[tabi] from today's Democrat: editorial on StarMetro

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:14:50 -0400

October 21, 2009
Our Opinion: StarMetro's listening
Constructive criticism will help the plan
Tallahassee's public transportation system has long needed improvements
to make it
more user friendly and convenient to a wide range of riders - and
potential riders.
This summer, StarMetro introduced a plan - so far, just a plan - for a
number of
changes intended to be positive, everything from "going green" by
encouraging more
motorists to use public transportation from time to time, to eliminating
the downtown
transfer station that has been used for 40 years and adds extra time to
any journey.
So new cross-town routes that don't go downtown are being organized,
along with plans
for shorter wait times at the bus stops, though greater distances
between some of
them to accommodate the more frequent stops. WiFi-equipped buses now and
plans to
expand into outlying regions later are changes to salute.
But, no question, there are problems to be addressed before the plan
known as Nova
2010 is implemented.
Part of an orderly process of change of this magnitude is to hear
specific problems
outlined in route-by-route detail by users who absolutely depend upon
StarMetro as
their chief means of not only transportation but independence.
Critically important to the discussion are the very practical views of
people who
live and work with disabilities, many students, older people who choose
not to drive
- but not to never leave their homes - and those who can't afford to own
and operate
a car.
Their mobility can't be sacrificed for an idealized leaner, greener,
more efficient
Which means adjustments can and must be made to the plan so that, when
an additional stop, or stops a little closer together or at safer or
more convenient
locations, can be incorporated into the plan.
As was noted by neighborhood association advocates who held a town hall
meeting on
the plan last week, "any mass transit plan must strike an appropriate
balance between
accessibility and mobility."
Finding route-specific problems with the proposed public transportation
plan doesn't
make the overall goal of modernizing a bad idea. Change is needed if
ever StarMetro
is to attract new riders and become a more modern, regional mass transit
Productive criticism and specific suggestions for change in the proposal
are exactly
what the Tallahassee city commissioners need before they vote on Nova
2010 in March.

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  • » [tabi] from today's Democrat: editorial on StarMetro - Chip Orange