Saturday, May 08, 2004
Protesters at VTA's Thursday board meeting threatened to stop riding if VTA raises fares in January as planned. Those threats have always been empty. Fare hikes result in few people actually finding alternate transportation. They either have no other alternatives or realize that even with higher fares, riding the bus still results in a lower out-of-pocket expense than driving or taking a cab.
"VTA's paltry farebox recovery -- as the measure is known in the transit industry -- is a key reason why it has a financial crisis that has led to layoffs and deep cuts in service."
What does affect how many people use the bus system is the level of service. When the board cuts routes and schedules, people are forced to find other ways to get to and from. In a recent propaganda flyer, Tucker said he wants all employees to render world-class service. He should lead by example before he makes demands like that. When drivers are handed an action plan that reduces service, the result is drastic reductions in the number of people able or willing to use VTA for their transportation needs.
Ridership has dropped 40%. That has nothing to do with drivers rendering less than world-class service and everything to do with the VTA Board's unwillingness to even create, let alone maintain, a world-class transit system.
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