Category Archives: Fun Stuff

How You Can Say Thanks on Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Around here, we say “thank you” to our bus driver. It’s a thing.

Yes, Portlanders are often mocked for being agonizingly polite, but in this case it makes sense — we say thanks to the people who make our coffee and serve our food, so why wouldn’t we say it to the people who drive us around? Wouldn’t it be weirder to not say thanks?

So in recognition of Transit Driver Appreciation Day (normally March 18, but we’re celebrating a day early because that’s a Saturday), we want to show our operators how small gestures can really add up.

Here’s how it works: You can leave a thank-you note for your driver(s) at trimet.org/tdad. Maybe you have a regular driver you’re especially thankful for, or perhaps you want to call them all out.

Your note will join hundreds of others, which will be broadcast on screens throughout the operator report rooms — putting your message right in front of the people it means the most to.

Leave a thank-you note for your driver

Bus and rail drivers make a tough job look easy, day-in and day-out. Let’s show them how much they mean to us.

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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February on Instagram: Lightening Up

The February Fakeout didn’t really show up this year, but there was plenty to distract us from the record rain — starting with the dazzling displays at the Portland Winter Light Festival. Elsewhere, neon signs, fiery sunsets and a living statue caught our eye.

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Finals has come to an end, this year is flying by! ✈️

A post shared by Joti Mangat (@jo.tii) on

Travel by tram

A post shared by Jacob Stollberg (@jacobstollberg) on

🍰

A post shared by Ryan Jennings (@rizzazle) on

Don’t Move…..

A post shared by Aus10 (@austinmarlia) on

What will we see in March? Be sure to 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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January on Instagram: One of the Internet’s Most Famous Cats Checks In

Turns out a foot of snow overnight wasn’t the only remarkable thing we saw this month. Meet Albert Baby Cat (if you haven’t already), fashion icon, Instagram celebrity and finalist on America’s Next Cat Star. A couple weeks ago, Albert hopped in a BIKETOWN basket and hitched a ride to Tilikum Crossing, where he watched the trains go by.

Albert watching the train go by. 📷 Photo by: @catmapper

A photo posted by Munchkin cat (@albertbabycat) on

OK, now onto the snow. This was the fourth snow of the season, but it was unlike anything we’ve seen in years. If nothing else, it made for some great photos.

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Let it snow. #snowday #Portland #midnight

A photo posted by Michael Arellano (@michael_arellano) on

Icy no problem in going home early to stay warm and escape this storm. ❄️🚎🌧

A photo posted by Elizabeth Jones (@elizabethallynj) on

The unofficial Hop mascot for the month:

There were inspiring sights on the dry days, too. (Plus Darth Vader, because Portland.)

Sunrise over the morning commute.

A photo posted by Jeremy Jeziorski (@jeremyjeziorski) on

Rides.

A photo posted by Nate (@nfrazier) on

smooth is fast.

A photo posted by edwin vega. (@edwindva) on

Stepped on my bus tonight and met Darth Vader and his body guard. No biggie.

A photo posted by Jason Houser (@jasonhouser) on

We’ll see you in February — 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: December

As you could have guessed, we saw lots of snow this month. But before we get to that, take a look at what Portland indie rockers Helio Sequence shared at the beginning of the month:

This brought tears to my eyes. Larry on the left is the driver of the @ridetrimet Trimet Line 4 bus that I take to the studio. Every morning as people enter the bus he greets them with a genuine smile and “hello” and wishes every single person a good day on the way out. He chats with his “regulars” and strikes up conversations with new riders. I always love seeing Larry and talking with him and am amazed how he the consistently gives energy to those around him. His kindness and openness to all gives me perspective each day and what I saw from him today was really beautiful. This morning he stopped on Division at a bus stop that had not been requested. At first I was confused and I wondered what was going on when I saw him reach into his bag and take out his lunch. He stepped out of the bus and gave his food to a homeless man who was near the stop wishing him well and then hopped back in the driver seat and carried on. To see such an act of unprompted true kindness was really profound. Larry surely deserves the driver of the year award and beyond that I hope he knows the deep effect his simple but strong acts of kindness have on those around him. I learned yesterday that soon he’ll be switching to an earlier time schedule and I won’t see him in the mornings any longer. Larry…I’ll miss you…I hope we run into each other soon. Thank you for all that you give to everyone! #trimet #driveroftheyear #publictransit #kindness #thankyou #portland #lovewins

A photo posted by The Helio Sequence (@heliosequence) on

Awesome, right? We love seeing notes like that.

And now for the snow:

#unionstationportland #theportlandway #portlandnw #portlandoregon #portlandpdx #pnwonderland #northwestisbest #snow

A photo posted by Patrick M (@patrick_morgan_io) on

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Trees and Transit on this edition of “That’s So Portland”. #theonlyedition #Portland #downtownpdx #pioneersquare

A photo posted by Tuesday Blue (@wednesdaybytuesday) 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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2016 Year in Review

It was a big and busy year for us.

That’s the simple explanation. Though we didn’t have a marquee event like last year’s Orange Line opening, we added a lot of service and made some significant improvements. We also dealt with weather (hot and cold), protests and planned disruptions that required some significant service adjustments and plenty of your patience. And in the end, 2016 left us with plenty to be happy about — let’s take a look at the numbers:

2 MAX Improvement Projects

Back in January, chief operating officer Doug Kelsey shared our plans for improving MAX on-time performance. Since then, we’ve completed two major projects along segments of the original, 30-year-old alignment. In May, we spent two weeks replacing track and switches along First Avenue in Downtown Portland. Four months later, we did similar work in the Rose Quarter.

3500 bus

77 New Buses Arrive

Our newest buses (the 3500 series) hit the streets in March. Once all 77 were delivered we were able to say that new-model buses comprise over half our active fleet.

Over the next few years we plan to add more than 175 new buses, starting in a few weeks when we begin rolling out the 3600 series. This process will bring the average age of our fleet to the industry standard of eight years and — more importantly — ensure your ride is more comfortable and reliable.

97 Becomes Our Newest Bus Line

The growing communities of Tualatin and Sherwood got their first direct transit connection in June. Line 97-Tualatin-Sherwood was our first new bus line in years, and though it’s just a commuter line now we plan to extend it to Bridgeport Village and downtown Tigard in the future.

And thanks to the increased employer payroll tax that took effect this year, this is just the beginning of more and better service. We’ve got plans for increasing, expanding and introducing bus service throughout the region over the next 10 years.

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3 Operators Earn Top Honors

Justina Carrillo, a mini-run (part-time) bus operator; Jeffery Evans, a MAX operator; and Alex Ohly, a bus operator joined exclusive company this year when they were selected by their peers as TriMet’s Operators of the Year. The three combined represent nearly five decades of safe driving experience and multiple Superior Performance Awards, and we are truly grateful for their service.

2 Weeks of Protests in Downtown Portland

Running safe transit — an essential service to many — amidst demonstrations in the city center — a right protected by the Constitution, as long as it’s peaceful — isn’t easy to do. But with cooperation between different groups and the diligence of our operators and field staff, it became possible.

How We Roll bus

3 Hours in Pioneer Courthouse Square

We set up shop in Portland’s living room one afternoon this summer to debut our How We Roll bus, which features 16 rider portraits on its sides. (There’s a wrapped train, too!) While we were there we handed out goodies and took photos for the next time we wrap a bus or train.

12 Year Absence from the Sellwood Bridge Ends

For the first time in over a decade, TriMet service is using the Sellwood Bridge, as Line 99 began its new route this month. It was all possible because the old Sellwood Bridge, which had a weight limit that restricted heavy vehicles, was replaced earlier in the year.

1 Year of MAX Orange Line

Our newest light rail line, along with Tilikum Crossing, celebrated a year of service in September. The time seemed to fly but in retrospect, a lot happened — including 3.5 million rides on the Orange Line and 775,000 bike trips over the bridge.

30 Years of MAX

After a proposed eight-lane freeway was nixed in the mid-1970s, the pioneering decision was made to consider how transportation affects quality of life. This led to the creation of MAX, one of the first modern light-rail systems in the country. On Sept. 5, 1986 service debuted between Gresham and Portland.

Thirty years, four new lines and millions of trips later, we continue to move a growing region.

MAX in snow

2 Snow Storms…in Two Weeks

Plus one back in January. Orchestrating transit in snow and ice isn’t easy. It requires extraordinary vigilance and quick responses to constantly changing situations from our staff — especially operators and field staff working out in the freezing cold. It also takes a lot of preparedness and patience from our riders, and we appreciate the understanding we were shown amidst the inevitable frustration and exhaustion.

20 New Operators Hired Every Three Weeks

We’re hiring drivers at a serious pace because in order to give riders more service, we need more people. We sweetened the deal, too, and boosted starting pay for part-time operators from $11.21 to $14.25 per hour during training. Ever thought about driving with us?

Hop testing

225+ Employees Begin Testing Hop Fastpass

Our new fare card is almost here — you probably noticed the readers on your bus or at the MAX station. Earlier this year, a small group of employees from TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar began testing the system, tapping Hop cards to board buses and trains and managing their accounts online.

The first public beta test begins soon, so be sure to sign up for email updates if you’re interested in participating.

OK — that’s enough for this year. Thanks for riding, and see you in 2017!

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: November

Our Instagram feed has been a welcome respite from a busy (to say the least) month. Indeed, the pictures you’ve shared with us have been pensive, serene, dazzling and even funny (thanks, Unipiper!).

Been having fun shooting more in the city lately. #portlandnw #pdxavsquad

A photo posted by Joseph McKinney (@mckjoe) on

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Portland commuting #fujix70

A photo posted by Takeshi Okuno (@tkc09) on

Something so wrong about these numbers makes them so right.

A photo posted by Jason Garland Sturgill (@jgspdx) on

Just a causal afternoon ride on the Portland Trimet Max 🚊🚃🚋🚉 #Max #Portland #Trimet #casual#afternoon

A photo posted by Erin McCabe (@pumpkinberrie) on

⚡tonight⚡

A photo posted by Kody Youmans (@xo_kody) on

Portland 😍 getting little festive ✨

A photo posted by Nabina Nazar (@nabinanazar) 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: October

Could October be the moodiest month?

Judging by the photos we were tagged in, that may well be the case. We’ve seen sudden downpours, fiery red leaves falling, spectacular sunsets and skies of every color. (Sure, we’re in for six months of darkness, but at least we’re going out in style!)

Motion

A photo posted by ANAND (@anandbc) on

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#autumn #fall #rain #leafs #leaf #glass #color #portland #trimet #bus

A photo posted by Alex Jones (@http.fantomboy.13) on

When you accidentally walk by the #OCI max while it’s riding by! 👍🏽 #ocikitchenninja #ocisugarbakers #happyfriday

A photo posted by Oregon Culinary Institute🔪 (@ocikitchenninja) on

SUPER BONUS: Portland’s favorite golden retriever rescue, Rusty Rodas, shared the #GoByTransit love.

On my way to work. #publictransportation #portland

A photo posted by RUSTY RODAS (@rustyrodas) 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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