Like several PSU students, I take the MAX to school. It’s an efficient way to commute. It takes me about 50 minutes to get to campus from Gresham City Hall. Some advantages of taking the MAX are, saving money on gas and getting free parking at several MAX stations. Occasionally, I like to work the system and drive to the Lloyd Center and park for free there, then hop on the MAX in the free fare zone to campus. It’s free parking and public transportation… hard to beat that!
However, taking this public transportation can be an uncomfortable experience. The MAX is used by many individuals, including strange creepy people who make you feel on edge. I have lost track of the amount of times I had to get up and move to a different seat or get off the MAX and get on a different train. I have also noticed that a lot of young women put up with stranger’s inappropriate behavior by staring out the window or plugging in their iPods. We often see strangers meeting on a train or subway in movies and falling in love. However, in reality most people do their best to avoid any kind of contact with others aboard the MAX.
In order to change this pattern and create a safer environment, TriMet needs to step it up with more security. Although there are security cameras, I rarely see police or TriMet security on board. This is leading to increased crime rates at MAX stations and instilling fear in the public.
What’s your experience commuting on TriMet to PSU?