Intercity Transit makes national news

January 16th, 2020 by Ken

Intercity Transit has made the pages of The Wall Street Journal because of its decision to eliminate fares for all transit riders.  But, its in good company.  It joins the like of Boston and Kansas City which have also decided that all transit riders should ride free.

In an effort to boost ridership, transit systems across the country are looking seriously at eliminating fares.  All transit systems in the United States (with the exception of Seattle) saw a significant drop in ridership.  Last statistics available for 2018 show that transit systems in the United States lost 34,000,000 riders that year.  Our own Intercity Transit also lost riders.

Intercity Transit General Manager told The Wall Street Journal that a recent ballot measure approved by the voters allow the system to start offering free service.  Manzanares said that fares from paying passengers amounted to $2.7 million dollars in annual revenue.  Much of that was offset by the costs to manage fare collections.

The decline in recent ridership is due to competition in the marketplace ranging from electric scooters to ride-hailing services like Uber, The Journal said.

Generational changes from Millennials who use digital forms of communications instead of physical movement, also contributed to the decline.  Intercity Transit depended on ridership from The Evergreen State College which showed a significant drop from previous years.

Editors note:  Voters were kind to Intercity Transit system and gave it a big tax boost.  Instead of embracing new technology and new methods of transportation, it threw a hail Mary pass in hopes of stopping its ridership decline.  Throwing money at the problem, won’t solve the problem.  Intercity Transit needs board members who can see the future.  And the future is not more buses on fixed routes going round and round all day.  And it surely isn’t offering free rides.  It just takes some leadership and some future thinking.


Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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