WES costs criticized

While the cost of running the WES has increased, TriMet says interest is still high.

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Critics of the five-month-old commuter train say the WES is a money drain, with high operating expenses; the cost per rider has risen from $16.44 to $25.53. But TriMet plans to increase daily boarding significantly by next February, although attracting more riders won’t help them break even.

TriMet is aiming to increase WES’ daily boardings, 1,180 in May, to 2,400 by next February. Meeting that goal would narrow the gap between operating costs and revenue, said John Charles, president of the Cascade Policy Institute. But it still wouldn’t get the system close to breaking even…

But then again, highways don’t pay for themselves either, said TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch. Although drivers don’t calculate the costs of maintaining and keeping Interstate 5 and Highway 217 running safely and smoothly in their commute, they’re still paying for the roadway system.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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