Saturday, December 16, 2006


I just can't resist commenting on the bus fiasco in Bend. My employee, Pat, was the one who remembered the Simpson's monorail episode, which made me laugh.

Wikipedia: "...Marge discovers the public transportaton system was a dangerous scam.
"Back in Springfield, the monorail has already started its maiden voyage and malfunctions begin almost immediately..."

For years, everyone who looked at putting a bus system into place in Bend, couldn't figure out a way to make it work. If memory serves, we got a new ' transit expert' who promised that she could put a workable system in place for a very affordable price.

I remember at the time thinking that it sounded fishy.

The statistics I'm using are rough, but I think the points are valid.

First off, if the system is truly getting only 75 riders per day, I'm pretty sure we could hire a cab for every rider, and probably save money. If they have truly spent 71,000.00 on repairs alone, that would work at to about 1000.00 per day! That would be (100 ) ten dollar cab rides! Not counting the original cost of the buses, the infrastructure, the cost of the drivers and other employees, and on and on. (The city of Bend has 1.5 million for transportation.)

A boondoogle.

Come on, with 6 buses, you're looking at maybe one and 1/2 riders per hour. If we double that, we're looking at 3 riders per hour. Quadruple that, and we're looking at 6 riders per hour!

Tell you what, give me 1000.00 a day, and I'll zip around town in my Toyota and transport everyone anywhere they want to go! I'll hire a couple of friends to help me out. We'll get it done!

So, we rushed out and bought 200,000.00 buses for 35,000.00 (that were DISCARDED BY ANOTHER TOWN for 1500.00) and we didn't question it? (Hey, kid. I got this here 2000.00 Rolex you can have f0r 350.00!) We forego the 80% of federal money we could've gotten. If a new bus costs 200,000 and we pay 20%, a NEW bus costs 40,000. Instead, we buy used buses for 35,000? (Not just any used buses, but 10 yr old lemons.)

I'm pretty sure that most of these systems are paid for by transit districts, set up with bonds and tax incentives. We thought we could do it on the cheap.

I probably should be outraged, but I find it amusing.

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