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



General Mills Wildflower Seed Giveaway More Hypocritical Than Glorious

I am writing in reply to Roy Exum's opinion piece from March 21, entitled "Bring the Bees Back." I agree with Mr. Exum that it’s a wonderful idea to plant wildflower seeds and do everything we can to save the bee population, but I take issue with categorizing the General Mills program as a “glorious campaign.” The truth is that unless the giant multinational food and agribusiness ... (click for more)

What Is Really The Issue?

The events of recent days has me repeatedly asking, what is really the issue here? Let's review, in recent days (weeks actually) we have been presented with the news of the teacher in Columbia, Tn. who kidnapped a 15-year-old girl from his school and is still at-large. There has been much speculation about the girl's complicity in her sex abuse/kidnapping. Is this truly being ... (click for more)

Police Shoot And Kill Sheriff's Office Employee After Disorder At Brainerd Home; 2 Off-Duty City Officers Were At Scene Of Altercation Where Shot Was Fired

Chattanooga Police responded to an altercation at a house in Brainerd early Wednesday morning and wound up shooting and killing an armed man, who is an employee of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Police said two off-duty Chattanooga Police officers were at the scene of the disorder in the 300 block of Shawnee Trail. A shot was fired before officers arrived at 1:26 a.m. ... (click for more)

Man Seriously Injured in Apartment Fire On Hickory Valley Road

A Chattanooga man was seriously injured in an apartment fire Tuesday  night . The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around  7:15 p.m.  and responded to Evergreen Apartments at 1507 Hickory Valley Road with six fire companies. Captain Terri Roshell with Quint 8 said light smoke was showing from the two-story apartment building when her fire ... (click for more)

Red Bank Stays Unbeaten With Romp Over Hixson

Mandi Munn has been around a lot of Red Bank softball in her life, both as a player and now as the head coach for the Lionettes, but she probably hasn’t been involved with many games like the one her team played at home Tuesday afternoon. Facing the Hixson Lady Wildcats in a District 6-AA contest, the Lionettes more than batted around in three of their four at-bats and they took ... (click for more)

Bradley Holds Off Ooltewah 3-2 In District 5-3A Play

Before this season Bradley Central’s Colton Cross had not pitched since the eighth grade. Now, the senior right-hander has found his niche as a reliever with the Bears’ baseball team. That's in addition to being the Bears' starting second baseman. Cross entered Tuesday’s District 5-3A game against Ooltewah in the seventh with Bradley nursing a shaky one-run lead. ... (click for more)