/07 

TriMet: Free equals less safe Tribune 12/11/07 

Light Rail Follies #1: State Troopers Ride Max The Antiplanner 12/10/07

Curtail free rides, TriMet says The transit agency’s manager wants to end Fareless Square 
The Oregonian 12/8/07 

TriMet chief goes on the offensive for safety Again! see crime history
One of those who attended a summit, Gresham Mayor Shane T. Bemis, said the changes 
don’t go far enough.
“I was pleased to hear TriMet answer our call to get the transit officers out of their cars and on the train, and I am excited about the prospect of increased fair inspections,” Bemis said in a statement released after the talk. “However, security on TriMet has been an issue for a long time. We were in the same position in the late 80s when the Governor put State Police on the trains, now we’re here again.
The Outlook 12/7/07

Free transit rides may end Tribune 12/7/07

Margins of safety  Milwaukie activist Ed Zumwalt promises to lie across the tracks
to stop light rail from rolling into town.  The Oregonian 12/6/07

More MAX violence proves more safety needed now The Times, 12/6/07 

Police seek more presence at Hillsboro and other stops The Forest Grove News-Times, 12/5/07

Proposed MAX stop troubles local leader  The Portland Tribune 12/4/07

Photo of MAX stabbing suspects released The Outlook 12/4/07

TriMet, not Gresham, must clean up mess    The Outlook 12/4/07

Police investigate fight, stabbing near Gresham MAX station The Oregonian 11/30/07

TriMet gets earful about MAX The Oregonian  11/30/07

TriMet rethinks Fare less Square Portland Tribune 11/30/07 

Police make a difference on MAX“ Strangely enough, you can’t pee on the platform,” Skeanhan adds wryly, although judging from the odor at 197th and Burnside you’d never know it. The Outlook  11/30/07 

Nights on the MAX find anarchy on the rails “I don’t usually ride at night,” she says. “It can get scary.”
The Oregonian  11/23/07

Charges dropped against 2nd teen in MAX hammer attack  KGW 11/20/07

Westside police hope to form MAX team The attack on a 71-year-old galvanizes efforts to step up police presence on light rail The Oregonian  11/16/07

Pressure mounts for more MAX fixes  Portland Tribune 11/16/07

Fearing Milwaukie’s MAX   The Clackamas Review, 11/13/07

Max Station Victim calls beating ‘a cowardly act’  The Outlook  11/13/07 

Westside Police In Pinch Over TriMet Crime  KPTV 12 –11/10/07

Crime often getting free ride   Rapes, robberies and dozens of assaults have been reported in recent years. On a spring day in 2006, a transient grabbed the 2-year-old daughter of a visiting couple riding a MAX train through downtown Portland, before being tackled by bystanders. Last month, two teens were charged in connection with a hammer attack at a stop outside Hillsboro. The Oregonian 11/9/07

Fear rides the MAX It led to an analysis of crime statistics that showed that a high percentage of all crimes reported in Gresham occurred within a quarter of a mile of the line — including just over 60 percent of all gang calls.  Portland Tribune 11/9/07

Gresham MAX sees show of force The Oregonian 11/8/07

State should lead effort to reduce MAX crime The Times, 11/8/07

Gresham police add permanent new MAX patrols to increase safety   KGW 11/7/07

Fed Up with TriMet The beating of a 71-year-old man near MAX stop in Gresham touches off storm of anger, frustration in the community The Gresham Outlook 11/6/07

More patrols start Wednesday along Gresham MAX   KGW 11/6/07

TriMet vows to expand MAX security after brutal attack in Gresham  By KGW and AP Staff 11/5/07

TriMet plans to add security on MAX trains Local, 11/5/07

No cameras were operating at MAX station where man was beaten  The Oregonian  11/5/07

Trouble on the train? Debate about MAX crime heats up.   KGW 11/5/07

MAX attack sparks safety changes  According to the Gresham police, the incident apparently began around 9:10 p.m. when three juveniles, who had been riding the same eastbound train as Chilcote, followed him off the train at the Gresham Central Transit Center, 400 NE 8th Ave.

Chavez-Garcia allegedly taunted Chilcote as an “old man,” and then attacked him with a baseball bat he was carrying with him. The OutLook 11/4/07

Elderly man beaten with baseball bat at MAX station  Portland Tribune  11/4/07 

Police to ride MAX in Gresham The Oregonian  11/3/07 

# Guardian Angels try to make MAX a safer ride The Outlook   11/3/07

Mayor Shane T. Bemis  Announces Gresham Police to Begin Patrolling MAX Gresham web site

Gresham Mayor: Crime so bad on MAX that officers will patrol line KGW 11/2/07 

Teen gang suspects arrested for hammer attack at MAX stop  KGW 10/30/07

Nearby shooting disrupts NE Seventh Avenue MAX traffic in Portland The Oregonian  10/29/07

One teen hurt in attack near Hillsboro MAX station KATU 10/23/07

Bank robber uses Max for his getaway Portland Tribune  10/11/07

Police shut down light rail after breaking up party The Outlook 9/25/07

Portland man charged with robbery after restaurant customers subdue him.. KGW 9/22/07

Task force drafts list to address crime rate The Oregonian

When crime moves in The Oregonian

More on Light-Rail Transit Crime in Portland

Because of the current rash of shootings, stabbings, muggings, beatings, and 
drug-dealing at the 162 Avenue/E. Burnside Street MAX station area  East PDX News

Trying to get past a nickname: Felony Flats  The Oregonian  9/20/07
“The MAX has been a living nightmare for us,” Preston said. “I would not ride it 
at night — and I’m armed all the time. There are massive fights, guns displayed, 
stabbing, people being threatened and bullied.”  Sgt. Kim Preston

Update: Police Beefing up Patrols around Max along the east line in Portland- 9/12/07

The Pleasures of Public Transit    Not!

Shooting along East Burnside next to Max  Portland Tribune   9/10/07

Gresham, Portland teaming up against crime A recent sting resulted in 15 arrests and even more
exclusions from Tri-Met. KXL

Attempted murder victim flees scene  Northeast 82nd Avenue MAX platform Portland Tribune 9/9/07

TriMet cameras will reduce station crime The Gresham Outlook, Jun 8, 2007 the OutLook 6/  /07

Shooting incident near NE 82 MAX line-Closes Max Portland Tribune   5/24/07
Police arrest two teens in shooting incident near Northeast MAX line Portland Tribune 5/24/07

Shooting Disrupts MAX Service; 2 Teens Arrested KPTV news 5/24/07

TriMet installing security cameras at MAX stations…. KGW  5/21/07.

TriMet Receives Grant To Increase Security At 5 MAX Stations KPTV news 5/20/07

MAX train freeloaders cost TriMet millions So how much money is TriMet losing by not collecting all those fares?  Do the math – if 8 percent of riders are not paying and people ride the MAX trains 32 million times a year, at $1.70 a trip, that is about $4.35 million that TriMet could collect KATU 2 news  5/  /07

TriMet to receive federal security grant $560,000 in funding will add cameras on Portland, 
Gresham lines Portland Tribune 5/  /07

Federal agency says Portland bus rider stats not a big secret KGW 5/2/07

Purse snatcher pepper sprayed victim in Hillsboro  KGW 5/2/07

Police Seek Max Station Robber   KPTV news 3/20/07 

Police seek information on MAX train robbery   Portland Tribune  12 /23 /06

Group pushes safety to the MAX on 82nd The Oregonian  9/ 21/06

Tri-Met alters rule on unruly — Many trouble makers have the right to ride Portland’s
public transit! Some officers are so concerned they won’t let their families ride light 
rail alone  The Oregonian 10 /3/04 

Gresham’s plan to spend $92 million to revive an economically hard-pressed neighborhood
along the Max line. It’s the poorest neighborhood in the city, a place unnerved by gangs, stunted by downward-spiraling property values and tattooed by empty storefronts and grim apartment complexes.
The Oregonian 10/26/03

FRED MEYER LEAVES ROCKWOOD  the 45-year-old Rockwood store at 18535 S.E. Stark St.
located next to the MAX The Oregonian  11/25/02 

Tri-Met Adds Extra Eyes —To Secure MAX Stations The Oregonian 4/ 13 /98 

How Safe is it to ride TRI-MET? The Oregonian 10/ 31/ 93 


Portland crime maps just put in the intersection and see what going on.
notice how it is a darker red around Burnside’s Max line. 

Portland Crime Mapper City  Of  Portland 

Milwaukie Light rail News

Crime goes unpunished on Light Rail- Here’s the latest “non crimes committed on the rail. No suspects collared yet, although they are clearly on vide. Ignored, until public finds out about it. Where are the police? Busy writing jay walking tickets, I guess.

Follow the links of instances of assault on Trimet light rail. But it does provide well paid “jobs” for public employees.