It was as if an enormous weight was lifted - the weight of more that $640,000 a year.
That's what happened when the TriMet Board of Directors agreed to remove the Boring area from the regional transportation district. The withdrawal won't take effect for another year, but it's a done deal.
The Sandy Post and The Gresham Outlook (which share Boring in their coverage areas) have been solidly behind chief petitioner Steve Bates throughout this long process. We've been impressed by Bates' tenacity as he left no stone unturned on his mission to convince TriMet to let Boring go.
It was a decision that made sense: Boring's TriMet ridership was all but nonexistent, and we've been told the small number of Boring-area residents who use TriMet's door-to-door LIFT buses (people with disabilities) have other options.
In the end, there simply was no justification for imposing $640,000 in annual taxes in Boring-area businesses.
TriMet's board members Craig Prosser, who represents Clackamas County, and Steve Clark were particularly helpful in their recognition of the mismatch of TriMet's city-based busing service trying to operate in a rural setting. The support of Prosser and Clark helped the TriMet board achieve its unanimous decision.
In the end, Boring area businesses will no longer pay for dismal service, and the people of Boring won't even notice the difference.
We are however, still somewhat concerned about the fate of the 20-or-so Boring-area residents who use the TriMet LIFT service. We've heard through Bates' testimony before the TriMet board that these folks have alternatives through other programs. But we would hate to learn this decision has left people homebound.
In the year leading up to Boring's Jan. 1, 2013, withdrawal from the TriMet district, we hope to hear in full detail how these folks will be served. If it turns out that TriMet's exit does leave people without transportation options, we hope the residents of Boring begin the process of designing and funding their own public option.