The weather’s been neither too hot nor too cold, so Tri-Met’s light rail “trains” should have been running perfectly. Alas…heading at slow speed into the Lloyd Center station in east Portland yesterday, a car inexplicably derailed, shutting down the lines and sending one person to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
Service delays of up to an hour resulted as buses were pressed in to move stranded passengers; it took crews four hours to “re-track” the offending car, and the development agency remains unsure as to what caused the derailment. They’re “looking at” all kinds of stuff, though: the car, the tracks, the switches, the alignment of the stars, whether a plastic bag might have been on the tracks, and more.
No word on what sort of delays might be expected if a bus were to derail.
But having had yet another Very Bad Week, the development agency is “apologizing” by offering free rides on their light rail “trains” all day on Monday, August 18. Unfortunately, those few who hold passes will not have an extra day credited to their accounts; the free rides apply only to those who generally don’t pay to ride anyway, and to the occasional rider who might otherwise have had to purchase a ticket on Monday. Oh, and no free bus rides, either.
Screw the pass-holders and the bus-riders.
Actually, since it’s hard to say exactly what you’ll encounter when riding Tri-Met’s light rail (gang-bangers, derailments, heat slowdowns, pedestrian roadkills, collisions, and more are often on the menu), they should probably charge a premium for riding the things. After all, it works at theme parks.