January 19th, 2021

Public transit on the sick list


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?
Irwin Olfert
Lethbridge

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Sharkmeister

This is why the millions of dollars spent on the new bus terminal was such a giant waste of money. But hey, we will just raise the taxes.

snowman

Were you shocked to read the KPMG report on transit that stated $100.00 per hour to operate near empty city buses drivers probably get $35.00 hour plus benefits, go cost carbon tax on fuel, union is happy they are getting their dues. Who pays not ridership but TAXPAYER.

Fescue

The bus ridership also pays taxes, and for many, transit is their only affordable option. This is an example of isolating services they don’t use for criticism. I can list a dozen services that I don’t use, but another dozen that I do – it comes out in the wash and makes Lethbidge livable for everybody.

But if you have realistic options or solutions, snowman and Irwin, let’s hear them.

Fescue

Fescue’s car cost calculation:
Ave. new car price $37,560
Ave. mileage 15000 km/yr
Ave. fuel 9.4 l/km
Ave. speed 70 km/h (city/hwy)
Insurance, registration, maint $1000/yr
Car value depreciated over 8.4 years

Cost to drive = $32/hr

We should all be taking the bus.

gs172

I agree that transit in Lethbridge is not run well. I used to ride it constantly in my youth (12-25 years old) in the late 70’s and 80’s but as you said the world has changed. One of the most frustrating things about transit now is convenience and scheduling at least that’s what my son has told me. He walked to high school because quite frankly it took twice as long to ride the bus. As for college he did it for one year then got a car because it took so long and it put his job at risk. You can get across Calgary in a bus in the time it takes to get from the north side to the south here. Does that make sense? We can’t get rid of it entirely because people do depend on it but it needs to adapt and be flexible to their needs. A good example is the industrial area. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bus East of 28 st north.

Last edited 1 month ago by gs172
biff

stupid is as stupid does, goes the adage.
great entries from fes, and also from gs172.
in large cities, mass transit works very well because there are enough of the masses using mass transit far closer to capacity. unfortunately, as gs notes, it takes far too long to get from a to b in a lethbridge city bus because ridership is too thin….woeful. consequently, there is every reason to try as hard as one can to afford one’s own car. riding a bike might be an option for many more than already do so, but given how many very high wind days we have here, and given how poorly looked after our roads are, especially in winter (still slick ice on many roads despite no snow and above freezing temps for weeks now), regular biking is best an option for the most robust.
however, given that, as fes notes, the cost to use a private vehicle is expensive, too, there must be a better way. moreover, the footprint from the vast majority of people that use private vehicles is far more massive than often empty buses. even greater are the footprints from big man in extra big truck, and from suvs – most of which have just the driver on board the great majority of the time.
solution: tax gas to the hilt. make it expensive as can be to run a vehicle. this forces people to mass transit, which will in turn make mass transit a viable and efficient form of transportation: as more people use it, the service improves. get buses running to rail service, and get rail service going from larger center to to larger center. less road carnage, too, as intoxicated folk are not driving, and distracted folk can still practice their 24/7 addiction to their devices, only safely now. perhaps the city could even save some money now and again, whereby we have volunteer driver days, so that big truck man can still get his jollies driving big machine, but now in a community useful and socially responsible way.

Last edited 1 month ago by biff
biff

btw – in this thread we have spam, as in numerous others of late. given that the herald mutes numerous entries that are not spam, how is it that they let spam thrive here? ridiculous.

buckwheat

Beats me, maybe spam is more in line with their content guidelines. Factual things against the mantras and questioning the narratives seem to be out.

biff

file under the sad but true. alas.
and meanwhile, i get trolled again lol

biff

lol, the anti-biff troll strikes again! just sees biff, and boff!, a minus entered.. how does one give a minus for calling out the herald for spam.



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