It was the worst of commutes, it was the even-worse of commutes.
Mine: Trudged (through five more inches’ worth of snow than any forecast had predicted) for twenty minutes to reach a MAX station at which dozens of people had already been waiting for quite some time, only to wait another twenty minutes for a train to arrive. (Note that three outbound trains’ operators made a point of assuring us that an inbound train would arrive “in a few minutes.” Few. Right.) Train arrived, it’s SRO of course, the floors were slick with snowmelt, it’s dark, the windows were fogged, but hey at least we were moving, right? Wrong. Each of the first six stops after I boarded involved a wait of some sort… including one which lasted twenty minutes… during which the operator left the train for about ten of those minutes. Eventually the train chugged its way to downtown Portland, through which the going was dreadfully slow due to a combination of problems on the Steel Bridge and idiot drivers who thought nothing of blocking a train’s path so they could sit partway through an intersection.
Transit time totals? Twenty minutes’ walk plus twenty minutes’ wait plus ninety minutes on the train itself (boarded at 5:40, disembarked at 7:10) plus the rest of the walk home equals two hours thirty minutes.
Which is nothing. Because…
Kylanath’s: Get off work at 3:40-ish. Arrive at bus stop to find people already waiting for a bus… any bus of several… to arrive. These people have phones with which they check Tri-Met’s transit tracking system, and with which they call Tri-Met, only to hear nothing about problems with any of the scheduled lines which service that stop. Lather, rinse, repeat… for four solid hours. Finally a bus, any bus, arrives. At 8:00pm. Driven by the driver who normally shows up at 4:00. After an unusual route through ugly-as-hell traffic, arrive downtown after 9pm and choose not to race for a #9 which might have serviced Broadway but probably was going to whip around at Union Station and head out Powell again. Instead, board a Green Line MAX train… which switches to being a Blue Line train at Union Station! (I imagine several passengers were a smidgen… annoyed.) A slow slog across the river and a massive delay at Rose Quarter later, and finally get off the train around 10:00.
Transit time totals: Let’s call it a quarter hour of getting to the bus stop, four hours waiting for a bus, another couple of hours actually riding vehicles, and another quarter hour walking home from the train station for a grand total of six hours thirty minutes.
In short: Way to go, Tri-Met! You were so very prepared, weren’t you?
(No, seriously, how do you not service a stop for four hours? Without adding any of the routes which service that stop on your so-called “service alerts” page, even? THE HELL.)
So, that was our Snowpocalypse 2009 experience. What about you?