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Archive for Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bus debacle

July 10, 2012

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To the editor:

All taxpaying residents must demand that City Hall and high-salaried city employees cease to rob our public treasury in the name of special interest and against the majority opinion of the electorate.

The T bus is a prime example of City Hall’s loose fiscal policy that results in higher taxes.

The Republic of Lawrence obtained three diesel/electric hybrid buses through the 2009 so-called federal stimulus bill at a cost of $1.8 million. This bill was financed with new debt. Therefore, our children and grandchildren will be left with our generation’s debts long after the buses have been salvaged for scrap metal.

Our T bus operating cost per passenger mile is already the most inefficient on planet Earth. Our city manager is now proposing a $250,000 budget expense to study the merits of extended hours for the T bus. Why do we need a city manager?

The T bus should be allowed to suffer the same fate as Tyrannosaurus rex: extinction. No one ever rode T rex and very few ride the T bus.

The electorate is paying an enormous price for allowing incumbents to remain in office. The one and only solution coming out of City Hall is, “We will have to raise taxes.” This is not leadership but rather a dereliction of fiduciary responsibility. Each of us has a duty to participate in the political process or we face the consequences of being ruled by our inferiors.

Comments

grimpeur 2 years, 3 months ago

The bus system must be expanded and improved. This is what grown-up cities do.

It's nice to reminisce, but we can no longer afford to imagine ourselves a quaint little town which has no modern transportation needs.

If there is one transportation moneyhole that we must address, it is the current model of personal auto use in Lawrence. The single-occupancy paradigm is bankrupting our city with wasteful trips of one mile or less, excess parking at KU and high schools, and false claims of parking shortages downtown.

We have a glut of unnecessary cars on our roads every day. it's unsustainable, expensive, and destructive. We must make other modes more attractive.

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Topple 2 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, people just don't feel the trade-off is worth it. If I want to run to the grocery store, I don't want to walk 2 blocks to a bus stop and wait 30 minutes in 110 heat for a 30 minute journey to the store, then repeat the walking when I'm done shopping and have a bunch of cold stuff to get home. CONVENIENCE > saving $0.50 in gas.

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Phil Minkin 2 years, 3 months ago

It's nice that you have the alternative of driving to the store, many Lawrence residents don't. I am without a car and walk about 40 minutes to the grocery store( I enjoy the exercise), then take the bus back. I time my trip so I seldom wait more than 5 minutes, since I know how to read the bus schedule.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 3 months ago

It is not the taxpayers job to provide you, or anyone else with transportation. Period. I don't care if you can't get to the grocery store, work or to the whore house, you and the others need to pay your own bills and not ask us to pay them for you.

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sourpuss 2 years, 3 months ago

Except that the "taxpayers" DO provide you with transportation. The roads, the lights, the signs, and the enforcement. You are a LONG way from "paying your own bills" whatever that means. You clearly have idea the true cost of driving. Besides, the more people that take the bus, the more people that are out of your precious way on your roads, no? You'd rather everyone get out there and drive, slowing you down? I'd think that would be worth something to you, but I guess you can't have it both ways, eh?

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Phil Minkin 2 years, 3 months ago

Should the gov provide education, fire protection, trash pick-up, libraries, concerts in the park, recreational facilities. Just askin'.

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Phil Minkin 2 years, 3 months ago

Should the gov provide education, fire protection, trash pick-up, libraries, concerts in the park, recreational facilities. Just askin'.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

Being green folks as we are, we are installing a rain barrel so we can recover rain water for my ficus bonsai and roses(after running it through a carbon filter). Tell me something foodboy, how would you get your 55 gallon plastic barrel home so you too can help conserve water? It won't fit in the bus door.

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Phil Minkin 2 years, 3 months ago

To quote from "Streetcar Named Desire" "I have always relied on the kindness of others."

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Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 3 months ago

Topple, surely you could plan it a little better, figure out how long it takes you to walk two blocks, which is a fair distance, then get there about five minutes before the bus in due. The bus is for the public and has to pick up other people not just you. A little patience is required on your part so that you realize you are not always going to get everything you want, when you want it.
I suggest you get a cooling bag that will keep items cold as you plod wearily down that long, lonesome sidewalk.

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pinecreek 2 years, 3 months ago

"We have a glut of unnecessary cars on our roads every day. it's unsustainable, expensive, and destructive. We must make other modes more attractive."

I don't disagree about the number of cars on the local roads. The T is the unaffordable component in this particular economic model--low usage, high costs, and a very poor demand model. When oil is $200 per barrel, you will have an economic argument that people will listen to. At today's prices, you have no chance getting them onto the T. Until that equation changes, park the buses and use the alternatives (however much you may dislike them). Remember, economics always win.

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sourpuss 2 years, 3 months ago

The T is very affordable. Its use is climbing every year and it pairs with the KU bus system, which takes a LOT of cars off the roads. As well, the fewer cars on the roads means the longer the roads last, the lower the insurance, the lower the pollution - these are all benefits that have economic effects too. If you can repair a road every 10 years than every 5, that saves a lot of money. Just what "alternatives" are there to public transit anyway? Not everyone can or wants to buy a care, store it somewhere, insure it, tag it, pay the taxes on it, fuel it up, and fix it when it breaks down, even if they can afford it. Just because you choose to drive and pay for transit doesn't mean everyone wants to. Some are happy to use transit and pocket the expense of a car.

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 3 months ago

An excellent letter. What if Mr. Herynk were to find two other like-minded individuals and with them run for the City Commission, get elected, clean house and seriously attempt to return our local government to fiscal sanity? It won't happen, of course, because those who have the intelligence and common sense to make a difference simply won't run for the office - a sad fact that has been true for years with all of our local bodies, especially the School Board.

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DeckDoctors 2 years, 3 months ago

Wow! This is sickening. Big Sis wants to put us under the rule of the UN made up of failed countries so they can 'teach' us bad Americans how to be better global socialists...

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

*DHS Study Brands "Liberty Lovers" as "Potential Terrorists" *

Ruh Ro!

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paulveer 2 years, 3 months ago

So you would be talking about yourself and maybe FHNC, or maybe BAA. (Hee Hee)

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paulveer 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh! Don't forget DD. Now that would be a commission!

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rockchalk9erschiefshawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Your hero must be Willard "I'm not concerned about the poor" Mitt Romney. BTW How was having no winter, and these 100+ degree tempurature days workin fer ya?! Try riding the city transportation system. You will find that your rant is an invalid one. When school is in session, and the population swells to over 100,000 people, you just get out and see how EMPTY the buses are, go to some places of business around town especially on the edges of town, and see how absolutely NO ONE uses the city transit system. Ask ANY "T" or "KU ON WHEELS" driver about how much the buses are not needed. The three hybrids... there are roughly three months out of the year that those three buses do not have to leave people standing waiting for another bus due to being FULL, I repeat FULL. Thats right three 40 foot fifty passenger buses FULL. Instead of just bitching because you can, bitch because there is something to bitch about, because this ain't it.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"BTW How was having no winter, and these 100+ degree tempurature days workin fer ya?!"

Honestly, I don't miss any cold weather and I really hate snow after about 30 minutes of playing in it in the car. As for last week, I didn't mind 104.

Worked out pretty well, I'd say.

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rockchalk9erschiefshawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh, and while you are getting rid of the bus system, be prepared to provide 300 to 400 jobs to the people that you propose to put out of work. 300 to 400 people that pay taxes, have children to put through school, have medical bills, buy groceries, support local business.

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rockchalk9erschiefshawk 2 years, 3 months ago

It's just amazing how a dingleberry causes some people to be constipated :-)

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Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think so, sunny Jim, he is right about all of this and you know it.

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somedude20 2 years, 3 months ago

Now this would be a popular ride in the L-Town

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funkdog1 2 years, 3 months ago

Seriously? Someone is still griping about the T? We have bus service in Lawrence. Have had for a decade now. Get over it.

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Carol Bowen 2 years, 3 months ago

Nonsense. Every bus passenger saves the city in police, courts, road maintenance and repairs, traffic controls, expanded road systems, emergency services, and parking lots. I suspect Mr. Herynk is afraid he will be expected to ride a bus. Someday, he may find that he needs to.

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JayCat_67 2 years, 3 months ago

"All taxpaying residents must demand that City Hall and high-salaried city employees cease to rob our public treasury in the name of special interest and against the majority opinion of the electorate."

You mean that 2 to 1 majority that just a few years ago voted FOR a sales tax increase to continue and improve bus service? That majority?

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"No one ever rode T rex"

Actually, there are pictures on the internets of Jesus riding a T. Rex.

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parrothead8 2 years, 3 months ago

What does "They do not are" mean?

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chootspa 2 years, 3 months ago

The T is "against the majority opinion of the electorate?" Um, might wanna go check the electorate on that one and get back to us. We'll wait.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 3 months ago

Most people who whine about the T are just mad because they get behind one when letting off and putting on people.

Hey Joe, the people voted for the sales tax to help the T by a 70% margin. You are the minority. If you don't like it, move to Ottawa. They don't have public transportation. And you'll have a major high speed highway to get to work soon.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

There was a very low turnout for that vote, if I recall correctly.

So, while 70% voted for the tax, that probably doesn't represent a "majority" of the eligible voters, any more than Brownback election did.

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rockchalk9erschiefshawk 2 years, 3 months ago

To Oneeye: The letter writer IS indeed against having bus service, he stated as much. These are his words....."The T bus should be allowed to suffer the same fate as Tyrannosaurus rex: extinction. No one ever rode T rex and very few ride the T bus".

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Armored_One 2 years, 3 months ago

If the T is such a wonderful, self-sutaining project, then explain this...

http://www2.ljworld.com/qa/sound_off/2012/may/27/transit-system-fares

From what I read, without the forced participation of every tax payer in Lawrence, the T would fold within one month, maybe two if someone was feeling magnanimous...

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

The thousands of cars with one person = empT = the largest and most expensive budget item ever.

Now so many of the EmpT cars keep demanding a $200-$300 million trafficway. Then millions more in new expenses for maintenance and snow removal.

Hmmmmmmmm

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