Thursday 19 November 2015

When it rains...

Since arriving in Portland on Saturday evening, I am yet to see the “world class” transport system Portland boasts.  Being stuck on the light rail for nearly two and a half hours, shows me that even a world class system has it faults, with Portland’s namely severe weather events, delays and electronic faults. All three of these faults are sometimes out of a person’s hands, as they cannot do anything to prevent it. On Saturday, Portland experienced an anomaly in its weather pattern, by having record rainfall in a single day in 4 years. In many ways, the light rail system in Portland is very similar to Melbourne’s Metro train system, as there are delays, electronic faults and delays when there is a severe weather events mainly being extremely hot weather. Although there are only five routes of the light rail and two routes of the streetcar, the transport system seems to serve Portland well, with most of the routes travelling from the city centre to the outer suburbs such as Milwaukie and the Airport. When the streetcar has a delay in the system, the issue affects the entire route as the streetcar is on one continuous loop, making significant delays for commuters. Unlike Melbourne, Portland has a tram route to the airport, which allows for easy access from Portland’s city centre to anywhere in the United States of America. Portland operates with a commission based government which is guided by the mayor of Portland, Charlie Hales and four commissioners. Portland has the only metropolitan planning organisation in the United States of America called Metro. The city is considered to be an environmentally conscious city in the world due to its high volume of walkability, large community of cyclists, wide range of transport options and a large number of parks.

Steven Oscari


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