Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Reduced bus service
I can deal with it just fine, except that before I was able to catch a bus every 30 minutes, and now it's only every hour, and Sunday service across the entire county has been eliminated. I have a car and can drive if I have to, but what about those who were using the bus to get to work on Sundays, or church? They are now out of luck.
There was a public hearing about the cuts to bus service, and one way or the other the county was going to have to reduce service by about 14%, and cutting one full day of service was the best way to go, since fewer bus drivers and other staff would have to be laid off and everything can be closed for the day. Now they are looking at eliminating transfers, which means every time someone gets on the bus it will cost them $1, even if they are transferring to another route to get across town.
For me, as a senior, I only pay $35 for a quarterly pass that I can use for unlimited rides from the Canadian border all the way down to Mt. Vernon. But for those who use the bus to get to work and are not yet 65, they pay double that amount for a quarterly pass. At the bus stop this morning, I talked with a woman who uses the bus to get across town. She will still pay a $1 each for two buses to get to work, because her husband picks her up at the end of the day and works out to be cheaper than spending $70 for a quarterly pass, or $25 for a monthly pass.
The hard part, to me, is that whenever there are cuts to be made, the reductions in service hit the people who are least able to afford them. The gap between rich and poor grows wider, and more and more cars are forced onto the road, whether or not someone wants to use the bus. It's a vicious cycle, don't you think?