Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"You have to care about getting people where they're going."

Public transit has been neglected for years. Service is poor, funding is erratic, management subject to politics. Why is the public investment so neglected? The answer is: many firms profit from the auto and sprawl, they  use their influence in government to make sure that public transit does not work as a transport system. At a CTA hearing the people's anger spilled out:
    But many complained the CTA itself is a sinkhole prone to frequent fare raises and endless budget crises.  The very first speaker, a bus driver and representative of the bus drivers' union, drove home that point by noting in the last 25 years his union has given back over $220 million in wage and benefit gains and yet the CTA, which just two years ago threatened to close down, is once again in crisis.
   "You never talk to us,"  he noted.  "You never come and listen to our suggestions, how we can make this(the transit system) work for all the people.  You have to love this job.  You have to care about getting people where they're going."
They don't talk to you because their job is not to provide transportation, but to make sure that the CTA does not cut into auto, sprawl, or fossil-fuel profits.

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