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Santa Rosa increases bus fares, trims service

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa boosted bus fares and cut back service levels Tuesday in what officials called an unfortunate but necessary response to a $1 million budget gap.

The City Council unanimously agreed to a plan that raises the cash price of a bus fare from $1.25 to $1.50 Feb. 1, reduces the frequency of service mostly on lesser–used suburban routes, and tightens policies to crack down on transfer abuse.

Bus driver Matt Zimmermann helps to secure Abel Jeffcoat’s wheelchair Tuesday at the temporary Transit Mall on First Street in Santa Rosa. (BETH SCHLANKER/The Press Democrat)

Anita Winkler, the city’s deputy director of transit, told the City Council her department took no pleasure in the changes, but said it had no other choice given the drops in sales tax the department has experienced.

“We are really in a pretty bad, stuck position right now of not having a lot of options,” Winkler said.

About 46 percent of the department’s $14 million budget comes from sales taxes, she said.

When the recession hit, the department was able to plug the funding gaps using federal stimulus funds, but now that money is gone, she said.

Council members were sympathetic and praised the department for coming up with a reasonable solution to the problem.

“It really is an impossible and untenable, no-win situation in many ways,” Councilman Scott Bartley said.

But a number of riders were upset with the cost increases and route cutbacks, several of which would see the frequency drop from every 30 minutes to once an hour.

Abel Jeffcoat, a Bennett Valley resident who uses a wheelchair and takes the bus to his job at a telecommunications firm downtown, said he now faced a one-hour wait if he misses his bus or if there isn’t room for his wheelchair on a bus.

“How can you increase fees and cut service?” Jeffcoat said before the council meeting.

He likened it to a restaurant that increased the cost of a hamburger by $1 and only served half a hamburger.

Jeffcoat attended one of the public hearings held on the changes, and said he got the impression they were a done deal and public input was just a formality that didn’t change the recommendations.

Amy Alvarez is a sophomore at Montgomery High School and takes the bus home most afternoons. She said she had no idea the fares were going up.

“I think that sucks, because that’s how we get our education,” Alvarez said.

A quarter more per day may not seem like much to some people, but it can add up quickly, she said.

“People are hella poor these days,” she said.

Winkler acknowledged the cutbacks will hurt, but said the department worked hard to trim routes that were underperforming, meaning they carried the fewest number of riders.

“We know this is going to do damage. We know this is going to be painful in some cases,” Winkler said. “One of our goals was to do as little damage as we can to our riders.”

Some complained about the loss of Sunday service on the Route 1, which goes up Mendocino Avenue, past Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, and loops through Fountaingrove. They worried about limiting people’s access to the emergency room.

But transit officials said only emergency room admissions are allowed on Sunday, and those folks shouldn’t be taking the bus anyway.

The routes that are being cut are also not all in one area of the city, said Rachel Ede, transit planner.

“The pain is somewhat distributed throughout the service area,” she said.

The system has 17 fixed routes gave more 3 million rides last year, 93 percent of which were on-time, defined as departing within five minutes of the scheduled time.

The last time fares went up was 2008, when they went from $1.10 to $1.25.

Councilwoman Susan Gorin said she reluctantly voted for the changes, but she was concerned that they were created a “feedback loop” where the higher fares and lower service would decrease ridership, creating a vicious cycle.

“This isn’t going to help ridership,” Gorin said.

WHAT CHANGES?

FARE INCREASES
Cash prices
Adult $1.25 to $1.50
Half fare 60¢ to 75¢
Youth $1 to $1.25
Paratransit $2.50 to $3
Monthly pass
Adult $40 to $50
Half fare $20 to $25
Youth $30 to $35

SERVICE CUTS
From every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes
Route 2 Bennett Valley, weekdays; Route 15 Stony Point, weekdays; Route 17 Piner Road, weekdays; Route 12 Roseland, Saturday only
- From every 30 minutes to every 45 minutes
Route 6 West Third Street

ELIMINATED

First and last weekend trips on Route 18 Southeast circulator; Sunday service on Route 1 Fountaingrove

TRANSFERS
Two within 90 minutes of purchase

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. OnTwitter @citybeater





26 Responses to “Santa Rosa increases bus fares, trims service”

  1. Jim Maney says:

    I have not use CityBus in 6 years. Prior to that, I used it on a regular basis for about 8 years. I fall into all the basic categories of, CityBus was my only option. My eyesight makes me a poor candidate to use a car, nor could I ever afford to own one. I almost never stumbled across anyone who had a car and used CityBus instead. Even at 30 minute intervals, fixed route transit is less than convenient. It is total insanity to reduce routes to 60 minutes. That is a really long time to stand out in the rain. The CityBus service is so bad on Sunday, it would make more sense to eliminate it, for what it is worth. I suggest 45 minutes, all routes, all the time.

    I spent 3 weeks in December of 2005, in Salem, Oregon. I had to learn how to ride “The Cherriots.” Hey, a bus is a bus, right? If your doing the math, 7 years ago, and Cherriots had killed the transfer already. CityBus needs to do the same. In Salem, you either pay for a single ride, or buy a day pass, which you can buy from the cash box on the bus. Same is true for Eugene, Oregon. Good-Bye transfers! That could really help CityBus.

    I will also mention Salem, Oregon has no Weekend service. To my knowledge, they never operated on Sundays. Rather than slash Weekday routes, they pulled the plug on Saturdays.

    Santa Rosa CityBus needs better “Thinkers” than they have now. Chances are Santa Rosa is too poor to pay for CityBus to be totally re-done. That is what is needed, an all-new configuration, rather than the on-going band-aid approach.

    I don’t use public transit anymore, so I can’t feel your pain. I am sad for the people who use CityBus. Things have gone from bad to worse.

    I don’t think prices are out of line. Prices in the 2 cities in Oregon previously mentioned are pretty much the same as what CityBus will charge in February of 2013.

    Also, the day passes are typically double the price of single ride fares.

    Jim

  2. Dave says:

    As I mentioned before, I rode the bus as my primary mode of transportation for over two years. I would really like to see the service expanded and not scaled back. And I know there are people who depend on it as their primary mode of transportation or only mode of transportation. But I am still not seeing a solution to the funding gap that exists. Now I was not at the meeting, and I have not reviewed their books personally, but they are a public “company” and have to run on a budget, which they obtain through grants, taxes and fares. At some point costs go up, they are not fixed by any means. Fuel, maintainence, wages, benefits and replacement of vehicles, just to name a few. So where is the difference going to come from to close this gap? I am willing to pay a bit more when I need or want to take the bus, but I know that is harder for others than for myself. Maybe a specific tax on next ballot? Maybe a different route needs to be trimmed back as there is so much overlap on Santa Rosa and Mendocino Ave with City and County busses (like route 10 to rountrip to Coddingtown every 1/2 hour, but have several overlapping options with County 44/48 and other City Bus routes at same price). Again, I want to see more service, not less and later times in the evenings as well. I just do not know how to close the monetary gap to make that happen.

  3. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Reality Check-the people waiting for a bus holding coffee might just be me. A MIDDLECLASS commuter who can definitely afford the fee and the coffee. I’m not whining about the increased fee. It’s the reliability and the accessibility that is the problem. Maybe you didn’t see the picture of Abel in the wheelchair. He was at the meeting and spoke too.

    You people are clueless. Get on the bus before you form your opinions about the people riding the bus. I can afford the fee and the coffee. A lot of people, people unlike me who have NO CHOICE IN THEIR TRANSPORTATION can barely afford the fee and they certainly can’t afford a $4 cup of coffee (though mine is just plain and costs $2).

  4. @James Bennett says:

    Blame ICLEI!

  5. James Bennett says:

    Guys, we’ve got thieves driving our bus.

    If we ever did a government audit the tax payers would freak.

    Ron Paul couldn’t even get the Federal Reserve to accept an audit to inventory OUR GOLD!

    WE are the ones being taken for a ride, even if we never get on the bus.

  6. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    The county buses do rock. And they are good green buses unlike the city bus. I agree that the money is going to SMART. As I said in one of my previous posts, that at the city council meeting last Tues, they beat the bush about that SMART crossing then voted to put more money to the research on the issue AGAIN because they couldn’t just make a decision. Always money for research. $100,000 here, $100,000 there, easy to find. $500,000 to help the HELPLESS citizens of Santa Rosa and those of us who want out of our cars and they can’t find bupkis.

    Makes me really, really mad. I have a lot a bus friends. The lady who is always reading and we can discuss books who works downtown. The young man featured in the photo who is bright but has no alternative to get to work might have a TWO HOUR commute to his work and maybe even more if there are 3 wheelchairs waiting for rides. The hispanic mother with 2 little children every morning taking them to daycare then gets back on the bus and I don’t know where she goes after that. The hispanic woman who is a neighbor and works as maid but has no car and can’t afford one. She walks that mile with me to the bus stop in the morning. Ken, the blind man who is in a wheelchair (extremely independent and dependent entirely on the bus system for his independence)rides regularly on my bus to go get spaghetti at the Yulupa shopping center once per week. Remember Ken, who was hit by a car and nearly killed a few years ago? Because of this he is much more disabled than he was, but he is always happy and smiling and talking to people on the bus and he’s a joy. THESE ARE SOME OF THE FACES ON MY BUS. They are people with needs and is the at the mercy of the words “productivity” and “below average” because they happen to live in an outlying area. By the way, I counted. There were 20 people on the bus this morning. I know the previous run has more. The school children from Slater and Montgomery fill the bus in the middle of the afternoon and the 4:30 and 5:00 are full of commuters and the bus is crowded so some have to stand. I call my route a productive route but the managers making this decision says it isn’t.

    Again, Santa Rosa is a city, it is not a little town anymore. We need GOOD TRANSIT. If money has gone to SMART transit needs it back. Afterall, people who will use SMART for commuting will need the city bus TO GET TO THE TRAIN STATION. With the building of SMART the improvement of transit should happen at the same time. And I am one of the people who believe SMART is a good thing.

  7. Dave says:

    Mockingbirdm I understand where you are coming from. I realy do. But I ask again, what are you willing to give up? We can cry foul about monies in the past going elsewhere. We can debate the need to not raise the fare on those who will be impacted the most. Bottom line, it is not a complimentary service and needs monies, so where do you want it to come from. What is solution? I see all sorts of complaints and arguements, but nary a solution. City Bus has provided their solution the the gap in funds, that much is clear. So what is yours?

  8. Steveguy says:

    This is important, and I will agree with the Mocking Bird as relates to who rides the bus.

    I took my bike in the AM to a ‘job’ that I had for some years. 60 Bus to Safeway Mendo, then ride the bike the mile to near Coddingtown. My tools and materials were stored on site. I could ride my bike back home( like 6 miles, and stop at a son’s, or the farm stand on River Road, or ride over to Mendo, do some shopping and visiting and load my urban warrior mtn bike back on the bus.

    I rarely took the City bus, as didn’t need it on a daily basis, heck, I could have driven my car or truck !

    SMART has stolen monies that could have been used for the bus services. Tens of MILLIONS. Well known fact to us observant ones.

    Besides, I can make a “bum’s” life better waiting at a stop, as those ‘bums’ are usually injured souls. Or the down and out. Or just saying Hi to the regulars that go to work and conversing with them and the driver.

    My sons lived in Kenwood, and it was soooo easy for me to take the 60, then the 20 to Sonoma. Almost as fast as driving. Granted, the stops were very close ( within 50-100 yards).

    Or days downtown– Take the car and drive to 6 spots, or take my bus, bike and backpack to go shopping, library, friends houses, multi-traveling if you will- and come home happy.

    The 62 Sonoma County bus rocks.

  9. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Dog Pat Play-you are assuming that everyone who is not disabled can ride a bicycle. I guess you are not aware that whole families ride the bus. And lots and lots of seniors. There are people who can’t afford a bike. There are people who don’t live near a bus stop. Some ride their bike to the nearest stop, pop their bike on the front of the bus and go the rest of the way. There are all kinds of riders. Anyway, there has been nothing but complaint about bikers on this blog so I don’t know why you even suggest putting more bikes on the road vs a nice safe warm bus.

    And for the rest of you who think it’s a matter of cost only, you are wrong. I am not complaining about the cost. I don’t even pay for my bus pass, my employer does because it saves on paying for a garage parking space, keeps traffic down so clients can find parking. Lots of employers pay for their employees bus passes. If I had to pay it myself I would gladly pay the fee even if they increased it higher than they plan. But most who ride the bus are poor, students are poor, the elderly are poor, and the increased fee is a hardship.

    Truly, if you live reasonably close to a bus stop and your work is close to a bus stop, TRY RIDING THE BUS especially if you work downtown or in the county center (the county will buy you a city bus pass and you can get on the county buses free if you are a county worker). It beats hunting for a parking space downtown and risking a parking citation or in the county administration center and leaves spaces for those doing business or shopping.

    The added benefit has been exercise since my home isn’t near a bus stop. I have to walk 2 additional miles a day and manage to put 10,000 to 15,000 steps on my pedometer. I can read on the bus and don’t have the stress of maniac drivers also on their way to work. And the bus drivers are a nice and intelligent bunch.

    Bus service ADDS to other forms of non car travel. It is a good thing. For those of you who don’t ride the bus, you should try it.

    Bus services should be increased not cut.

    Vinyl Rules- you are right. Santa Rosa is definitely not the small town I moved to in 1969. If is now a city and should have appropriate mass transit.

  10. BigDogatPlay says:

    It would be far, far cheaper to buy the few people using the bus (and Petaluma’s city bus service is even more underutilized) a bicycle and let them make their way across town. Paratransit for the disabled is a have to have, in my opinion, and it deserves to be subsidized. But running largely empty buses around town to the tune of $14M + per year is just flat stupid.

  11. Dave says:

    I rode the bus for two years. Having to get from both Bennett Valley and Rincon Valley during that time to Petaluma. I had to figure out the system(s), transfers, what was the shortest, cheapest, etc. Heck, I even took public transit to the East Bay several times for training events. It can be done. So to see service being cut, I too am diappointed.

    However; as my dad always asked me, “If you want _____, what are you willing to give up?” There are soooo many things that need or want funds to make their department work. Schools (Arts, music, sciences, sports), parks, libraries, transit…….the list goes on and on. Fact of the matter is there is a finite amount of funds available, so what are you willing to give up? Higher taxes? Higher fare? Having to use City and County buses instead of just City? If not driving your car to work only costs $600 per year, and a car averages $9000 per year, even doubling your fare cost to $1200 still is a huge savings, right? So I ask yet again, what are you willing to give up?

    I still take the bus now and again. No parking meter to feed, can get home safely if out for a night on the town, etc. If I had to pay $5 a bus ride as opposed to a $20 cab fare in the evenings to go out with friends, I would do it in a flash, and I think many others would too. I am willing to give up a few more dollars out of my pocket to get the service level I desire. So what are you willing to give up?

  12. Reality Check says:

    Dan Drummand,

    I’d be more likely to buy the idea that most riders can’t afford a higher fare if I didn’t see so many standing at a bus stop while holding a cup of purchased coffee in one hand and either a cigarette or smart phone in the other.

  13. Dan J Drummond says:

    @Reality Check – You don’t sound like one of the people who don’t earn very much money; but if you were, you would have a very real reality check. And you would appreciate a good bus. Ride the bus and look them in the eye.

  14. RICHARD says:

    RE: “If mass transit is such a great idea, why are so few people willing to pay for it?” – Reality Check,

    Possibly because of habit: people who are not use to using mass transit find it difficult to change to using it. Many people are not aware of the full benefits of using mass transit. Benefits include less: pollution, energy use, traffic, need for parking, pavement; it’s safer and saves money.

    The typical car cost [ carrying/capital and operating ] $9,000 per year. City Bus cost $600 per year and possibly less. Car operating cost [ fuel, insurance, maintenance and repair ] alone is more than the cost of using the bus. Even if you own a car, you would save money by using the bus.

  15. Reality Check says:

    Mockingbird,

    I’m well aware that diminished service and higher fares will cause some people to stop using the bus. Still, bus services has to be paid for. Is expecting fares to cover 20% of operating cost too much? Apparently so.

    Mass transit doesn’t live up to its name except in cities with a population density far in excess of Santa Rosa’s. As a result, for much of the day our buses cruise around mostly empty, even at very low fares. Taxpayers see this and don’t like it.

    Even if bus service was free many people would prefer the convenience (and safety) of their car. That reality isn’t going to change, however much you may want it to.

    If bus riders want better service, then bus riders had better step up and offer to pay for better service. I’m not holding my breath.

  16. Vinyl Rules says:

    This really comes down to our city government still treating Santa Rosa like a small town. IT IS NOT A SMALL TOWN ANYMORE. We need to start acting like the mid-sized, regional hub city we are. If you go out on a Friday or Saturday night in downtown SR, you will see taxis everywhere. Put in a few late night bus lines that stop in downtown and go to heavily populated areas of the city. People would much rather pay $1.50 for a bus than $10 or $20 for a cab. We promote this area as the perfect retirement destination, build a disproportionate amount of senior-only housing, but then don’t offer the public services many seniors rely on. Increase the number of buses when school gets out in the afternoon and I bet some revenue would be generated. In front of SR High School, kids often can’t get on the bus after school because it’s full. Tourists could get around town easier, and wouldn’t need to clog our streets more with a rented car. It’s sad to see the state of our public transit. It would work fine for a small town, but that description left us long ago.

  17. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Reality Check-fairs are going up. What you don’t seem to understand is that having a city bus system is not only for those that can’t drive for some reason but also for those that CAN drive like me. I’m out of my car, not taking up a parking space downtown EVER, not contributing to the traffic problem and CURRENTLY can get where I need to go 98% of the time.

    People like me who can drive but choose not to will stop riding the bus. This will add to their $500,000 deficit. I’ve already heard several on my bus alone talk about driving again. Sometimes I use the bus during the weekend doing errands. Because my bus runs every hour on the weekend it takes me ALL DAY to do a few errands, visit my mom, and maybe take in a movie. I transfer multiple times on buses that only run every hour or even every two hours. I don’t want them to cut week day services to every hour. People who take the bus to work or to school everyday and have to transfer to another bus OR TWO, will find themselves taking 2 hours or more getting from one end of the city to another with all the cuts. If you work at Sutter, for instance, they are cutting the Sunday run entirely so those riders won’t be able to get to work if they don’t drive. THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

    Somehow the city has to plug this hole. I still think they need to lay off those managers making this decisions. THEY CERTAINLY DON’T FEEL OUR PAIN.

    Furthermore, lots of people work odd hours and the buses stop running at 7:30. Golden Gate Transit and Sonoma County Transit run buses later. There’s no free parking downtown so you have no way to get home except to take a taxi. These riders a likely to start commuting in their cars again clogging 101 further.

    Bus service is an asset to any community and should be expanded not cut. Bus service needs to be reliable, convenient, on time, AND ACCESSIBLE or there will be NO RIDERS.

  18. Frank says:

    thnigs the come to mind
    projected operating cost
    recent overwhelming voter approved tax increas, you know put another tax on the ballot, that sends a tickle up my leg
    file a complaint with the grand jury
    audit
    economics 101, along with how to budget a household with what does she make income
    MHO
    what is the true cost of a 1/4 cent tax

  19. Critic at Large says:

    Hey folks, you have just had a look at the future of the smart train debacle. It will start with a lot of smoke and exuberance and then the cutbacks in service and ticket price increases begin because of budget woes.

    This is the future of public transportation and smart. There is never enough money to operate a unionized, inefficient system. They are all revenue hogs that always consume much more than they deliver.

  20. Reality Check says:

    I’m not sure how one connects raising bus fares with some international agenda to compel us all into communal living of some kind.

    If anything, raising fares and reducing service will cause some people to abandon the bus in favor of a car. There are people for whom a car is just too expensive, but if service deteriorates enough then they’ll scrap together enough money for a jalopy. Or they’ll use their existing car more than they would otherwise.

    Still, I don’t think expecting people to pay 20% of the operating cost of a bus ride is asking too much. If mass transit is such a great idea, why are so few people willing to pay for it?

  21. RICHARD says:

    Santa Rosa City gives no general funds [ tax money ] to the buses. However Santa Rosa City gives general funds to the chamber of commerce. Other local governments do give general funds to their buses.

    People need buses to get to and from work. Many people are unemployed because they can not get to a job or back home from a job. For example, many business don’t close until after bus service ends at about 7:30PM, earlier on weekends.

    The chamber of commerce does not need our tax dollars. The buses need out tax dollars to allow poor people to participate in commerce, in my opinion.

  22. Steveguy says:

    Hey everybody, SMART took the monies for bus service ! Hey Press Democrat, SMART took the bus money.

    $10 MILLION here, $20 MILLION there, MILLIONS everywhere.

    oh my, and I actually predicted this. Easy prediction..

  23. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I attended the meeting last night and I can say I was extremely disgusted. I’ve been taking the bus by choice for more years than I can remember. These 5 managers stood up and assured the council members that they did their job and took the publics’ input into consideration BUT they were going forward with their original plan. One manager basicly said she shared our pain BUT cuts had to be made. Yeah, right, she shares our pain. All five managers DRIVE TO WORK and PARK IN THE FREE PARKING LOT BEHIND CITY HALL.
    The meeting was all numbers and “productivity”, not the publics need or necessity. They compared the “productivity” pf the outlying buses to the buses running along Santa Rosa and Mendocino Ave, then came up with an “AVERAGE”. If the bus you ride is below that “AVERAGE” you are cut from once every half hour to one hour. My bus is being cut-the route 2-to every hour. It services 2 hospitals (SRMH and Warrack), two rehabs (with workers taking the bus) two schools (Montgomery and Slater), Silvercrest with residents doing their shopping in east Santa Rosa. The bus I take in the morning usually has more than 20 people on it many catching Golden Gate transit, the county bus, or another city bus to transfer. Lots of my bus friends are disabled, elderly, kids going to school, families. Most of these people HAVE NO CHOICE. I have a choice.

    The managers making these decisions have not factored in the fact that people like me, if the bus system in not reliable AND ACCESSIBLE, are going right back in our cars. When this happens THEIR DEFICIT WILL GO UP WITH THE FEWER RIDERS TAKING THE BUS. People like me who live in the suburbs and outlying areas SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO RIDE THE BUS because we could be their bread and butter.

    With the modest raise in fees(not so modest if you are poor though)they are short $500,000. In the scheme of things that’s not very much. I think a campaign to encourage people like me to ride the bus should have been tried first. I think those managers making the decisions that will affect so many riders DEPENDENT on bus service should be required to ride the bus BEFORE they make comments about sharing the pain of the disabled and elderly.

    I also think that someone who is talented in writing for grant money should get busy and FIND THAT $500,000. Not only that but replace those expensive to run and service old buses to ones that use natural gas like the county has. Then they can make a contract with the county and buy their gas cheap from the refuse dump.

    Or, if like the county, the ratio of managers to rank and file staff is ridiculously low, lay off 5 managers. Oh, wait, maybe those 5 managers who came up with the decision to cut services to HELPLESS people. Afterall I’ll bet their incomes are more and benefits are more than $100,000 each. 5 times $100,000 is $500,000. THERE’S THE MONEY RIGHT THERE!.

    I encourage people to write the city council members, even those who choose not to ride the bus, and tell them how outrageous these cuts are. Tell them to find the money out of some slush fund, or research fund, or investigative fund that they easily ok for $100,000 or more without blinking an eye. Maybe some of that smart money so when Smart is built people who commute to the city CAN TAKE THE CITY BUS RELIABLY TO CATCH THAT TRAIN.

  24. Kay Tokerud says:

    Awhile back people didn’t believe that people would be forced to live in smartgrowth in the city centers. Look what has happened lately. Stopping the maintenance on most rural roads, reducing postal services, reducing bus services to the suburbs, One Bay Area, still in the works which calls for 80% of all new residential units to be in small areas in city centers for the next 25 years. The squeeze is on. One planner in Casper, Wyoming said that people living in suburban and rural areas should pay higher taxes. I have proof of this. He said that people out there get more services. Really? Don’t rural residents provide their own water and septic systems? They really get far less services that in the city centers. Access to libraries, healthcare, schools, fire and police are scanty at best. Add to this the upcoming Vehicle Miles Travelled tax, obscene gas prices, fire protection assessments, well monitoring and metering, forced septic system upgrades and you will find that the heat is on to get these people moved into the new smartgrowth/smart grid buildings next to the train.

    The next affront to our personal freedom is the watershed management plans that are being rolled out. Did you know that all land is in the watershed because rain falls on it. I’m serious. And did you know that we will be charged “the true cost of water” which somehow includes providing water to people living in foreign countries? They want to limit us to 10 gallons per day per person. Have a nice bath.

    It turns out that all land is in one or more protected areas where they can apply as many rules and regulations as they want.

    Need I tell you that this is UN Agenda 21 Sustainable Development all the way? Did you know that they are inventorying all gardens including in your yard to be included in the food supply? If you give them this information you may be required to be included in the “food shed” database and then you can and will be regulated. Surveys are going out all around the country and people are afraid to not fill them out. Did you know that all land in cities is contaminated with lead and we’re supposed to grow food there? Smartgrowth will put most people into the most polluted land areas next to freeways and trains. Finally, they want to contaminate the drinking water with fluoride. I get the feeling that they don’t have our best interests at heart, what do you think?

  25. Reality Check says:

    If one wants federal mass transit subsidies, fare revenue is supposed to cover at least 20% of operating expenses (10% for paratransit). Not too steep a requirement, imo. But, fares had to rise to meet this standard.

    I’d be surprised if even 20% of riders paid full, adult fares. Most ride on discounted tickets.

    It must cost at least $7 to give someone a bus ride in SR, and that covers operating costs only. What’s a fair fare?

  26. GAJ says:

    This is the tip of the iceberg; get ready for more of the same from government locally, Statewide and Nationally.

    But hey, at least in CA we’re building high speed rail while local transportation costs skyrocket.

    Why address your existing transportation woes when you can buy something new and shiny…and on credit!