The KCATA seems to be at cross-purposes with itself. Every time ridership increases — when gas prices went up after Katrina and now during the recession — KCATA, rather than celebrating its success, socks it to its riders (1/6, Local, “Bus system budget proposal asks for 25-cent fare increase”).
I propose KCATA take a new approach — eliminate fares altogether. KCATA’s own literature from last year’s successful campaign to renew the bus tax says fares provide only 12 percent of KCATA’s funding.
I’d think that eliminating the printing of bus passes and transfers, not having to count and account for bus fares and forgoing raises in times when unemployment is high may well save enough to take care of that 12 percent and eliminate all those transfers discarded on the streets as well as people asking passersby for “bus fare.”
Our local government has, of late, been mighty kind to developers and others seeking a free ride at taxpayer expense. How about if we actually give those who really need one a free ride?