free youth all-zone TriMet pass for high school students, saying "So,
why are we letting TriMet shortchange us on a widely endorsed proposal
to give free public bus rides to Portland-area students?"
Remember the recent teenage gang attacks on MAX passengers at two
Yellow Line stations?
If I borrow Fred Hansen's nefarious argument, giving those teens a
pass to free ride will encourage mobility among the criminal elements
to fine places such as Forest Grove, Troutdale and Oregon City...and
even Hazel Dell. Maybe that's why Hansen & Co. isn't really into this.
But somehow, there are lots of people with influence who promote this
idea of handing out free TriMet passes to all high school students:
including gangsters and spoiled brats of a super-wealthy parent alike.
Yet they are not necessarily advocating a regional reduced fare permit
for low-income persons (such as those in Washington State, including
in Sound Transit, METRO, Pierce Transit, C-TRAN, etc.) or a
system-wide fareless square. In essence, any argument for continued
fare increase or an elimination of Fareless Square is nothing short of
a full-scale class war and social cleansing attempt upon the growing
class of the poor and/or unhoused people. This is even more crucial
today because the availability of affordable housing is limited in the
inner city -- and the people are being pushed out to the outskirts
such as Parkrose, Rockwood, Milwaukie and Gresham.
Fareless Square is not merely an issue of TriMet policymaking; it is
an integral part of a holistic urban planning and transportation
policies of Portland, Metro, Multnomah County, ODOT as well as TriMet.
The unelected body known as TriMet should not be able to unilaterally
make such decisions that would cause a major impact on the dynamics of