You can’t get there from here…

…without a trip downtown first. So sayeth the sooths at TriMet’s web-based Trip Planner, anyway.

I love the TriMet website – for most things. That new Transit Tracker system, that tells me a real, live, specific bus will be at my stop in exactly 12 minutes, thanks to satellite tracking? Adore it. But I’ve learned to cast a skeptical eye at that Trip Planner.

Yesterday, for example, I was mapping out a simple route from inner SE to close-in NE. I already had a pretty good idea of which two buses I needed to take, and what stops I’d be using – just wanted a quick timeline without needing to visit the timetables for each bus.

If I’d gone by the itineraries Trip Planner gave me, I’d have been traveling downtown first for each and every one of the six routes it plotted out (including one that had me taking the first bus on my list southbound to downtown, to make the connection to my second bus.)

I know all about the hub and spoke system that is TriMet, believe me. I know how to work the search setup with precision (former researcher that I am.) And I managed to successfully get to my destination using my own investigative powers.

It’s just too bad that I couldn’t rely on Trip Tracker – unless I wanted a downtown scenic shopping tour, that is.

Wonder if TriMet’s in cahoots with the Portland Business Alliance here…?

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