Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Twin City Bus Riders Outraged
Over 25 Cent Proposed Increase
Last week, the Metropolitan Council (an unelected regulatory board made up of appointees) proposed raising bus fares by 25 cents. Minneapolis Star Tribune (If the link brings you to a "register for free before we let you read the story" page, just search on the post title).
The reaction to the proposed increase? Why, the bus riders are outraged:
At least 20 people in a row came forward with the same theme: You've heard this from everyone who spoke before me, but raising fares is a bad idea.
Opponents of the increase, which would go into effect Oct. 1, include Minneapolis' mayor, social service providers, advocates for greener living and everyday bus riders.
Though they have suggestions on other ways to get the money, they appear unlikely to change the outcome of the Met Council's planned vote on Aug. 13: a fare increase that would provide $7 million toward filling a $15 million deficit in the transit budget.
A second increase of 50 cents would be a possibility next year.
"Twenty-five cents is a big jump when you're paying $1.50 per ride," said Carol Kist, who gets to work in St. Paul on the bus. "If I have to pay 50 cents more a day to go 6 miles to work, it's going to be cheaper for me to drive."
It's funny, it is. Minnesota is one of the most heavily taxed states in the nation. The politicians here think nothing of raising income taxes, property taxes, business taxes, licensing fees and other levies. They say doing so is what gives us our "high quality of living." (Cough, cough, hack, hack).
But oh Good Christ Almighty, propose raising the bus fares and you are purely wicked and evil.
Minnesota State Senator John Marty - (ahem...) - a Democrat (and a very liberal one at that), proposes reducing all bus fares to no more than 25 cents. TC Daily Planet:
What if we tried a bold new approach to transit and transportation issues? Imagine what would happen if we reduced all transit fares to 25 cents per ride. Experience from around the country shows that ridership would soar. The biggest problem with such a change would be that Minnesota’s transit systems would be unable to handle all the passengers.
I wonder who would be responsible for paying the difference if all fares were reduced to only 25 cents? Well, Senator Marty has the answer:
...the public already pays well over three-fourths of the cost of the transit system, so lower fares take away only a small portion of the revenue.
Eventually, the "just a little bit more" all adds up. But Liberals never think about this.
Here's a bold idea: raise the bus fare by 25 cents.
I don't understand...a few years ago the Twin Cities Metropolitan area was told by folks like then-Governor Jesse Ventura and others that the answer to all of our transportation problems is investing millions and millions and millions into Light Rail. But it really hasn't seemed to provide much, if any, relief. Those who pitched Light Rail like it was the Holy Grail couldn't have been wrong, could they?
Yeah, drive ya loudmouths, and see how much $$$ you shell out then!
Having just returned from DC, I can tell you that we wasted more gas in all the stop and go traffic in the NoVa area than we did on the whole trip.
Yeah, 25 cents is too much for the bus riders? What a bunch of whiney crybabies.
Oh yeah, I read your blog daily and knew you and the family were on vaca. That must have been a learning experience on the varying prices of a gallon of gasoline in different areas.
I think both east and west coasts are damn near $5 a gallon.
But hey, Groovy, don't worry, Nancy Pelosi has a plan to lower the price and increase production.
(Cue HUGE LAUGH TRACK)
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