To the editor:
Perhaps Ms. Muhammad should ride the taxpayer subsidized T instead of using taxis (J-W, Tuesday). According to recent published figures the T averages 918 passengers per month. An average month has 30 days, so the T carries about 30 passengers per day. Taxpayers footed the bill for over $2 million last year to cover the T's expenses. That comes to $5,479 per day, or $182.64 per passenger. I would expect to see the same taxpayer subsidy this year, if not more.
Eight dollars per ride taxi fare is cheap compared to what we spend per rider on the T. Ms. Muhammad would like to see the city regulate fares for taxi service, or aid low-income people with subsidized fares.
Before the city decides to add further regulation to independent business trying to earn a living in this community, it should look very hard at how it spends taxpayer money subsidizing recreation and services in Lawrence. Taxi subsidies would not appear to cost the taxpayer as much per ride as the T does. The city commission has made a choice of contractor if they choose to extend the life of the T. If we have to choose between subsidizing the T" or subsidizing taxi fares, the numbers speak for themselves. There are a lot of cab rides in $182.00.
We need commissioners who understand the value of the taxpayer dollar and get us the right service or recreation for the money.