The City is Taking the Buses

Gas is as expensive as it has been in a while, and it’s going to get dearer.

Supply chain disruptions have driven the cost of new and used cars to record highs.

Do you think now is a good time for the City to cut back on public transportation?

As of February 20th, Sun Metro has “modified” (cut back on) 28 bus routes. It has suspended 4 routes entirely.

Ostensibly, the route cuts were necessary because COVID reduced the number of drivers. But COVID is so last month.

Few people in El Paso take the bus because taking the bus sucks. It’s almost as if the City made public transportation suck, so fewer people would take it, so the City could justify reducing it.

A progressive, forward thinking City Government might think that now is a good time to revamp public transportation, but public transportation is used mainly by the working class, and the City of El Paso, the Chamber of Commerce, and MountainStar Sports Group have declared war on El Paso’s working class.

The City of El Paso took on a lot of debt when things were relatively good, so now that the going is a little rockier, we don’t have the assets we need to deal with today’s problems.

The City of El Paso took on that debt with no return on the investment. We spent transportation allocations from the federal government on the trolley, and we’re fixing to spend more federal money on widening the freeway.

We could have fixed the buses. We could build the Borderland Expressway.

But why make sense?

6 comments

  1. Don’t know about the bus; never rode one here. How are they in Kiev?

    My mother’s family are from Kiev. My father’s family are from western Ukraine. I am 100% Ukrainian genetically. Never made an issue of it and have always identified as American. Don’t know anyone there. But are the Ancestors speaking now? What are they saying ? Can I hear them?

    Imagine a crowd of young Ukrainian and Russians here. They would take selfies, post photos on Insatgram, party, and hook up. But tonight they’re shooting each other on the streets of Kiev.

    Godfuckingdammit!

    1. This drills down on transportation in Houston, but I think this is appropriate for any city in Texas:
      https://bnjd.substack.com/p/a-climate-objective-breaking-car?utm_source=url

      Transit mode shares were cut in about half for the big four (SA, AUS, DAL, HOU) from 1960 to 1970. City of EP transit mode share was 1% in 2019, less than HOU (4%). You cannot expect people to ride the bus when service is bad and you people will continue to drive when it is convenient and subsidized.

    2. Here’s my speculative take on Russia invading the Ukraine.

      Putin doesn’t really care about the Ukraine. Putin only cares about Putin. He, like all of the oligarchs, is only interested in playing the game, and making incremental improvements in his own position. Like sharks, they have to keep swimming.

      Invading the Ukraine is a step towards destabilizing the U.S., and helping his buddy/tool Donald Trump get back in the White House.

      I’m no fan of Joe Biden. He made a lot of promises to get elected that he hasn’t kept. Late Stage Capitalism is crippling Americans, but everyone in government is in the game, so no one wants to fix it. Wealth and income inequality are this country’s biggest problems, but no one is willing to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

      Don’t get me started.

      That’s just my quick take. I welcome contrary opinions.

      Rich

  2. I won’t go so far as to say that Joe Biden has failed to keep his promises, simply because he has had little chance to keep them with the blatant obstructionism coming from the GOP, and members of his own Party. I do blame the Democrats for not immediately moving to dump the filibuster, and take real control of the Congress the day after President Biden was inaugurated. And, I do blame the Democratic Party for its ongoing failure to address the real problems and to work to support the President.

    1. “…dump the filibuster, and take real control…”

      That is so 20th century, the paradigm Putin operates from and much of our leadership, Trump and Biden included. There is no “real control” in a connected world but it works fine in a feudal world.

  3. About those buses…it’s not surprising that the ridership is not very high.. If you want to go anywhere at night…job, school, concert, dinner…you HAVE to drive as there is NO evening service (other than the Trolley, which runs occasionally from UTEP to downtown – and you still have to drive to take it unless you live on the route!) So people get used to driving…and many if not most trips can be done faster by car than by bus.

    The continuing sprawl just means it gets harder to provide frequent and rapid service. So the ridership ain’t going up!

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