Saturday, June 29, 2019

Where Did Patrick Go?

Hello, friends.

I bet you're all wondering where I disappeared to. Well, actually, you probably just forget I exist. Since the TriMet Dark Ages ended and things got back to somewhat reasonable again, I really had nothing to gripe about. Which is good, because who (other than our dear friend Erik) really likes griping?

I actually rode a bus today. Which is a bit of a shocker because I have actually moved on the world of aviation.

I love planes! They're like buses in the sky.

But I still love TriMet, though I'm not so OCD about it. (It's hard to be when you're busy trying to memorize the tail number of every commercial plane in the United States.) So, yes, I keep up with everything. I just don't spend 10-20 hours a week riding it like I did when I was in college.

Truth is, TriMet has improved drastically in the last ten years. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since the great service cut disaster of 2009. The 76 is actually going Frequent Service this year, and that's only ten years late.

Still, TriMet, like any company, isn't perfect. If you follow along with our dear friend Henry Beasley (this time, I didn't mean that sarcastically; Henry is a friend to everyone), you will find that operator assaults are at an all-time high. And while I believe that it can't be completely avoided due to the varying levels of mental health in the people that transit transports, the agency has been slothful at doing anything about it.

If the agency would put a little more visible and genuine emphasis on the safety of operators, I think most people would be content with TriMet as an agency.

But it is a nice thing to be able to trust the agency like I did when I was 6 and started memorizing the MAX stations. I don't think it's a coincidence that once most of the management people left, the agency improved. That change removed a weight off of my shoulders and allowed me to enjoy it again. And then I found planes, and as they say, the rest is history.

And for anyone wondering, Lane Jensen is alive and doing well. He's still my best friend and I talk to him pretty much every day. And maybe once every few weeks, we actually talk about TriMet.

So you might hear from me a little more going forward. I have a lot of fun things I'd like to post here, and maybe I'll actually take the time needed to post it. But there are no guarantees.

Cheers to you all. Maybe you'll see me at an airport somewhere, where I usually hang out and watch planes for 3-10 hours at a time (with a valid ticket, of course).


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