Posted by eemilla on January 23, 2009
I arrived around four fifteen, and the banquet room was much fuller than I had expected. A power point presentation was running on a loop providing statistics about who rides, how long survey respondents have ridden, where riders come from and go to, and why people choose to take the bus. I assume these results were culled from the survey handed out to riders in October 2008 as the online survey is still available. There were also several maps of the system with sticky notes for riders to post suggestions. From what I could tell most people are in favor of evening, Sunday, and more frequent service. Much to my dismay I didn’t pay enough attention to realize it is a drop in affair, which means I could have ridden the bus (which means I could be drinking a pre-night cap and wouldn’t have to drive back downtown in a couple of hours). For better coverage visit, Scrutiny Hooligans.
I did have another thought on my way back home from the meeting; a majority (possibly over 70%) loved the fare which means there is room for it to increase. I know it would be a pittance (in revenue terms), but why not charge a higher fare for Sunday, holiday, or evening service (say 1.25 or 1.50)? The Transit System could sell Monday through Friday 6a-6p passes for the current price of $7 for 11 tickets, $15 for a monthly pass, or $120 for a yearly pass, with a small increase for an anytime pass say $8-$10 for 11 tickets, $16-$18 for a monthly pass, and $125 or so for a yearly pass with the smallest increase in fares going to committed riders. I think it is important to reward the committed riders who purchase the passes, especially the monthly and yearly passes. I don’t purchase the monthly or yearly pass because I am terribly afraid of losing it, but if the passes were refillable scan cards (like NYC’s) a lost pass could be deactivated and reissued.
Gordon at Scrutiny Hooligans mentioned businesses having their coupons on the bus and then the business would also have transit coupons. Again I like the idea of transit users getting added benefit as well as hopefully reducing downtown parking needs without reducing downtown business traffic.
Don’t forget to take the survey, even if you find excuses not to ride, you can air them so hopefully they can be overcome.