Updated TriMet Proposal – 3/14/12
Phil Selinger, NWDA VP and Transportation Committee Chair, received the following email update from TriMet on March 14, 2012:
During the past four months, TriMet has proposed a variety of cost-saving and revenue-generating options with you as TriMet looked for ways to close our budget gap. We received thousands of comments and suggestions. Thank you.
Based on this feedback, along with recommendations from our Board and Budget Task Force, we’ve refined the initial proposal I sent you last month.
Please take a look at the refined proposal trimet.org/choices we just released. You’ll see we scaled back the service cuts we initially proposed. Most of the savings will come from a proposed fare increase and elimination of the Free Rail Zone. We are no longer proposing to discontinue weekend service on any bus lines or reduce MAX service (exception being the elimination of the Free Rail Zone).
Many riders told us they could tolerate a fare increase if it prevented more service cuts. We’re proposing a “flat fare” that eliminates confusing zones. We’re certainly not happy about raising fares, but changing to a flat fare (valid for 2 hours in any direction on both buses and rail) would generate half the revenue needed to cover our budget shortfall while simplifying the system considerably for all riders. The flat fare would be $2.50 for adults, $1.65 for youth and $1.00 for Honored Citizens.
Our initial proposal called for $500,000 in administrative cuts; we are now increasing that commitment to $1.2 million. This will result in additional administrative layoffs as well as more program cuts.
Our goal is now $12 million in savings. Last fall, we announced that we expected a shortfall of $12-17 million. Our initial proposal aimed for $17 million in savings due to uncertainty around our unsettled labor contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 (ATU). Since then, the ATU delayed the scheduled arbitration date by four more months. This means we won’t know the outcome of our contract dispute until after the FY13 budget begins. Because we are required to have a balanced budget adopted in June, we are proposing changes totaling $12 million. If we lose the arbitration, we will need to find an additional $5 million in savings—which would likely include the one-way trip fare and the additional service cuts outlined in the initial proposal.
Please see trimet.org/choices for details and provide feedback. It also would be great to see you at a public hearing (see schedule below).
Your ongoing partnership and feedback are much appreciated. Again, thank you.
Public hearing schedule
Monday, March 19
Clackamas Town Center
12000 SE 82nd Ave.
Tuesday, March 20
12375 SW 5th St.
Wednesday, March 21
1120 SW 5th Ave.
Thursday, March 22
Multnomah County East
County Health Center,
Sharron Kelly A & B
600 NE 8th St., Gresham
Tuesday, March 27
Multnomah County Library
North Portland Branch
2nd Floor Meeting Room
512 N. Killingsworth St.