Monday, December 24, 2007

get rid of the silly bus passes

bus passes are mostly ridiculous and should be abandoned entirely on local buses.

think about it. what function do they serve?

do they pay for the system to operate? not really. most of the bus system's cost is subsidized by the city.

do they keep vagrant off the bus? not really. you don't pay until you get off the bus, so vagrants have no problem getting on the bus. they only occasionally get hassled by the driver when they get off and it is a rare driver that is willing to hold up an entire bus and call the cops over $1.25.

as far as i can tell, they are a way of transferring money from companies to the city. the Seattle mayor recently enacted an initiative that more or less requires that all companies operating within the city buy bus passes for their employees. if all employees have bus passes, vagrants ride whenever they want to, and students all have passes. what is left? occasional users.

these people always pay with cash, never seem to have the right amount and generally slow the system down.

seeing as how they are occasional users, they don't account for a very large fraction of the bus traffic, so losing their fares wouldn't impact the system income very much.

so, what they should do is eliminate all bus passes and fares on the metro buses. this would eliminate the occasional rider dedicated to paying in dimes and allow riders to enter and exit through the front or back doors, reducing stop times, making the system more efficient. plus the hundreds of thousands of bus passes wouldn't have to be printed, and the pass reading and cash collecting devices could be scrapped.

i'm not saying the gains would be massive, but the cost would be virtually non-existent and the mayor could claim a victory for the environment since "free" bus service subsidized by employers within the city could at least be claimed to be better for the environment as a way to reduce car travel.

1 comment:

TheBehst said...

I have been reading about somebody who pays for everything with pennies. I do not know if she rides the bus, or pays for the fare in pennies holding up all the busy riders, but she should get a free pass anyway.