Following a brief interruption during which Bumba was on an airplane – and air travel, if you recall, is not an acceptable mode of travel for this Invitational – Bumba is, happy to say, back on the bus both figuratively and literally. And both Bumba and myself will be happy to receive your entries in this week’s As I Rode On The Bus Invitational Writing Challenge.
As he sat on the bus George Packard, retired schoolteacher, considered the idea of additional subsidies for mass transportation. The bus fare should be 50 cents max, thought George. That way more people would ride the buses and rails to get around, to get to work. The amount of gasoline consumption would be reduced. George wondered how the cost of a really significant subsidy matched up to the proposed costs of other mass transportation proposals like that controversial LA to SF hi-speed rail, or subway line to the ocean, or highway construction costs.
About 30,000,000 bus rides are taken each month on the LADOT, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Counting subway trips that comes to about 32 million rides a month or 384 million rides in a year. A subsidy of a dollar for each ride makes the fare 50 cents. This one dollar/ride subsidy is approximately what the LADOT’s income from county and city grants and bonds is already. So the subsidy doubles existing government funding for the bus. Annual cost of the subsidy would be 400 million give or take a couple of million. Of course there will be a slight reduction in fares collected. But many riders are already receiving discounted bus passes. And if the fare was 50 cents, there would be much higher ridership. We might get some relief from all this traffic, bad air.
Not a bad idea, thought George. I’m going to write my assemblyman.