Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CDTA Rate Hikes- Part Two

Citizens for Public Transportation believes buses are important for the economy, the environment, social equity and oil independence.

First, any current shortfalls should be made up at the Federal, State or local levels, not at the toll box.

Second, rates should be kept low, or even lowered.

Third, routes shouldn't be cut. We should be growing coverage.

Fourth, STAR coverage shouldn't be reduced or limited based on the main routes. It hurts planning for both services. We need to, at the very least, grandfather STAR coverage catchments. We need more accessible cabs to work with STAR.

Fifth, we need benchmarking and/or sliding fees for the poorest people in our community.

Friday, November 28, 2008

CDTA Rate Hikes

CDTA Rate Hikes!!! Yikes!!!

CDTA is raising their fares!!!! A lot!!! They are holding public meetings. We need you to turn out at the hearings and let them know what you think.

Saratoga Public Library
December 1, from 4:30 to 8 pm.

Troy City Council Chamber
December 2, from 4:30 to 8 pm

Albany Public Library

December 4, from 4:30 to 8 pm

Schenectady County Public Library

December 8, from 4:30 to 8 pm

How much are they raising the rates? Well, here are a couple examples:
The 7 Day Swiper is going from $44 to $65

The Summer Pass is going from $17 to $30

They are going to cut routes, (and that means STAR buses will get cut too)! Tell everyone you know. Put it on flyers. Put it in leaflets. Blog about it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Own Thoughts

This post is my own. It doesn't necessarily represent the views of the rest of Citizens for Public Transportation. I'd like to start a discussion about some ways that we can improve mass transit in general. These are just ideas I'm putting out there for comment.

Nathan Smith

There is a proposal floating around out in the world that would give gas consumers a holiday from the gas tax. The idea is it will put money back into the pockets of drivers. A lot of economists are attacking the idea. -What is to keep oil companies from pocketing the money? -Won't this just increase demand, which will in turn send the prices higher? -Won't this take money away from alternatives?

Here is my counter suggestion. Give the money to mass transit. Not transit in general, but mass transit. Here is why-

1. Buses get more people from point A to point B on the same amount of fuel. It's efficient.
2. Buses create less congestion and pollution per passenger than cars.
3. Buses encourage dense growth. Dense growth uses less energy.
4. Buses are cheaper per ride than cars. Getting people around encourages economic activity.
5. Gas prices really hurting? Take the bus! And the best part is that that person driving a Humvee will be partially subsidizing your trip!

But I live in the suburbs, there are no buses!!! Funny, my suburb has buses. They don't run quite as often as I'd like, but if more people as a percentage ride the bus, more buses can run economically. There is always park and ride. Pay a little gas tax on the way to the park and ride, and get it back in a cheaper fare on the rest of the trip!

You'll get my car keys when you pry them from my cold dead fingers!!! Actually, I have a car. I drive it lots of places. I'm working on that. I'm poor and after I pay my car insurance I have a lot of money invested in driving my car. Bus fares add up, but gas prices are going up. This could help us bring bus fares down. We all tend to act in our own best self-interest, particularly when things are tight. Lets line up the economic incentives to do what is also right for the oil independence, the economy and the environment.

(Did I mention, those of you driving around in SUV's should be in favor of this too. Every person who takes the bus instead of driving saves a little gas for the rest of the world. Remember that supply and demand thing you learned in economics in high school? If we decrease the demand, the price will go down. That guy riding the bus is making your gas cheaper!!!)