Act Now! Tell TriMet that removing Fareless Square is not an option!

busartTriMet is once again considering taking away Fareless Square. TriMet along with the Portland Business Alliance are working on proposals that would range from dramatically overhauling Fareless Square geographically to charging $1 to ride downtown and to Lloyd Center.

The police, business alliance and TriMet have alluded to Fareless Square creating an atmosphere of lawlessness. They also point to the loss of revenue for TriMet, an estimated $800,000. We think the proposed changes are about greed and intolerance.

The proposed changes strike at the heart of what makes Portland unique. Portland’s downtown is not a lawless urban environment regardless of how many lobbyists the Portland Business Alliance hires to say so. And we think the loss of revenue that small and large businesses will incur with no Fareless Square will far outweigh the $800,000 in revenue for TriMet.

The Fareless Square system is a model that brings people together. Regardless of your class or culture, together we are able to move around the city’s core in a way that promotes and celebrates what we have in common, not our differences. Fareless Square must stay.

What you can do: Call (503.962.4910) or email (pr@trimet.org) TriMet Public Relations office and tell them you want to Fareless Square to remain the same – free and welcoming for all.

16 responses to “Act Now! Tell TriMet that removing Fareless Square is not an option!

  1. It’s got NOTHING to do with lawlessness!
    It’s got to do with MONEY!
    TRIMET is cutting services all over its region.
    They can’t be cutting service on one hand and giving away free service on the other!

  2. Al M – I respectfully disagree. Yes, it’s true that money is an issue and projects in the pipeline are many – but at the end of the day – TriMet along with others have been waiting for the past year to make a move on this, and their posturing has largely been about how people (mostly homeless) abuse the system and create public safety hazards.

    More so, they project an 800K loss of revenue – I would love to see the study that shows how downtown’s overall economy would be effected by losing Fareless Square – I may be wrong, but I bet it’s a whole lot more than 800K…

    – Israel Bayer

  3. Hey I just wanted to give a little update, Trimet is asking that we call: (503)238-7433. From there you get a menu and one of the options (i think it is 3) is to leave comments, I thought it would be a recording, but it was a live person who took my info and “passed” it to the development committee. Of course people should still feel free to e-mail as well.

  4. TriMet is holding a series of Open Houses over the next week or so. This is an additional opportunity to challenge TriMet’s arguments for reducing Fareless Square service and to explain how changes in Fareless Square will affect you.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 4-7 p.m.
    Portland Building, Room C
    1120 SW 5th Ave.
    Portland, OR 97204

    Thursday, February 26, 2009, 4-7 p.m.
    Clackamas Town Center (vacant store formerly The Icing, near Sears on the 1st floor of Mall)
    12000 SE 82nd Ave.
    Happy Valley, OR 97086

    Friday, February 27, 2009, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Portland State Office Building, Room 1E (Lloyd District)
    800 NE Oregon St.
    Portland, OR 97232

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 4-7 p.m.
    Beaverton City Hall/Council Chambers
    4755 SW Griffith Dr.
    Beaverton, OR 97005

  5. Pingback: Open houses scheduled to consider the fate of Fareless Square « For those who can’t afford free speech

  6. Thanks Brian and Flaneur for the updates…

  7. There are lots of reasons to dump fareless square.

    It bogs down the transit system.

    People trying to get out of fareless square are blocked from getting on buses by people riding fareless square.

    And, the police have a very good reason for wanting fareless dumped, and they have no agenda other than law enforcement.

    http://www.kptv.com/news/18749991/detail.html

  8. “People trying to get out of fareless square are blocked from getting on buses by people riding fareless square.”

    You’re smoking crack!

    And the police, well, every month so you see there is a crime wave in one neighborhood due to an enforcement strategy in the next. Downtown is seeing an increase in crime because of this – NOT because of Fareless Square.

    Besides downtown Portland is one of the safest urban cores in America – if you really want me to believe that I should feel unsafe in my own community because of the bus system than please share some of what you’re smoking w/me – cuz I don’t believe it for one minute.

    – Israel Bayer

  9. The whole transit system is bogged down by fare less square.

    You know more about crime than the police eh?

    Who’s smoking what around here?

  10. Please give me prime examples of how the transit system is bogged down by Fareless Square. Or are you just saying it tries your patience to have to wait on people who use the system? Give examples, please…

    I know enough about what’s happening in my neighborhood and on downtown streets to know that the transit system is not at the heart of crime downtown – same crime exists in areas where there is no Fareless Square.

    And yes, it is my opinion that the spin coming out of the police bureau and the PBA on this issue specifically is about politics and greed. It’s good ole boy 101…

  11. Downtown crime stats reflect a 6.9% decrease over reported periods 1/07-12/07 vs 1/08-12/08. The “crime wave” certainly isn’t reflected in the downtown “fairless” core. Maybe we should try fairless square in Gresham.

  12. I don’t drive in downtown anymore.
    But I have very clear memories of driving an 8 bus heading to NE Portland that was so full of FARE LESS square folks that people that wanted to GET OUT of fareless COULD NOT get on the bus.

    People ride used to ride two blocks, which of course bogs down the system.

    The transit system is not a carnival ride!

  13. sorry for grammatical errors but I am in a rush today

  14. thelittleprincessofiris

    Hi —

    I used to be against any change in the Fareless Square, and I testified against it before a public hearing early 2008. Now I am in support of the PBA-backed change to the fareless service. The dynamics will shift dramatically once the north-south MAX corridor opens on 5th/6th couplet. Combined with all MAX lines and the streetcar, all Fareless Square will be within four blocks of a rail station. With train services more frequent than buses, the opening of the new transit mall MAX would eliminate needs for free bus service.

    The argument that Fareless Square speeds up bus services downtown would not hold in Portland, where unlike in Seattle passengers do not pay as they deboard on outbound trips.

    In any case, what is proposed now is far less toxic than what Fred Hansen originally came up with last year.

  15. Great information to help keep our city progressive and unique. Thanks. 😉

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