Comment 6275

By bus-ker (anonymous) | Posted April 07, 2007 at 02:39:31

To get riders, to boost transit income & viabilty you have to run a transit system like a utility.
(Or maybe how we used to run a utility?)

You can't turn off the water or the Hydro for 2 decades because 'The system needs repairs, & we can't afford them until 2027'.
Maybe we need to increase fairs, or maybe we just need to increase ridership by concentrating on providing a good dependable service? Call it an investment in the future, if you like.

If public transit become an impass to getting to work, or downtown for an evening out, it won't be used. The habit never forms. Most people discover the enjoyment of public transit when they are adolescents, getting the freedom to travel on their own for the 1st time. High school & university students boost their budgets by using it. Positive experiences with public transit last a life time. People who have cars often opt to take public transit daily because it is cost effective, simple & relaxing.

Regular Dependable public transit will in the longer run create it's own ridership. Putting a 'token' bus that runs only at rush hours, not regularly on holidays or evenings does nothing to create ridership. All it creates is bad memories of waiting in the cold/rain/heat/dark & being late. (or worse yet, finding that there is no bus today/tonight.) People who don't work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday have little use for that kind of service & frequently they are the ones who need low cost transit the most. Negative experiences with public transit can also last a lifetime.

People may be ready, willing & able to use public transit but if poor service is the rule they will simply buy a car, & never think about it again..even if service does greatly improve in the future. Those potential clients are lost forever, & so may be their children.

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