By Letter to the Editor on December 5, 2020.
Signs of good health do not exist when one observes Lethbridge Transit. It is an ailing organization that is hemorrhaging financially, environmentally a disaster, and its limited use tells us that presently is it not relevant to about 95 per cent of the population.
Why is the Transit system so unwell? Public transit was built to meet the needs of a Blockbuster video store era but we are living in a Netflix world. It was built for a time when the public needed to physically move everywhere in daily life.
The golden era of public transit is gone. The following societal changes were occurring before the pandemic, but have accelerated this year. Here are 11 societal changes that have decimated public transit ridership.
1. We work anywhere; the need to be transported to the office is unnecessary.
2. Online shopping; who would haul groceries on the bus when they can be delivered to your door?
3. The Uber driver.
4. Skip The Dishes.
5. Online learning has greatly accelerated this year and has become a new normal of education. It is flexible and cost-effective, so on-campus student population will not return to previous levels.
6. Connected world of Face Time and Zoom.
7. Easy of ride sharing in our connected world.
8. The new green forms of transport like fuel-efficient cars, electric vehicles, walking and riding bikes. Who wants to ride an oversized diesel dinosaur bus?
9. The improved personal safety of other ride services. They offer better protection regarding disease, public addiction issues, and violence.
10. Our instant society of 5G, tap versus pin numbers; who wants to wait a half an hour for a bus?
11. Green urban design that locates amenities in all parts of the city.
Transit is seeking to become relevant by installing bus stops everywhere. Unfortunately this plan is not the real cure but only a placebo pill. Can someone at city hall take Transit to ICU for healing?