Some readers here know that MAX FAQs has a Twitter account, which is primarily used to link to new content on the blog. However, I’ve sometimes posted things or linked to other interesting content on Twitter without mentioning it here. Then I realized that those of you who have been only following along with the blog were missing out, so here are some items from Twitter that you might find interesting:
First, test your knowledge! How many MAX stops can you name in 10 minutes? No extra credit given if you can do each line in order, but regular commuters should have an easy time with at least part of this.
Also worth the read at TriMet Diaries by Dr Jeff is “The Tunnel: Threat or Menace?” I like the tunnel – it is a technological marvel, but I also understand that for a lot of passengers, it’s their least favorite part of the commute.
I’ve got a lot of pictures that I haven’t figured out how to work into one post or another. This is one of them, and it’s a perspective most people don’t get to see.
In Wakayama, Japan, a cat named Tama was named stationmaster of an unmanned railway station. According to Wikipedia, the position comes with a hat and she’s paid in cat food. She has an office (a converted ticket booth) and her primary duty is to greet passengers. Not a bad gig if you can get it, I guess.
Over at Reddit, Portlanders discuss their transit fantasy line wish lists. Not all of it is TriMet related, but an interesting post for transportation wonks.
Bill Lascher started a project riding different TriMet lines and blogging about them. It doesn’t look like it’s been updated in a while, but you can listen to his entry on the west side portion of the Blue Line.
WordPress provides some basic stats for bloggers, including how many visits there are per day/week/month, which pages were visited and which links were clicked, and what search terms people put into various search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) that brought them to your blog. I always like seeing the search terms – often they’re TriMet specific (“how fast does trimet max go”), sometimes they’re general rail terms (“insulated joint”, “train dynamic brakes”), sometimes it’s the sort of thing Amazon.com calls “statistically improbable phrases” (“service chickens”), and sometimes it’s things like this:
Graphic designer takes on map of TriMet rail system, and in my opinion, greatly improves it. More detailed pictures available at his blog.
Firefighters periodically do training drills at the yards (link goes to a Portland Fire & Rescue blog post with pictures of a drill at Ruby) to familiarize themselves with the trains and practice how to rescue a person who has been struck by the train and is trapped under it. During a drill this past June, they were called into action when a person was struck by a train on Burnside.
And finally, I liked this post from Punkrawker Blogs On: “Driving a Bus Is” I think it applies to transportation operators in general, not just bus operators, and it’s a nice overview of what it’s like.