Vote ‘no’ on Circulator
I’m writing in response to Michael Sherman’s recent letter encouraging a “yes” vote on the Circulator bus and providing six reasons for doing so. There is at least one darned good reason for voting against it: It’s ridiculously expensive. In his letter, Mr. Sherman states that 11,667 people boarded the bus during the year ending June 2013 and that the number is up 74 percent from the prior year. I’m not sure where his figures come from, but I do know that June 2013 hasn’t happened yet and that the percentage increase cannot be calculated year over year.
According to the city’s annual report, there were 12,996 rides given in the first year of operation ending in June 2012. The report has a tabulation of monthly ridership (mislabeled FY11) that suggests ridership has leveled off at around 1,300 rides per month. Article 14 would have the city appropriate $40,000 to be matched against $120,000 from GMTA. I assume the $120,000 is also public money. So that’s $160,000 for roughly 17,000 rides, or almost ten bucks per ride ($20 for a round trip). Further, if you look at the schedule, the usage is only about three riders for each loop trip. I’m all for public transit, but does this particular program make any sense with respect to cost, or even traffic and carbon?
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