This week's letter of the week comes from Earl Williams who argues that transit opponents are taking a shortsighted view of the system. We don't expect this to be the last word on transit, but it's a good starting point for future discussions. Thanks for the letter, Earl. You can pick up your winners prize at our offices 704 NW Georgia.
This is a response to the 12/11/08 "Opinion" letter by Tom Filcich titled "Transit Reporting is Biased." Mr. Filcich states that Jodie Barram said, "transit was a mistake and someone dropped the ball."
It's easy to corrupt the essence of what a person says by extracting only a small part of what was said. Jodie Barram is an enthusiastic supporter of Bend public transit; she recognizes that it is an economic stimulus IN Bend FOR Bend. (Why I voted for her.)Please note that "was" is a past-tense word. All the start-up problems of Bend public transit have been long resolved, very satisfactorily.
Professional firefighters occasionally are the cause (rather than preventers) of forest fires. A good example is the recent fire near Camp Sherman that burned about 1800 acres. It WAS a "controlled burn" that went awry. Nevertheless, it would be unwise to not continue the services of professional forest firefighters. Likewise, it would be unwise to discontinue Bend public transit because of early problems long ago resolved. (Edison had more failures than successes.)
Mr Filcich's contention of how ridership should be counted is ridiculous. If he takes a taxi from home to wherever, and then from that wherever back to home, should that be counted as only one trip? (And the taxi service should charge for only one trip, not two?)The fact that one passenger can make numerous trips, easily, speaks well for Bend public transit. It is important to realize that we are in a recession; and it is a nationwide recession that the national government is trying to alleviate with a stimulus, Bend cannot provide any worthwhile stimulus for such a widespread problem. But Bend CAN provide its OWN stimulus for Bend, with its public transit which already IS an economic stimulus to Bend and continues to become even more so.
The City of Bend can thrive only if Bend businesses thrive. All passengers of BAT are shoppers and thus are customers (without which no business can thrive, or even survive). So with the recession causing numerous businesses to close shop, it should behoove the Bend citizenry to recognize the importance of BAT as a stimulus for Bend (and not for some FARAWAY business in some FARAWAY city).
BAT operates only in Bend. So where do you suppose the customers who ride BAT do their shopping?
Sincerely, Earl Williams