Wednesday, December 3, 2008

iRide Green when weStop the Hike

I've been busy pondering the fare hike - talking to friends, shooting emails back and forth, and trying to focus on the core issues that a broad coalition of transit supporters (with varying pet peeves) can agree upon when it comes to taking a position on CDTA's proposed fare increases and its impact on riders. (Yes, I wrote that article.)

We're getting a petition together (hoping to have it available in hard copy and online by the weekend) which we'll submit to CDTA on December 12 - the last day to submit written comments.

Here are the points we're focusing on:

1. The proposed 50% fare hike and service cuts are too steep and will hurt low income people who depend on CDTA as their primary mode of transportation.

2. The proposed 50% fare hike will likely send many of CDTA's new riders who take the bus by choice, right back to their cars.

3. CDTA argues that higher fuel costs are part of what is driving up operating costs, with the recent drastic drop in fuel costs, it doesn't appear that a 50% fare hike can be justified.

Our coalition understands that CDTA is under-funded, and we are calling for government to make an investment in mass transit so that fares stay affordable for those who depend on it, and attractive to those who might want to give the bus a whirl.

Public Hearings have started already -- they were held Monday in Saratoga County, yesterday in Rensselaer County... if you've got reports from either of those locations, send in comments. I'm eager to hear about the turnout and the fare increase feedback from the public.

Tomorrow is Albany County - 4:30 - 8 p.m. at the Main Branch of the Albany Public Library. Your so-called transit riding superhero will be there.

Monday, December 8 is Schenectady - 4:30 - 8 p.m. at the Schenectady County Public Library.

I was under the impression that the hearings would provide details on the proposed service cuts. But I've seen no reports, there's nothing about the specifics on the website, and when I asked a bus driver this morning if he'd heard about pending service cuts, he said he'd heard nothing. So... when are they going to tell us? If you know, please share.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

As you know, they didn't give any real timetable for the proposed cuts in service.