Letters to the Editor

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TRANSIT: Don’t underestimate the importance of bus service

Letter by Alinda Sue Harrison, Tacoma on June 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm with 10 Comments »
June 16, 2010 9:18 am

Re: “Bus riders have to adjust like the rest of us” (letters blog, 6-15).

I ride the bus with my son once a week out of choice, not need. We also live and usually travel in an area that will not be affected as much by the proposed reductions in service.

Unfortunately, riders like myself are in the minority. Many of the bus riders are elderly or disabled people who can’t drive or lower income people who can’t afford a car. Also equally important are people who can drive, but choose to ride the bus to lessen our dependence on oil and decrease the commuter congestion impacting our freeways.

We have already dealt with increased fares this last year and are already seeing proposals for more fare increases. We may grumble, but it’s something that we already deal with. What we can’t deal with are many of the proposed reductions in service. Half the routes would be totally cut leaving those outside the main service routes who can’t drive stranded, and those who choose to drive will be forced back into their cars to again add to the daily congestion.

If you think the bus system is highly subsidized now, wait until the disabled people who are stranded find themselves having to rely on the even more heavily subsidized shuttle system to get them anywhere!

I’d rather pay the extra one-third cent sales tax.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. readingthelatest says:

    “……… or lower income people who can’t afford a car.”

    Now I just did some quick math (nothing scientific).

    Average ride = $2.00
    Round trips to work per week = 5 (x2) [Assuming riders have a job...]
    Round trips shopping per week = 2 (x2)

    Total transportation cost to rider= $1456 per year

    Average monthly vehicle payment= $400
    Average monthly auto insurance= $75

    Total yearly cost= $5700!!

    And that’s not counting the cost of maintenance and fuel. Of course, I am forced to pay for such subsidies even though the bus doesn’t run to my job at the times required to get me there on time. Hence, I have a vehicle.

    All of that to say, “WHAAAAAA!!” Pay more to RIDE.

  2. tubbythetuba says:

    Pay to play, dangit. Taxpayers are already subsidizing each single ride to the tune of more than 10 dollars each fare paid. Enough is enough. Increase fares.

  3. tubbythetuba says:

    Stick to the people going to Seattle to work…they save so much on housing living down and working up there that they can MORE than afford to pay three or four times what they do now. I live and work in Spanaway, and the bus service stops at 224th E, and up and down PacAve is the only place it goes. I’ve been biking to work on nice days because it costs so much to drive already.

  4. LuckyCharm says:

    rtl, everyone benefits from a robust public transportation system. Even if you don’t use it yourself — although you might if enough route options were available to make it practical for you — you still benefit from the decreased air pollution and traffic congestion. Imagine if each of those bus riders was one more car on the road, all the extra traffic, accidents, etc. It makes perfect sense to subsidize public transportation if you drive or even breathe our air.

  5. LivinLaVidaTacoma says:

    In response to the tubbythetuba who said:

    “Stick to the people going to Seattle to work…they save so much on housing living down and working up there that they can MORE than afford to pay three or four times what they do now.”

    The reason I work in Seattle is that I can not find a job in Tacoma (or the South Sound Region for that matter). Not for lack of trying either. With the high price of gas/maintenance/insurance/parking it’s not financially feasible to drive to work. For those who choose to drive – the more vehicles on the roads means it’s going to take you longer to get to and from work and will drive up the cost of gas for you as you will be sitting in traffic.

    So for someone who rides their bike to work because the bus does not provide service for them and they can’t afford to drive to work (even though they live in and work in the same city) I wonder why you want to stick it a group of people who probably are working in Seattle (or other points North) because that’s where the jobs are.

    All of us need to share in the cost of maintaining and improving the infrastructure. Whether or not you drive or use public transit.

  6. “All of us need to share in the cost of maintaining and improving the infrastructure…”

    Yup… unfortunately fewer and fewer people carry the burden…

  7. Sumner401 says:

    How can we reduce or dependence on oil if we don’t have a good public transportation system?
    Cake and eat it too people, cake and eat it too.

  8. tubbythetuba says:

    You should see public transportation in South Korea, for example. Buses run every few minutes. I haven’t been there for awhile, but you could get on a bus for a quarter. If you knew the streets and where you were going you could naviate the country for pennies. The trains were almost as good. Pierce County and Sound Transit are BIG JOKES, do not serve any use to most of the people, and cost too much to operate. Geeeez, how many school-type buses could you put on the road for the price of one of those Mega-Million Super Coaches?? Get real, you Politicans (and the idiot press that supports them).

  9. Ask Ray Nagin about the value of buses.. ;)

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