While waiting for the Blue Line on my way to work on a rainy day in the middle of October, I took some pictures of a Red Line train that pulled into the station. Two weeks later my entire team got laid off, and even if I can find a job in the Portland area it’s most likely I’ll have to drive to get there. It took me a while to edit these pictures as it made me sad to look at them, knowing my time on the MAX is likely over. I rode the trains the majority of the fifteen years we’ve lived in Portland, and while it wasn’t always a happy relationship during stretches when the service wasn’t reliable, in general it took a lot of stress out of my daily commute.
As Goes the MAX, Go I
I take the MAX light rail to work most of the time, so during our winter storms I often decide to go to work or take vacation time based on how well the train is running. The day after our big snow the trains were running well so I went back to work, my hat’s off to everyone who made that possible. It takes me a lot longer to commute on the train than by car but it is much less stressful. I did take some time off later due to ice, typically our biggest problem in the winter.
These pictures are taken at the 7th Avenue station, where I board the train in the morning and get off in the evening. It’s about a 15 or 20 minute walk from our house. That walk is also the most dangerous part of my life, especially the busy streets near the station, I had to jump back on the sidewalk on Thursday when a semi blatantly ran a red light at high speed. I drove on Friday since protests were likely to shut down the trains during my evening commute (and they did) but when I got in the car in the morning, it hit me how much I miss the car but not the drive. I love driving but the traffic makes it miserable. I’m very thankful for these trains, I just wish I didn’t have to deal with cars to get to them.
Many of these posts are written on the train, but it’s a Saturday morning so I’m writing this one on the couch.