Time To Rethink Public Transit - And Response (3)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Recently I was having lunch at a downtown establishment and noticed from across the street, a line of CARTA buses sitting idle. Theses buses, the most at one time being six, held no riders. They arrived with no riders, stopped, waited for 3-5 minutes, may have boarded one rider and off down the street they went.  

As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, I have kept an open eye on these large smoke burping behemoths. Rarely do I ever see more than one or two riders when I glance past the rolling billboards. Seems, to me , this is a huge waste of city money, as well as a pair of Irish sunglasses on our fair city.  

After the last 25 years of growth and reinventing ourselves, it may be high time for us to rethink the public transit system.

Mark Arnold

Chattanooga 

 * * * 

Perhaps the problem is implementation. 

First of all you have the poor coverage of outlying areas. When I lived on Eldridge in Hixson, I had to walk about an hour on Delaschamitt then Ely to get to the #16 line. Both are narrow roads with little or no sidewalks, often no shoulder, all while traffic speed along. 

Closer in is not much better. Now I have to walk well over six blocks across a busy intersection with a blind hill to get the stop on a side street. 

Then there is the fact that you can only get a monthly pass during the week which cannot be recharged on the bus. 

And the only locations that can recharge it are only open during the week, not the weekend.
So if you have car on weekends but not during the week you're out of luck. How about recharging online? 

We are attracting people from other parts of the country and other countries who are used to a functioning mass transit system. And as we grow as a city we will need CARTA to take some of the load off our roadways. 

Otherwise the alternative is even more snarls and congestion than we have now. It is time we started to invest in a proper mass transit system worthy of a 21st century city. 

R.W. Young
Chattanooga 

* * *  

Apparently, the writer has never taken a bus lately. While he sips his Starbucks staring down his nose at the street, others had been dropping off for work. 

Mark Rudisill 

* * * 

It seems that CARTA is a sacred cow. We know it loses a lot of money, but nobody wants to address the issue. CARTA's 2013 budget is about $19,250,000. Ridership is on target at about 3,200,000. A little math and it turns out that each rider costs a about $6 per trip. Any private business would have been gone a long time ago. I don't know how to calculate the value returned by subsidizing each rider with taxpayer dollars. 

I believe there is a need for mass transit in Chattanooga. But I don't see any accountability as to why CARTA loses as much as $6 every time someone steps onto a bus. Now with CARTA operating parking lots and meters, there is even less incentive to increase ridership. Parking lots appear to be more profitable than collecting bus fares. 

Harry Presley



Remembering Mitch Beard On Memorial Day

A little over two years ago, my friend Mitchell "Mitch" Beard passed away from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident at 24 years old. This was not as it should be. Mitch had made it through war. He was a combat-decorated United States Marine who served in Afghanistan. I first met Mitch when I was a college student at Tennessee Temple in 2004. Mitch’s parents, Steve ... (click for more)

Trump's Messaging

I have been an ardent supporter of Trump since he first entered the race.  O'Reilly's special with him last evening, which I saw very early this morning, has turned me around and left me on empty.  Thanks to Bill, he finally was successful in goading Trump to explain what he plans to do specifically to put his expressed commitments to the people in place if he is elected. ... (click for more)

Large Hole Develops In Lane Of I-24 Eastbound Over Chestnut Street; Emergency Repair Undertaken

 A large hole developed in the I-24 eastbound bridge over Chestnut Street in Chattanooga on Sunday evening. Jennifer Flynn of TDOT said, "The hole is such that we are having to close a lane to protect traffic.  This will cause a significant backup in traffic, especially given the holiday.  "This is the same bridge, but different location that we recently did ... (click for more)

12 Lost Hikers Rescued At Rainbow Lake, Edwards Point

Eleven adults and a child were briefly lost at Rainbow Lake and Edwards Point trails on Signal Mountain on Sunday. A 911 call was made at 9:45 p.m. from one of the hikers reporting the group lost sunlight hiking out of the trails at Edwards Point. Th Signal Mountain Fire Department and the Walden's Ridge Emergency Services have responded to the scene to ... (click for more)

Chicago Fire Wins Steinbrecher Cup 2-1 In Overtime

It took 120 minutes to decide who is the best US amatuer soccer team Saturday night at Finley Stadium as the Chattanooga Football Club took on the Chicago Fire of the PDL.   The Fire would score first but Chattanooga tied the match early in the second half.  Luke Winter scored the equalizer in the 47th minute off a Jon Finlay cross.   The game would remain tied ... (click for more)

Smokies' Hurlers Limit Lookouts To Four Hits Sunday In 5-1 Win

The Lookouts drew six walks, but only managed four hits in their 5-1 loss to the Tennessee Smokies Sunday in front of a crowd of 5,356 fans at AT&T Field.    Chattanooga's loss drops them to 22-28 through 50 games in the Southern League North Division. Tennessee starting pitcher Brad Markey was lights out early for the Smokies, carrying a no-hitter into ... (click for more)