Opinion

Don’t let Island Transit start charging fares | Letter

Editor,

Regarding the issue of Island Transit funding, from this point forward, we should never accept anything but ongoing “fare-free” service from Island Transit.

Island Transit vehemently maintained that their inability to collect fares from their riders, in any way, shape or form other than via local sales taxes, is absolute.

Island Transit incessantly drummed that theme each of the three times they came to the voters asking for 3/10th of 1 percent sales tax to fund their maintenance and operations, until they maxed out at 9/10th of 1 percent local sales-tax funding.

Therefore, when I read in the online comments section of the newspaper ignorant statements like: “I think it’s shameful Island Transit does not charge one cent for a ride,”  “Users of the bus service should pay for the service,”  “Free ride is over” or “Pay the full cost through your ticket purchase,” it’s apparently past time to remind folks how the current “fare-free” structure came to be and how adamantly Martha Rose has always maintained that Island Transit can never collect fares from its ridership.

We should ensure she is held to her word, forever.

We should now endeavor to ensure Island Transit remains “fare-free” ad infinitum.

If, for some reason, ongoing, perennial “fare-free” ridership is not possible with 9/10th of 1 percent local sales-tax funding, Island Transit’s business model is a failure; it can cease operations and local sales can be decreased by 9/10th of 1 percent.

William Burnett

Oak Harbor

 

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