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



Why Sabrena Turner Is The Better Candidate - And Response

Chess is a complicated game which requires the player to make the best move from a sometimes large number of seemingly good choices. Each possible choice must be examined thoroughly and discarded until the best move is determined. Hopefully, the voters throughout Hamilton County will, as I did, use a similar process regarding their choice for the Hamilton County Commission District ... (click for more)

Charter Gives Little Solace If Chattanooga Sued Over Gay Ordinance

Today opponents of Chattanooga's domestic partner benefits ordinance are launching their campaign to convince city voters to overturn the rule in an August plebiscite. Residents seeking to give council member Chris Anderson the boot are rallying this week for signatures to put his ouster on the ballot. They have less than two weeks to obtain 1,600 signatures.   But there's ... (click for more)

City Applies For $27 Million Federal Grant On $52 Million Wilcox Tunnel Project

The city is applying for a $27 million federal TIGER 6 grant for a $52 million complete reworking of the narrow Wilcox Tunnel through Missionary Ridge. The project would leave the current tunnel in place for westbound traffic with a single lane and build a new two-lane tunnel for eastbound traffic. There would be an emergency egress cross passage between the two. Final ... (click for more)

NAACP Recommends Staying Away From Planned Protest By Neo-Nazi Group

The president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the NAACP, urged local residents to stay away from a planned rally here by the Nationalist Socialist Movement in August. James R. Mapp said the group seeks to provoke incidents and said counter-protests could lead to problems. Mr. Mapp said, "On April 8th, 2014, reports surfaced throughout the Chattanooga-Hamilton County region that ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy Uses Eight-Run Inning To Subdue Lincoln County, 13-3

An early two-run deficit meant nothing to Soddy-Daisy’s baseball team Thursday night. Catcher Dillon Clift and pitcher Andy Wright each hit two-run homers, Tre Carter stole home and Soddy-Daisy scored eight runs in the second inning en route to a 13-3 win over Lincoln County in the Trojan Classic at Tom Higgins Field. “We’ve given up a few of those,” Trojans coach Jared Hensley ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Softball Hosts MTSU

The Chattanooga Mocs softball team is set to host in-state rival Middle Tennessee Friday and Saturday at Frost Stadium in a non-conference two-game set.  The Good Friday game is set to begin 5 p.m. with Saturday’s finale starting at Noon. Chattanooga is currently 24-17 with a 9-5 Southern Conference mark – just 2.5 games back of SoCon leading Georgia Southern – while Middle ... (click for more)