Saturday, October 22, 2005

Spokane Transit Authority

The Transit Authority in Spokane Washington, is typically known by the acronym STA. I didn't feel comfortable titling this blog with STA for fear someone would think it was contracted by unprotected sex.

Today, in the Spokesman-Review, was an editorial about STA. It was one of hundreds over the years. I finally got tired of hearing poor me stories about this abortion.

STA doesn't do well because they are unable or unwilling to separate the two primary goals of public transportation. The first, run it as a business and apply supply and demand principles.

The second, the welfare aspect.

It is all well and good to help underemployed and those more unfortunate than us get to work and the doctor, grocery shopping, etc.

What I am seeing here is that the STA has low ridership. That means that there is more service than the demand calls for.

While helping the needy is a positive thing, it is not the job of Public Transportation to be a welfare agency. If we need to subsidize, have the proper welfare agencies issue bus passes or reduced fare tickets, paid for by the welfare system, not the Bus Company.

As to low ridership, there are two obvious conclusions drawn here. If the transit authority is running buses that are not needed, then cut service. If featherbedding is the issue, if keeping a pre-ordained level of service is the goal, then back to applying good business principles.

Many people will not ride public transportation because of fear for their personal safety. There are some pretty cruddy people that ride this tax supported company.

Clean up your act, STA, then talk to us...

No comments: