Transit is missing out on funding support | Letter


After reading once again about Island Transit and its money problems, could it be that I’m the only one who’s head is about to explode?

Martha Rose, we need dedicated funding for transit? In the “real” world, dedicated funding comes from people making a conscience choice to spend money on something they want or need.

But in the “government speak” world, dedicated funding means taking it from someone who doesn’t use it and giving it to someone who does.

For many of us, you will never, ever get our support for Island Transit until you start asking those who use it to pay for at least a part of it.

And I am sick of the excuse that it costs more to collect fares than what it generates.

Charge enough to cover the costs of collecting the fare and the cost to ride the bus. It’s simple math.

In the Whidbey News-Times article, the supporters of the transit system both live off the island and travel here only to work. For a system supported by sales tax revenue from those who shop on the island, I think I’ve spotted a problem.

While the article is not the most well written due to this route issue being one that supports a “connector” system and a funding that comes from the state — that free grant money windfall — that we are transporting people to the island for a job only is a problem for whom?

“The bus is much, much cheaper …?”

Duh, it’s free. How about kicking in, say, 10 percent of what you used to spend on gas for that free ride to work? I’ll bet he’d be happy to pay something, but since IT doesn’t want to bother themselves with that task, he doesn’t.

And since we are hauling bicycles around so people can get their exercise, how about a little payment for that too?

Rose, throwing out figures such as we only fund transit service at 2 percent and the rest of the country is 23 percent is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.

Statistics and percentages can be skewed and manipulated to present whatever it is you want to show. Until you start asking the people who use the bus to shoulder some of the expense, you will be missing a lot of the support you need.

Chuck Krieg

Oak Harbor County

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