Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Too much, the Magic Bus

I saw in the IndyStar today:

IndyGo wants to raise bus fares by 25 cents a ride

In part:
Faced with rising fuel costs and higher demand for bus service, IndyGo has proposed increasing its fares by 25 cents per trip beginning in January.

The increase, presented Monday to a City-County Council committee as part of the agency's 2009 budget, would bump the cost of a bus ride to $1.75.
Now I can understand this. The rising price of fuel has boosted the price of just about everything. But when they say:
"We're doing everything we can to preserve what little service we have as it is," said Michael Terry, IndyGo's interim president and chief executive officer.
I lose it. As I said before, they just do not get it. Local politicians will fall all over themselves to hand money to Jim Irsay and the Colts, seeing the Lucas Oil Stadium as an amenity. But they don't see the bus system as an amenity. They could have pumped some of that $750 million spent on the Lucas Oil Stadium into IndyGo and advertised Indianapolis as a city where you can "park you car and never have to use it again" but instead chose the route of offering the plebes bread and circuses at that goddam stadium.

1 comment:

Old_Grouch said...

I'm afraid I agree. There has to be a critical mass of customers before cities start taking mass transit seriously. Indy seems to be stuck in a "if we can't serve everybody, we won't serve anybody" mode, at least as far as greater subsidies go. (Which makes all the talk of running light rail from Fishers to downtown mildly amusing... what do they propose to do with all the passengers once they get there?)

Getting the right combination of routes, frequency, and capacity is the key, but I wonder if Indy has the population density (on one end) and the employment density (on the other) to really make mass transit work. Considering that most people won't accept more than a four-block walk at either end of the trip, add a couple of transfers (with the potential for missed connections along the way), and a car starts looking pretty attractive, even at $4.00/gallon.