Portland- The City of Possibilities
TriMet is one of the main providers of transportation in Portland. One of the main sustainable points is obvious, they provide a form of transportation for Portland area residents and visitors, at an affordable price, alternative to each person driving separately and producing CO2 from their vehicles. Doing so provides better air quality and decreased traffic congestion. One of TriMet’s goals as a transit system is to meet the increasing needs of transportation in the community and to connect land use and transportation in order to reduce the regions ecological footprint. TriMet works hard to select earth-friendly products and design principles to support a healthy community. TriMet is forced with daily sustainability challenges figuring out how to maintain and operate their vehicles. According to the article, TriMet gauges their progress towards sustainability by, “promoting human and ecosystem health by improving air quality, addressing global warming and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Services are affordable, attractive and efficient, while offering safer choices of types of transportation and supporting a healthy regional economy. Services limit emissions and waste by continually reducing the resources we use, using renewable resources when possible and finding alternatives to nonrenewable resources. Services support equal access to transit and the social and economic opportunities it provides, while avoiding unequal harm to community members’ environmental quality.”
TriMet’s sustainability Policy is all about curtailing, or buying less, using less, wanting less, and wasting less. The main idea of TriMet is to downsize the consumption of fossil fuels by running a transportation service that allows people to reduce their carbon emissions by taking public transportation. Now, this wouldn’t work if just a few people participated in it, because TriMet’s system still emits a good amount of CO2, but it helps when many people use this form of transportation because the emissions from TriMet are less than what the emissions would be if the people riding it each drove their own CO2 emitting car. Since TriMet will run whether 500 people are on the train or 400, it’s better to have that 500 because the train will be running anyways. According to Plan C, people are conservers rather than consumers, along with the idea that they view conservation efforts as insufficient. Although TriMet runs an efficient business and helps in the reduction of CO2 emissions, it isn’t the solution to our climate change problem. TriMet’s system is an implied permanent societal change, as suggested in Plan C, but can continue to be bettered as a standard of living.