Money. All of it.

Blog coverage sponsored by Drive Less Connect, ODOT’s sweet new carpool matching service.

I’m not going to lie: this infographic, long in the planning, turned out to be far more difficult to produce than I dreamed.

I think it’s worth the wait. It’s a 2-D visualization of all the money sloshing around Portland’s transportation system.

infographic web thumbnail

The inspiration was this even bigger project by the webcomic xkcd.

It’s not about setting priorities or dictating solutions. It’s about helping you to make those decisions for yourself.

Three things I learned while making it:

  • Even after fares go up, it will still be cheaper to ride the Green Line to Lents than to buy enough beef jerky to pedal there.
  • Despite all the chatter, TriMet bus operator compensation is only 6 percent above average among similarly sized agencies. (However, this doesn’t include health benefits in retirement, something TriMet has promised its employees up the wazoo.)
  • TriMet’s 2012 budget, including rail construction, would theoretically be enough to rent every transit commuter in the City of Portland a personal stretch limo to drive to work every weekday all year, plus a free Stumptown coffee for the morning ride. (Though not enough to build the extra highway lanes this would require.)

It’s best viewed in Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 9 or on a tablet. Enjoy.

If you really enjoy it, you can check out the sources here – and order a limited-run 11×17 print of the poster (the lower half of this infographic) for your wall here. Guaranteed to prove the geek credentials of any Portland room for just $8.

Creative Commons money photo in the infographic by Andrew Magill.

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