(SEPTEMBER 9 UPDATE- click here)
I spent the last month or so poring over Troutdale's Transportation Plan (which we passed without a road through Sunrise Park or widening Buxton Road to three lanes). I'm glad we have the updated plan behind us.
Before the August 23rd meeting, Troutdale Councilor Chris Gorsek handed out a couple pages of commentary on Troutdale's bus service. I'll try to get a copy posted onto the blog. Anyway, Chris pointed out that Troutdale has lousy bus service compared to the other smaller cities in the region.
One of the reasons for this is because Tri-Met wants to shoo everyone over to light rail via feeder lines to the Gresham Transit center. If you've ever spent the time taking the Number 80 or 81 bus to the transit center, then wait for MAX, then sit on the train for another 45 minutes or so, you've spent 90 minutes one way getting to downtown Portland. That's THREE hours round trip!
Compare those three hours with the average 20 to 30 minutes, or a ONE hour rush hour round trip it takes to drive down to I-84 and shoot downtown and back to Troutdale in the comfort of your own vehicle. This is why people don't like mass transit!
But what if Tri-Met started an express bus from Troutdale that took I-84 to downtown Portland without stopping? You could ride the bus, save on gas, help the environment etc, and still get downtown and back in less than two hours, as opposed to three or more hours with a feeder bus and MAX.
I'm going to talk to my fellow city councilors about this. I realize Tri-Met has said NO WAY to this idea before, but it makes so much sense it doesn't hurt to keep trying.