Friday, March 03, 2006

Who Cares about Transit?

I do. The people who use mass transit care about it. They care about dedicated funding so that their costs aren't too high and so that they have enough service routes that it makes it worthwhile to use the bus(or train/subway/trolley in Philly). However, in Reading, they are contemplating cutting BARTA service up to 30% to deal with a lack of funding, despite rider increases over the past few years. People are using bus service in Reading more often, and so they will be greeted with a scaled-down, more sporadic system on top of an already iffy system they HAVE been using. The lack of sense this makes is amazing. Even SEPTA isn't this bad.

Now, one solution is to charge the elderly during off-peak hours. The elderly are a large percentage of customers, and charging them even a quarter a ride would help. The current fare system lets them ride for free. While noble, there is no dedicated funding so we must get funding from anywhere possible. However, the major priority is to get some funding, whether it is part of the gas tax, or out of general funds, or whatnot, to get this system up to snuff so that more riders will want to use the system and then the dedicated funding won't be needed as much.

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