Originally, I contacted Customer Service as directed by some people in the bullpen who were handing out brochures so we could familiarize ourselves with the new service proposals. They were encouraging us to contact Trimet with feedback (from our perspective as Operators) be it positive, negative, suggestions, concerns - whatever. I did and then received this e-mail in response. That's why I ended up posting my comments here.
Thank you for contacting TriMet's customer service department. Unfortunately I will not be able to enter your comments into the database, this email inbox is not for employees. Employees do have other venues to express concerns, if you are not aware of those, please contact your supervisor or manager.
TriMet Customer Service
CONTACT THEM, HERE ARE MY COMMENTS:
I am Operator xxx and have driven the 9 route for the last year and a half.
I am beyond horrified that Trimet is actually considering the removal of the NE end and all that it brings to Portland.
The first trips to NE are literally standing room only. In general the bus is filled with commuters, college students from Concordia and those taking advantage of the offerings from the Alberta Arts District.
I find your proposed cut to this culturally and diverse line of transportation from a school of higher learning, the heart of the Alberta Arts District, the flavor from the historic Alameda and Lloyd Districts hard to fathom. You're removing our abilities to set forth and enjoy some of the great wonderfulnesses and weirdnesses of Portland.
You are not just removing transportation from those seeking the distinct flavor of the neighborhood but you're also removing safe options for those including the elderly and disabled who live along the 9.
I'm asking that you re-consider. The budget short fall is the result of mismanagement
and a lack of priorities. This move and others are part of an ongoing continuum by Trimet, their Board of Directors and the lack of leadership by the Governor to force those without to live with less.
Transportation is a BASIC RIGHT. EVERYONE has somewhere to go, something to do. This recent series of cuts SCREAMS of symptoms to a much larger internal problem that's not being addressed. The solution is a Federal audit of salaries and internal job necessities for Trimet's top executives. The cuts need to come from the second floor on up not from the workers maintaining the fleet and those transporting the public. The solution is internal. Our first and more important role as a Public agency is transportation, not which executive has the biggest gas guzzler, or wears the most expensive suit.
If the saying, IT'S HOW WE ROLL THAT MATTERS is true, then let's keep our buses and people rolling, not just Trimet's overly fed executives.