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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Tram

I promise not to get into the habit of posting a lot of random stuff unrelated to beer, but over the weekend, I took a trip on the new tram, so it can loosely be said to be a "Beervana-related" post. It is going to become a tourist attraction as much as a mode of transportation, and since it costs about the same price as a draft beer, I'll go ahead and recommend it as a tourist site.

To be clear, I really opposed this beast at the start. It connects a vastly wealthy community--the denizens of the future Waterfront district--to what I presume will be the workplace of many of them, the Oregon Health Sciences University. Four four bucks, they are saved the humiliation of riding with the rabble on my old bus, the 8. That's what we really needed, right? A $75 million dollar public transportation system to connect the rich to work and home.

Despite my unequivocal feelings on the matter in terms of public policy, I have to say that as a tourist attraction and theme park ride--well, it's actually pretty cool. You get an amazing view of the city--and probably Mount Hood on clear days. It is sleek and modern and industrial, and it has a little bit of the "Monorail!" quality from the Simpsons. Oooooh, futuristic.... (Groening would be proud.)

So anyway, here are a few crude phone cam pics. Enjoy!

The lower stanchion.

The Waterfront district, wherein the elite will reside.

Inside the silvery pod.

The silvery pod takes flight.

Flying over Beervana.


  1. A phone that takes pictures...what's next? (really nice, btw)

    I've been into the tram from the start. It's really cool. In the end, I'm disappointed that it was such a massive budget overrun (implying shady deals) and that the rich people get to ride for free. At least make them purchase a discounted Tri-Met pass through OHSU or something.

    Everything I know about the tram is hearsay.

  2. There are things government does that need to be justified and scrutinized (e.g. smokling bans), and then there are the things (often characterized as boondoggles) that simply lift the spirit.

    I think government does far too little of the latter. The statue of liberty, the monuments in washinton, museums, public art and things like the tram shold not be measured on an accountant's ledger but in the heart.

    I love it.