Mike Crebs: Big impact on a Little Brother

Transit Police Commander Mike Crebs

When Transit Police Commander Mike Crebs walks into Vestal Elementary School on 82nd Avenue, smiling and sporting a black uniform and badge, the students tend to see him as a kind of celebrity.

Mike spends his lunch hour on Fridays at the school as part of the Big Brothers program, where he sits and talks with his high-energy “Little” and plays kickball and foursquare. Mike’s been a Big Brother for four years, and is in his second year with his Little Brother, Norman.

Mike has worked with youth since his days on the force in Salt Lake City as a school resource officer, and then taught here as part of the GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) program, in which officers take a proactive role in preventing crime. He also sits on the Board of Governors for the Boys and Girls Club.

Mike says this experience has helped him in his job running the Transit Police Division, a partnership of 17 police agencies working together to keep riders safe. Mike oversees 58 officers in four offices in a three-county area. Youth make up 17 percent of all rides on TriMet’s system, and Mike acknowledges that much of the disruptions on the system are in part caused by youth.

“Kids have so much energy. Adults, when they’re on the bus, they just want to read. But a teenager is a little more boisterous.”

“Do we blame the kid?” he asks. “I don’t think so.” But there’s a line he draws between a kid just being a kid and when to intervene. According to Mike, that intervention works best before it’s ever needed, whether it’s by being a Big Brother, a commander or just a member of the community.

For Mike, being a Big Brother is an opportunity to provide “one more asset for a young person—whether that be a parent, coach, teacher or neighbor—that one person who might strike a chord.”

WEIGH IN ON FACEBOOK: Have you been a “Big,” or helped youth by volunteering or mentoring?

New! 30-Day Pass now available at the TriMet Ticket Office

New 30-Day Pass available at the TriMet Ticket OfficeIn response to requests from riders, we’ve introduced a new pass that is valid for 30 days from the date of purchase.

The 30-Day Pass gives you the convenience and savings of a monthly pass (at the same price), but you can buy it at any time during the month. It comes pre-validated for immediate use.

You can get one downtown at the TriMet Ticket Office at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

See 30-Day Pass prices

Riders say “Cheese!” at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Rider photo shoot slideshowOkay, we knew y’all were smart and savvy, but we had no idea you were such a photogenic bunch!

Last month, we took a camera down to Pioneer Courthouse Square to capture pics of some TriMet fans. Dozens of riders stopped by to say hi (and say “Cheese!”). We met families, visitors, commuters, students and everyone in between, as they got on or off buses and trains downtown.

We had a blast, and we wanted to share some of our favorite mugs. Click on the graphic to start the slideshow.

We’ll be having another photo shoot soon, so stay tuned to find out when and where!

WEIGH IN ON FACEBOOK: Were you featured in this photo shoot? Let us know! (And be sure to tag yourself.) 

Dave Whipple

I'm TriMet’s manager of marketing and rider communications. I oversee the agency's web and mobile initiatives and help build useful and usable online tools for riders. I also moonlight as a musician in my spare time.

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Celebrating 25 years of MAX Blue Line

MAX Opening Celebration, September 5, 1986
Riders at the MAX Blue Line Opening Celebration, September 5, 1986

On September 5, 1986, MAX Blue Line opened with service between Portland and Gresham.

It was among the first light rail lines in the U.S., and it really was the “line that started it all” in the Portland area. MAX has since expanded to 52 miles and serves all three counties in the Portland metro area.

Since the decision to build MAX, the Portland region has gained an estimated 66,000 design and construction-related jobs and $2.6 billion in earnings in Oregon. In addition, more than $10 billion in development has occurred within walking distance of MAX stations.

Learn more about MAX Blue Line

Cracking down on fare evasion: more inspectors and enforcement

Transit police officer checking fares on MAXMany of you have expressed concerns about fare enforcement on the system, particularly on MAX. We’re listening. In addition to expanding the number of staff dedicated to checking fares, we’re shifting our focus from education to enforcement. That means riders caught without a fare now get a citation instead of a warningeven first offenders.

Read about how we’re cracking down on fare evasion

Back-to-school safety reminder

Do you have kids back in school? Remind them not to cross the street in front of a TriMet bus, unless it’s stopped at a light. Always use the crosswalk, and look both ways before crossing train tracks.

Dave Whipple

I'm TriMet’s manager of marketing and rider communications. I oversee the agency's web and mobile initiatives and help build useful and usable online tools for riders. I also moonlight as a musician in my spare time.

More Posts

6 new apps in the TriMet App Center

A third-party TriMet mobile app on an iPhoneThanks to our fabulous developer community, six new transit apps have been added to the TriMet App Center:

  • allSchedules for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Commute for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • MyMet for web browsers and various mobile devices
  • RealTime Transit for Windows Phone 7
  • Transit Appliance for any monitor or TV with a VGA, DVI or HDMI input
  • TransitTimes Portland for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

These are just a few of the free and commercial applications available from third-party developers using TriMet’s open data.

Check out all the apps in the TriMet App Center

Dave Whipple

I'm TriMet’s manager of marketing and rider communications. I oversee the agency's web and mobile initiatives and help build useful and usable online tools for riders. I also moonlight as a musician in my spare time.

More Posts

How Bus Operator A.K. Rucker is helping to keep kids out of gangs

Bus Operator A.K. Rucker

As a 40-foot bus pulls over at SE Powell Boulevard and 42nd Avenue, more than a dozen youth in bright yellow T-shirts hop off the bus and run, boot-camp style, to the nearby bus shelters and sidewalks. With gloves on and garbage bags in tow, the crew fans out, picking up trash, filling their bags, and then heading back to the bus.

Behind this well-oiled machine is A.K. Rucker, who started TriMet’s “First Step” program 13 years ago. The First Step program is an intensive 10-week jobs program where at-risk youth, ages 14 to 18, get the opportunity to have a summer job and learn responsibility and the value of hard work. A TriMet bus operator for 30 years, A.K. selects his bus routes based on areas where he knows he can reach youth and encourage them to apply for First Step.

“TriMet wanted to get involved in North and Northeast Portland because of the gangs,” he says, recalling a time when Portland gang activity centered in that area. “There was a lot of vandalism on the system and in the community. I was working with youth at the Boys and Girls Club, and some of the kids were upset that they couldn’t get jobs.”

“I’ve had kids come back and say, ‘I never thought I’d go to college.’ But they come here and realize they can go to college and do something with their lives.”

The idea for First Step came to A.K. in the spring of 1998, and TriMet was able to launch the program that same summer.

Cleaning bus shelters and sidewalks may seem like grunt work, but the youth approach it with an energy and pride that can point them in a positive direction for the rest of their lives. Sometimes past participants driving past will spot the crew, pull over on the side of the road and tell the kids that if they can make it through this, it’ll pay off.

For Rucker, the program is about showing the kids the community, and showing them another option other than gangs.

10 years, 10 million rides on the Red Line

Rider boarding MAX train at Portland International Airport MAX StationSince 2001, millions of airline travelers, airport employees and visitors have taken TriMet’s MAX Red Line to and from Portland International Airport. The Red Line was the first train-to-plane connection on the West Coast, built through a unique public/private partnership.

Learn more about the history of the Red Line and hear what riders say about it