Category Archives: Fun Stuff

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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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.

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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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Instagram Roundup: July

These are decidedly not the dog days of summer — our month on Instagram began with local hero Moshow the Cat Rapper proclaiming his love for public transit (see below). Then we started to see lots of Pokémon, and we even got a check-in from a cartoon slice of bacon.

And on July 19, everything turned orange as BIKETOWN, Portland’s new public bike share program, hit the streets with an opening event along the MAX Orange Line. (This also happened to be Portland Streetcar’s 15th birthday.)

Here’s what we saw this month:

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Portland bound #transitisbetterineurope #misseurope #pdx #selfie @glideslope

A photo posted by Jose Lariz (@pierreazis) on

🐥 🚌 🎱 “a heart so true” #pokemongo

A photo posted by segreen (@segreens) on

Olympus Mju ii // Rollei Chrome 200 cross processed

A photo posted by @now.developing on

TriMet Orange Line, end of line art. Morning commuters! #Commuter #Early #Art #Portland #TriMet #MAX

A photo posted by Big Milky (@oregonjacques) on

Livin’ today to the MAX!

A photo posted by PDX bacon (@pdxbacon) on

we are tired of driving… good thing portland comes with a chauffeur. #justopherontheroad

A photo posted by ⓒ ⓗ ⓡ ⓘ ⓢ ⓣ ⓞ ⓟ ⓗ ⓔ ⓡ (@therealcwalk) 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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BIKETOWN launches at Tilikum Crossing

Last Tuesday, BIKETOWN — Portland’s new public bike share system — hit the streets. We were at the launch event at Tilikum Crossing:

Ready to try it? Check out our tips for getting the most out of BIKETOWN.

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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Bus Operator of the Year Alex Ohly’s laid-back approach works

OOY 2016 - alex

Alex Ohly loves to tinker. If it involves an engine, even better. After all, he does own six 1980s-era Volvos.

When he moved to Oregon in 1990, he sought machinist jobs after a career making eye-surgery instruments in St. Louis. One big problem: the United States was mired in an economic recession. Also, pay was low for the work, and most of these positions didn’t offer employer-sponsored insurance plans.

However, he loved to drive and saw TriMet had a need for bus operators.

“I took it as a temporary job. I really just needed insurance. As it turned out, I really liked it. It’s like I’ve been in-between jobs for 26 years,” laughs Ohly.

Fortunately, the 1990 recession quickly passed, and Ohly’s career stability at TrIMet helped him weather the most recent economic downturn. How? Well, he’s good at what he does. For the past 21 years, he’s driven safely, which has earned him a National Safe Driving Award each year (no preventable accidents during that time). And he shows up — he had nine straight years of perfect attendance.

It’s about the people

His approach to his profession is simple.

“You have to try to understand people,” says Ohly, whose workday typically begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m. “A lot of times, people are upset for whatever reason when they get on the bus. If you’re kind to them, it goes away.”

Alex Ohly_3

“When operating a bus, I never sacrifice safety or people’s comfort. Just go smooth and take it easy. Go with the flow.”

His approach has culminated into being our newest Bus Operator of the Year, an award he says blew him away when his name was announced in front of his peers.

He’s also a Master Operator, which is an honor given to operators who earn at least 15 Superior Performance Awards, earned by working at least 1,960 hours with no preventable accidents, warnings, or reprimands.

Life away from TriMet

When he’s not driving his usual Line 48-Cornell or Line 88-Hart/198th, you’ll likely find Ohly and his wife relaxing at their Lake Oswego home. They’ve grown roots, including, at one time, a vegetable garden.

“Unfortunately, we shared the garden with raccoons, so that didn’t work too well,” he says.

Now he spends much of his free time either with his grandson or thinking about fly fishing. He owns quite a few fly rods, but instead of catching fish, he works on the “art of casting” in his large backyard. No question, when the time comes to catch real fish, Ohly will be ready.

Interested in driving a TriMet bus? We’re hiring bus operators! Consider a career with TriMet and see where it takes you.

Andrew Longeteig

Andrew Longeteig

I’m TriMet’s Communications Coordinator. I share what’s happening at the agency with the media and general public. When I’m not working, I’ll either be watching the Blazers or at a rock concert.

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BIKETOWN is coming

We know from our work creating the TriMet Bike Plan that our riders care about and rely on bike access. When BIKETOWN, Portland’s public bike share system, makes its debut tomorrow, many riders will have a new option for connecting to transit. That it’s healthy, fun and convenient is icing on the cake.

How does BIKETOWN work?

Ride for a single trip ($2.50), an entire day ($12) or for a whole year with an annual membership ($12/month).

Unlock a ride at the station using the computer and keypad on the back of the bike, and you’re on your way.

When you’re done, lock up at the station — the smart bike will know that you’ve finished your ride.

We like bike share because it extends the reach of transit, making trips by bus or train more accessible to more people. It also helps to make one-way bike trips possible and reduces barriers to biking like ownership, storage, maintenance and concerns about theft.

BIKETOWN

I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing how riders combine trips between BIKETOWN and TriMet. Personally, I’m excited to use bike share for short trips, connections to daytime meetings, getting out of the office for lunch and running errands after work.

BIKETOWN

A few things about BIKETOWN I’d like to point out:

  • If you ride on the Transit Mall (5th and 6th avenues) in Downtown Portland, be sure to stay on the left side of the roadway in the shared lanes and bike lane on portions of SW 5th. Please stay out of the transit lane(s) on the right side of the roadway, as these spaces are only for buses and trains.
  • Don’t bring the bikes on board. One of the best things about bike share is that you only use it when you need it — just park or pick up a bike wherever you’re connecting to the bus or train. (Plus, it doesn’t make sense to pay for bike share time on top of your transit fare.)
  • When you end your ride, if the BIKETOWN station closest to your destination is full, you can lock your bike at a public bike rack close to the station marked with an orange sticker for no additional charge. If you lock your bike at a public bike rack further from a station, a $2 fee applies.
  • The bikes don’t come with helmets, so bring your own if you want one and you plan on riding that day. Keeping a helmet at the office might be a good idea if you plan on riding during the day.
  • Cross tracks straight on. Crossing tracks at an angle or turning across tracks is risky — your wheel can slip into the trackbed and result in a crash. When in doubt, walk your bike across the tracks and check out these safety tips for riding a bike around transit vehicles.
  • You can make money using BIKETOWN. A little bit, anyway: Members who spot bike share bikes locked at public racks will be rewarded with a $1 account credit for returning them to a station.
  • Sneaker Bikes!

BIKETOWN

There are 100 BIKETOWN stations, which means lots of overlap with transit in Portland — take a look at the service area and station map to see what your next trip might look like.

As BIKETOWN establishes itself, we’ll continue working with our partners to encourage smooth connections for transit and bike riders. We hope to see you on a bright orange bike soon!

Learn more about BIKETOWN

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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Instagram Roundup: June

The wait is finally over.

Summer is here, stretching out before us. The long, warm days have arrived — when we’re more likely to get out and visit friends, or take a picnic to the park, and linger happily into the evening hours.

We were tagged in more photos than ever this month, and it was inspiring to see our feed come to life. Here are some shots that sum up the month on Instagram:

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Can I talk about fathers right now? I grew up with out one. I know many of you did as well! That gap in our life makes it difficult to receive and to give love. We’re forced to live independent from the love of a father. “For some of us, rules are the easy part, but letting someone love us…well that’s the hard part. Pride, in whatever form it takes, is a relational drug habit of individualism that we gotta drop if we want to move forward”. – Nate Kupish Their is a God though. A God That is a father to us all one who’s love has no limits and one who’s love for us has the ability to fill the empty spaces in our lives. He is not an absent God, but a present and living God. You may not believe in a God or Gods or spirituality. Just know that their is someone that adores and loves you. #portlandnw #pnwonderland

A photo posted by Todd Acosta (@todd.acosta) on

|| Max Ride Series No. 4: Quiet Passenger || After a bike accident I was having troubles riding my bicycle. In a sense commuting by Max train (Portland’s Metropolitan Area Express) has been a relaxing option. I get to see people and surroundings in different angles. Phone is still very handy to take candid photos as we all know it. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shotoniphone #bw_instantscatcher #blackandwhiteisworththefight #portlandphotographer #jj_mobilephotography #myweekofcontrast #myfeatureshoot #gobytransit #youmobile#ig_shotz_bw #portlandnw #hikaricreative #bnw_life #bnw_rose #portlandoregon #bnw_planet #bnwmood #excellent_bnw #bnw_demand #blackandwhitephotography #flair_bw #ig_bw #streetlife_award #doubleyedge #icapture_mobile #photo_storee_bw #youmobile #streetphotography #outofphone #helloicp #gotd_1197

A photo posted by Migyoung Won (@migyoungwon) on

#trimetart #thingsifindwhilewalking #orangelining #ridetrimet

A photo posted by sweetmamamarie (@sweetmamamarie) on

Last stop

A photo posted by Gavin (@gavinrear) 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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