Intercity Transit has an embarrassment of riches

December 6th, 2019 by Ken

That’s a correct statement.  Thanks to the generosity of the voters, Intercity Transit has more money than it knows what to do with it.

A couple of years back, the transit agency went to the polls and asked the voters for a 2/10th increase in the state sales tax to fund transit operations.  Thanks to a strong economy the coffers are full.  So, to reward those who take transit, the agency has decided to make all rides – – Free.

Starting on January 1, 2020, no one will have to pay to ride the bus.  It’s free to everyone, the regular transit rider, the college student, the homeless, the young, everyone, will be able to ride Intercity Transit without a look back.

I see nothing wrong with this.  Fare box revenue makes up a very small percentage of the transit system’s budget.   What I object to is the ignorance of the voters who approved more money for the system in the first place.

Two years ago, when the measure was on the ballot, I argued against the tax increase.  I even wrote the voter’s statement in opposition in the Voters Pamphlet.    I pointed out that transit ridership was down, all across the United States.  Some 30 million people had stopped riding transit.  Even ridership at Intercity Transit was down.

I argued that sending large buses on set routes on a regular basis was 20th Century thinking.  We’re now two decades into the 21st Century and our local transit system still operates like it’s 1992.  It has yet to fully adopt the new technology.

I’m no transit expert, but I do know when government agencies are operating without any idea of where they’re going, how they’re going there, and even if they really want to go there.

So they give a handout to transit riders, cast their eyes downward when they pass non-transit riders, snicker at the gullibility of the voters, and keep trying to find ways to spend the money.

 

Posted in Government, The Real News


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