Today was spent more time on foot than on transit taking time to check out near the downtown area. I had the opportunity to check out south, west and north of downtown including the Pearl District. However, I did make some trips on MAX and bus service.
Yesterday I missed riding the new Siemens S70 cars (or are they S90's?). These are the newest cars in the Tri-Met system and will soon be in service in Utah. However, today I finally was able to ride them not once but twice.
Riding both the older Siemens low floor cars that Tri-Met purchased for the opening of the westside line back in the mid-1990's and these new cars are better than comparable low floor buses and don't seem to suffer from the same downsides as on the bus side except for lower capacity.
One interesting aspect of the Portland cars is that only one side of the car has a operator cab. Since Tri-Met runs nothing but two car trains due to how short their blocks are, it made since to save the money and increase capacity by doing away with the second cab controls.
Tri-Met is able to save money by not requiring all the controls and electronics that are required in a cab and increases capacity in the car. UTA does not have this option since they can run up to 4 cars in rush hour but at other times can run anywhere from one to three cars. It is interesting to ride in an area that would be a operator cab if it was operated by any other light rail system.
Tomorrow I hope to have the opportunity to ride Tri-Mets WES commuter rail line in addition to going to my first Railvolution event which is a mobile workshop on Portland's maturing streetcar neighborhoods. It ought to be very interesting.