By David Louie : abc7news – excerpt (including video)
PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) — Ridesharing services are taking a bite out of public transit on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Ridership is down between four and five percent for both SamTrans and VTA, the Valley Transportation Authority.
“If ridership does continue to decline, yes, maybe some hard decisions will have to be made,” said Dan Lieberman, a media relations representative at SamTrans…(more)
No one is happy with the current state of our streets and highways and everyone blames someone else. Let’s change the failed system and not worry about why it isn’t working. Public transit agencies need to prioritize moving people where they need to go when they need to get there and drop the emphasis on resigning the streets.
For more than a decade the public has given the government a chance to figure out how to manage the streets and plan for a “future better bay area”. Government goals and priorities have been largely focused on re-directing the public, not in serving the public. This has resulted in bad decisions like bus seat and stop removal, that reduced public transit use. Just as the public predicted, they got off the bus. Riders do not trust the system and are fleeing the chaos and violence.
What do you expect the results to be when public transportation agencies partner with competing enterprise corporations? Who is benefiting from these partnerships? Instead of hiring lobbyists to force more controls, fines and fees on the citizens they are supposed to serve, public agencies like the SFMTA should hire lobbyists to work on returning the control of the TNCs to the local communities they are effecting. CHANGE THE STATE LAW instead of using it as an excuse for the gridlock they are producing to change the behavior of the people they are supposed to serve.
We need to relax the stranglehold the CPUC has on our local governments and stop the state power grab over local jurisdiction. We need a return to local control over local matters. Streets are local and require local control. Public transportation is a local affair and needs local solutions.
Remember what life was like before the TNCs? We had a transit system that worked and people with cars were able to take transit when it was convenient without worrying about having to re-park their cars. Taxis were easier to find on the street. There were less cars on the street and traffic moved more smoothly. Reducing lanes and parking has not brought the benefits we were promised. We need to pause and reset our priorities.