Intercity Transit should be concerned about the future

June 18th, 2020 by Ken

Intercity Transit is in a bind.  It’s rolling in taxpayer money, but it’s losing ridership fast.

Most transit systems in the United States were losing riders before the Pandemic, but most systems will not get back a major portion of their former ridership because of the continuing concern.

But, Intercity Transit doesn’t care.  It had so much money before the Pandemic that it granted “Free” fares to everyone.  It doesn’t need fare revenue to continue to operate.  It can run buses completely empty for a decade and not be concerned about its revenue.

What it should be concerned about is the future of mass transit in Thurston County.

For years I’ve been telling Intercity Transit leadership that the days of large buses on fixed routes are as old as horse-drawn urban trains.  No one wants to ride behind a pile of horseshit.

Private transportation companies like Uber and Lyft are responding to the Pandemic by insuring covid-clean drivers and covid-clean riders.  Granted, they don’t serve everyone, but they do meet a need and have taken away millions of former transit riders.

If I were the leadership of Intercity Transit, I would use some of that taxpayer money to experiment with new ideas and concepts.  Eliminate big buses.  Register all regular users and let them call for daily service.  Challenge the concept and errors associated with the way they used to do business.  Don’t think outside the box, think outside the bus.

Posted in Business, Government, The Real News

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