WES train is a success, will get better
It's unfortunate that Mr. Charles (Citizen View, July 24 "WES at 10") fails to recognize the successes of WES and decided it is a failure based on a simplistic cost-benefit calculation.
I think many, if not most, people in Wilsonville view WES as a success. Indeed, many comments on the Facebook page linked to this article were quite positive about WES and sought expansion to include increased hours and weekend service, not contraction. Here are some reasons why I believe it is a success.
¦ It helps alleviate traffic. Some 1,500 WES passengers a day would be traveling by car, but ride WES instead. That's a success. It not only helps alleviate traffic, it has a positive impact on the environment and helps mitigate accidents.
¦ It helps those in need. There are people who ride WES because they are not able to drive. This is typically due to economic realities, age, disability, etc. I have met many of them, and without WES they would not have been able to travel to work. Aside from doing the right thing and helping neighbors out, it also has an economic benefit.
¦ It brings increased value to Wilsonville. When we were researching neighborhoods before our move to Wilsonville several years ago, our primary criteria included: 1. education and 2. transportation. Although we have cars, we loved the idea of having access to a train (I use WES almost daily) It was part of our decision to move to this amazing neighborhood.
Is WES perfect and optimally cost effective? No, of course not. Hopefully in time we will get there.
Ten years in, the evolution of a train line is short, and if tolls are placed on Interstate 5, then it will likely result in very high ridership. If you haven't had a chance to ride WES yet, I highly encourage it. You can read, get on Wi-Fi and relax instead of dealing with the anxiety of traversing Highways I-5 and 217 during rush hour.
WES is worth every penny.
Mike Maoz is a Wilsonville resident.
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