Friday, May 2, 2008

great idea, but...

So I was all proud of my plan.
Our town has lousy public transportation, like the rest of SoCal, but I did find that there's this call-for-a-ride service that serves the area we live in. So you call the service ahead of time (the night ahead, or a few hours ahead), specify where you want to travel (from some pre-defined stops) and an approximate pickup time. Then they come get you and deliver you to your destination. They picked us up from the front door of our house and delivered us two blocks from the library. Then they picked up from the same location every hour.
Cool, huh? It's the same price as a bus ticket, and it's good for the whole day. I could go to the library, to Target, to a different library, and to the thrift store, all without using my car. Well, in theory. The schlepping of Target items and the baby probably won't work. But some books? I can do that.
So here was my plan, once we moved back to our house: try to use the service to go to the library/thrift, which are a few blocks away in our town's downtown. I go about once a week. Less driving, more public transportation.
Everyone wins!!!

Except when I got on the bus for my first ride, I see a notice posted that they're considering discontinuing the service in August. Completely. Along with many other routes and holiday/weekend service.
Come on, Transit District! I just got my act together to use the system! (Actually, the thing holding me up was the fact that our downtown library was just finished and I wasn't living within the service area for the past few months. Making the service not so usable.)
And the very first time I try it, it's going to be cancelled?

The thing is, this service seems to make so much sense for our area. Some kids got picked up from our local high school and delivered home when I was riding. How much sense does that make? (You'd think there were be school buses, but you'd be wrong.) Some older folks, that might not be driving. It's flexible, it can operate in a way where people might actually use it here, and it doesn't require a bunch of infrastructure.
It's kind of like public transit, with training wheels.
Consider: the closest bus stop to my house is a mile away. The do-gooder in me would love to use public transportation, but I ain't schlepping my baby a mile away and back for the privilege.
I think I'm going to send a comment to the Transit District. I mean, come on, people? Haven't you heard that all the cool people are going environmental? WOuldn't we want to catch the wave and do the same?

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I didn't even know we had that. Though I did know they cut all the useful(ish) bus routes a few years ago. This thing makes way more sense anyway.

Write a letter! There's a public hearing on the service discontinuation in another week or so. Yeesh.