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On September 1, 2010, TriMet, according to one source a $2.5 billion transit agency, is set to cutback on 60 bus routes and implement a five cents per ride fare hike. One transit group has set a 'wake' of sorts, mourning the loss and fare hike, for AFTER the austerity measures occur. Transit Riders Union is organizing NOW against the cuts and the fare hike.
TriMet's unelected board of directors voted 6-1 (Lynn Lehrbach with the Teamsters voted no) to implement the Sept. 1, 2010 five cents a ride fare hike. The unelected TriMet board also voted to cut back on 60 bus routes Sept. 1. This will be the third round of service cuts and second fare hike in the past two years. New TriMet board president Rick Van Beveren has voted for all five 'transit shock doctrine' austerity cuts and fare hikes.

TriMet, per WWeek, is a $2.5 billion transit agency, counting capital projects. TriMet alleges that it faces a $27,000,000 shortfall and that the five cent fare hike will raise $1.5 million to help offset that deficit. However, that doesn't come close to bridging that alleged $27,000,000 shortfall, and the fare hike isn't serious or needed at all -- kind of a 'frog in boiling water' PR fare hike to keep transit riders polite and docile.

In Greece, unions, students and actiivts have been fighting austerity budget cuts to public services and the Commons with vigor. In Oregon, site of high unemployment, short school years and many budget cut backs, austerity cutback protests -- so far -- have been somewhat muted.

One transit research group has set Sept. 1 as a date (a 'wake'??) to mourn these cutbacks and the fare hike. However, as transit activists in LA and SF have shown, it is far more likely and effective to stop such so-called austerity measures BEFORE they are shoved down the throats of transit riders and the community.

On Saturdays at 12 noon in August, Transit Riders Union meets at Portland State's Chit Chat Cafe, 1906 SW Sixth, to plan actions to stop the cuts and the fare hike. In LA and SF, federal court injunctions have been successfully sought to stop one fare increase with ten minutes to go, and, in LA, to halt light rail construction for five years and require the MTA to purchase 500 buses.

TRU has organized the Reedville Cafe Boycott to Elect the TriMet Board and fight the fare hike and service cuts. Reedville Cafe is owned by TriMet board president Rick Van Beveren, and was the site in May for the primary election victory party of conservative Metro president candidate Tom Hughes. Hughes supports the CRC, and is running against the progressive, green candidate in the November runoff general election, Bob Stacey, ex-director of 1,000 Friends of Oregon. Both Hughes and Van Beveren support keeping the TriMet board non-elected and non-accountable. Stacey has been a vocal opponent of the CRC.

Metro has legal authority, under ORS per two meetings so far with elected Metro official Robert Liberty -- to take over TriMet. Organizers can also collect signatures to put a measure on the ballot requiring that the TriMet board be elected by the people.

So far, TRU has held one picket at Portland Business Alliance to protest TriMet cuts and fare hikes. PBA pushed for the elimination of Fareless Square, year after year (along with sit-lie 1 amd 2). PBA just donated $5,000 to the campaign of Tom Hughes for Metro president, and Hughes has been endorsed by the Tribune and the Oregonian. A new, appointed-in-secret member of the TriMet board is Steve Clark, president of the Portland Tribune.

Come help transit riders and organizers stop the cuts and the fare hike!


homepage: homepage: http://www.trimetriders.org
phone: phone: 503-222-2974
address: address: PO Box 40011, Portland, Oregon 97240

Portland Business Alliance Boycott 11.Aug.2010 17:33

Riverwind beowulf0095@gmail.com

There is a boycott of the Portland Business Alliance. The list is on my website.

maybe TriMet should become a Cooperative 16.Aug.2010 14:37


One approach might be to make a TriMet more democratic on all levels by pushing it to be a cooperative. Such a move could get workers supporting the idea.

unfair fare hikes 01.Sep.2010 16:55

jess guardipee

get rid of fare hikes and the newly secretive elected board of trimet members..we are not a non Democratic society ,we vote for
change especially when you've got a multi million dollar business that is for the public.we can not stand back and except the
bs thats being given to the public.just because these trimet officials think they can sneak one in under neath the eyes of
the public this is crap.we have over 2 million people in oregon who are consumers of the bus system.trimet you have been served
your walking papers now either you get your act together or get ready for one of the most devastating moves in history..you think the riots in los angeles or the one here in the 60s was bad now your messing with our future and our elders and the rest ..
you will be stopped dead in your tracts..its time you realize you cant just come in and scam us the public.yes a classic action
law suit is about right...we will point out who is responsible and come for his head or heads will roll.