34 million people stopped doing this last year?

October 2nd, 2018 by Ken

Riding mass transit.  That’s right, 34,000,000 people in the United States stopped riding mass transit systems all around the country.  Every mass transit system in every major city lost ridership.  (With the exception of Seattle which is growing by 5000 people each month – and spending billions of taxpayer dollars to move them.)

Even our own Intercity Transit system lost ridership last year.

Mass transit systems, where buses, trains and other large vehicles travel on a set route, moving people from one location to another without regard to need or speed came about more than 200 years ago.  Mass transit was founded in the 19th Century, revised in the 20th Century and obsolete in the 21st Century.

The 34 million ridership drop (figures from 2016) came about because of technology.  Modern private transit systems like Uber and Lyft account for the majority of the drop-off in transit ridership.  Rental bicycles, scooters and other mobile devices account for the remainder.

Modern mass transit systems are an anachronism, obsolete and a waste of taxpayer money.

Intercity Transit just received a federal grant of more than $9 million dollars to enlarge and improve its service center on Pattison Street and the Olympia Transit Center.   But, it’s still going out for more money from local taxpayers.

The local transit system is asking for a 4/10th percent increase in the local sales tax to bring the total sales tax to nearly 10 percent.   This is the largest tax increase in the four decades IT has been in existence.  While it spells out how it will use of some of the money, it isn’t able to be specific on how it will spend the rest.

Mass transit systems are out of touch with modern technology and the decline in ridership.   While looking at the same old concept – – buses and trains on fixed routes, – – it’s lost touch with the need for individual transit requirements.  While  private industry is eating away at its ridership, transit systems refuse to even look at new models of transportation – – relying on federal, state and local taxpayers to prop up an obsolete system bound for the ash heap of history.

Locally we need new blood and new ideas at Intercity Transit that look into the future instead of holding on to the past.

Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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