Monday, February 16, 2009

Transit Ridership Up, Services Down

With the economic downturn and the continuing difficulty with energy prices, you'd think use of mass transit would be up. And it is. But Portland's TriMet is culling back its services. Why?

Because the system is heavily subsidized. Fares only pay for about 20% of the cost of a ride. The rest comes from taxing businesses, and those businesses are suffering.

So, just when it's needed most, public transportation is being cut back. Clearly something doesn't compute here, but it's difficult to see another solution.

(Personally, I would raise gas taxes by about 50 cents/gal and give it all to mass transit.)

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