Sunday, May 27, 2007

The more I think about the BAT, the more ridiculous it becomes. Leaving out the fuel and maintenance costs, in a TRANSPORTATION industry would be like leaving out food costs in a grocery. I'm sure the trucking and airline industries would love to eliminate those pesky little costs into a footnote. (Never mind those costs.)

I'm also trying to figure out how many real people are using the buses. At a 75,000 population, less than 7% of the Bendites per week have used a bus not counting repeat customers. I'd be willing to bet that almost all the rides are repeat customers., but let's say half. 3.5%.

Interestingly to me, I first started hearing that Bend was the "largest Metro area west of the Missisipi without mass transit" many years ago, when the population of Bend was a fraction of what it is now. Try to imagine a bus system with 20,000 or 50,000 people. (Less than 1% ridership; 2%? 3%?)

I understand there is no political will for free taxi rides for the poor. But it might save us some money. The environment? Tell me that 11 riders an hour in a big bus that meanders around and sits at stops is more environmentally friendly than five cars that go directly to destination.

Finally, when I added 2.50 to the costs per rider, I'm pretty sure this was way too low.

Anyone have any statistics about cost per rider in other towns. Better than 12%? Worse?

Doesn't anyone at city hall crunch numbers? Surely my figures have a hole in them somewhere. Otherwise, we're pissing our tax mony away.

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