Instagram Roundup: September

I’ll be sad to see September go. And I’m sure I’m not the only one — it’s been a beautiful month, with warm days and dramatic skies and changing leaves. The kind of scenes that make for perfect Instagram shares, basically.

But don’t just take my word for it — here are some of the standout shots you shared with us this month:

Follow @ridetrimet on Instagram »

Wife & I exploring the ways of public transpo today 🚎🚋

A photo posted by Jordan Hills 🐅 Tiger (@13hills) on

Moving still. 📸: @carhenlo

A photo posted by BILLY PHAM (@billyfam) on

I’ve always liked the inside of TriMet busses at night. #pdx #trimet #rx100

A photo posted by Bryton Wilson (@brytonw) on

#clouds #beautiful #sky #bus #max #morning #53 #trimet #beaverton

A photo posted by Ryunosuke Ikeda (@ryuike0804) on

Always a party on #trimet #seportland #ballons #publictransit #pnwonderland #watchyourstep

A photo posted by Natalie (@nattyfiggs) on

Dbl tap if you read this every weekday as “Milky Way”. #trimet

A photo posted by judy webring-reynolds (@judy_webring_reynolds) on

As always, tag @ridetrimet and #GoByTransit to share your ride!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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5 Reasons to Go Car-Free

Every year on (or around) September 22, the planet comes together to celebrate World Carfree Day. This global car-free movement encourages motorists to leave their cars behind and try alternative modes of transportation for one day.

Thinking about going car-free? Here are some reasons to give it a try:

#1. It saves you money.

When you take TriMet, you don’t have to pay for parking or gas. But if you go completely car-free, you don’t have to worry about loans, car payments, insurance or maintenance costs.

Fact: According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), transit riders in Portland can save up to $861 a month ($10,334 a year).

#2. It’s less stress.

The average American driver can spend up to 450 hours each year on the road, resulting in rising levels of frustration and stress that can really take a toll on your quality of life. By taking public transportation, you can use your commute time to read, text friends, or just take some well-deserved “me” time.

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#3. It’s safer.

According to a study released by APTA, commuters reduce their risk of of being in a traffic accident by more than 90 percent by simply taking public transit over commuting by car.

Fact: Cities that average more than 50 annual transit trips per capita have about half the average traffic fatality rates as cities where residents average fewer than 20 annual trips.

#4. It’s better for the environment.

Choosing to walk, bike, or take public transit during your commute helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. When you decide to reduce your carbon footprint, you help keep our planet clean!

#5. It’s good for your health.

We’re just more active when we’re less dependent on cars. Taking public transportation helps us get in more exercise because of the walking and biking we do getting to and from our stops.

Fact: A study in North Carolina showed that light rail passengers were 81% less likely to become obese over time and would lose an average of 7 pounds over a one-year period.

Bikes on Tilikum Crossing

Are you up for the car-free challenge?

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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The 2016 Bus “Roadeo”

Day in and day out, our bus operators carefully maneuver 40-foot buses through city streets, along highways and over bridges. It’s no easy feat to drive a TriMet bus — it takes skillful coordination, patience and whole lot of wheel-turning to get through those tight corners — but for one day, our operators can put their bus driving skills to the test by competing in the annual TriMet Bus “Roadeo.”

Winners take home a trophy, and bragging rights for being a Bus Roadeo Champion!
Winners take home a trophy, and bragging rights for being a Bus Roadeo Champion!

The Bus Roadeo is a challenging obstacle course broken down into nine different sections. Each section tests different techniques, like guiding the bus through tight spaces, zig-zagging around barriers and stopping on a dime with the bus going 15 miles per hour.

Tennis Ball Test: Fit the dual rear wheels through the tennis balls without running them over.
Alley of Cones: Fit through two tight alleys without knocking over any cones.
Alley of Cones: Fit through two offset alleys without knocking over any cones.
Cone Serpentine: Weave through the cones without knocking any over!
Cone Serpentine: Weave through the cones without knocking any over!
Barrel Test: Squeeze between two rows of barrels while accelerating to 15 mph and stopping.

And it’s not only bus operators who can compete in the Roadeo. All TriMet employees have the opportunity to see what it takes to drive a bus — and get in some good laughs because we definitely knock things over!

This is the third year we’ve held the Bus Roadeo, and we definitely think we’ll do it again! It’s a great way to demonstrate the challenges our bus operators face, plus it’s fun for all the different departments to come together (and enjoy delicious food off the grill).

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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Thanks for Your Patience During the Rose Quarter MAX Improvements

Like we mentioned in our Rose Quarter Progress Report, the MAX improvements work this time around was much more complicated — and disruptive — than the First Avenue project from May.

Crews replaced and upgraded tracks, signals, switches and more around the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
Crews replaced and upgraded tracks, signals, switches and more around the Rose Quarter Transit Center.

Over the last two weeks, as we installed upgraded track, signals and switches near the Rose Quarter Transit Center, many riders became very familiar with the Lloyd Center–Rose Quarter shuttle buses. These were our best option for replacing the service between the three closed MAX stations, though they made for a disjointed commute.

Shuttle buses carried MAX riders between the Rose Quarter and Lloyd Center stations.
Shuttle buses carried MAX riders between the Rose Quarter and Lloyd Center stations, and between Kenton and Portland International Airport.

For others, the commute just became longer, as trains arrived less frequently (and more packed than usual). Finally, some chose to do something altogether different and took the bus, biked or shared a ride instead.

(We should also mention that the Kenton–PDX shuttle became an unexpected highlight of the project — thanks for all the positive feedback!)

In the end, nearly everyone had to plan for an altered commute.

Volunteer Ride Guides and Customer Service staff helped riders get around the Rose Quarter construction.

We asked a lot from you — more than ever — and throughout it all, your patience and understanding shone through. This attitude allowed us to focus on improving the 30-year-old trackway at the Rose Quarter safely and efficiently.

Here’s to you, and to a more reliable ride for decades to come!


 

Related:

MAX Reliability Improvements
Charting MAX On-Time Performance
• Rose Quarter MAX Improvements Progress Reports: 1, 2

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Instagram Roundup: August

Even in the midst of a major service disruption, you’ve shared the love on Instagram. (Thank you!) Here are some of the stellar shots you’ve shared with us this month, from summer rain to sunflowers at stop 2632.

Follow @ridetrimet on Instagram »

Thanks to the bus for this very happy pattern clashing moment. 🎉 #partyseats #printsonprints

A photo posted by Anna (@reedmylips7) on

#TriMet is life🔥👌👌

A photo posted by Kody Youmans (@macklemorebog) on

#trimet

A photo posted by @tonight_i_wish_i_were_a_cowboy on

Good afternoon Portland, you’re looking beautiful today.. #ClearSkies #ClearHeads ⭐️

A photo posted by William Xavier-Hurst (@williamxavierhurst) on

Another perfect ending to the day in the City of Roses. ☁️☀️🌹

A photo posted by Fredo Rocha (@supfredo) on

As always, tag @ridetrimet and #GoByTransit to share your ride!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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The Plan For Rose Quarter

From Sunday, August 21, to Saturday, September 3, we’re making improvements near the Rose Quarter to improve MAX reliability and make for a smoother ride.

Much like the work we completed along 1st Avenue in May, we’ll be replacing switches and improving the tracks just east of the Rose Quarter MAX Station. Switches in this area are 30 years old, so crews will replace the wooden ties (which were standard back in 1985) underneath the switches with a concrete track structure and much more durable and robust materials.

We’ll also realign the section of track that runs westbound into the Rose Quarter MAX Station. We’ll begin by removing the rails and that run into the old Trolley Barn. Then, we’ll smooth out the curve into the north platform, which will create a smoother ride into the station. This new design will help eliminate some long-term maintenance challenges and reduce wear and tear on the tracks. As part of the realignment, crews will adjust the overhead wire and relocate two existing poles.

We’ll also be updating the antiquated MAX signal system in the Rose Quarter area. Signal technology has improved dramatically since these were installed back in 1986. This will be the first time in MAX’s history that we’re upgrading the original signals — it’s kind of like rewiring part of your house. We’re most excited for this upgrade because it will decrease the chances of a signal malfunction, which causes train delays.

All of these much-needed renovations are to improve MAX reliability and keep trains running on time, but this work will disrupt regular MAX service for two weeks as we’ll have to shut down service along Holladay Street between the Rose Quarter and the Lloyd Center/NE 11th Ave MAX Station.

We know this two-week disruption will be a hassle, but it’s all for a good cause — to create a better and smoother ride for you.

Learn more about this MAX disruption and how your trips will be affected

Sarah Touey

Sarah Touey

I’m the resident engineer for TriMet’s Maintenance of Way projects. I seek out adventure by traveling and exploring other transit systems across the country, spending time at the beach with family and friends, and continuously remodeling our house with my husband Jarrett.

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Minimizing Heat Delays on MAX

Last year, we shared a bit about why our trains slow down when it heats up — basically, temperatures above 90 degrees bring the possibility of rails expanding and kinking, or overhead wires sagging.

We know how it feels to slow down in extreme heat.
We know how it feels to slow down in extreme heat.

Before we go any further, we should answer a common question: Why didn’t we build track that can withstand higher temperatures? Surely, places like Phoenix don’t have this problem — right?

It’s true. Hotter places like Phoenix, which experience many 90+ degree days, don’t have this problem. But they do have trouble at the other end of the spectrum, when it’s cold out. This is because transit agencies build systems to work within the temperature range of their region, with the rails and overhead wire resting (neither expanded nor contracted) at the average temperature. For reference, the average temperature here is about 55 degrees, compared to 75 degrees in Phoenix.

Nobody wants a slower trip in extreme heat. You’ve got places to be, and we’re trying to stick to a schedule. That’s why we’re looking into ways to speed trains up when it’s hot out — we’ve already come across a simple solution that seems to work: track anchors. These were initially installed along the new Orange Line track for other reasons, but later we noticed that the rail here didn’t seem to affected by high temperatures.

So last spring, crews installed similar anchors to the rail ties of a segment of Red Line track that we knew to be especially prone to sun kinks. These have kept the rail in place, even on warm days (when rail temperatures can approach 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the air temperature). This simple step, which didn’t even require disrupting service, saved approximately 25 to 30 minutes of time throughout each service day, adding back over 150 hours of increased on-time performance over the course of a year.

There’s also the issue of overhead wire sagging in the heat and potentially damaging the pantograph (the arm that connects MAX to the wire) if it drops far enough. So we’re looking into ways to give the counterweights — which keep the wire taut — more room to move.

This summer has been curiously mild, but we’ll use the hot days ahead to gather more data on how these potential solutions hold up in real life. Eventually, when we’re confident that they’re worth the investment, we’ll implement these upgrades on a wider scale. And we’ll be able to keep moving, right through the heat.

Related:

Why Our Trains Slow Down When It Heats Up

Monitoring MAX On-Time Performance

MAX System Reliability Improvements

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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