Cutting back on public transport

In the wake of Government's announcement of the cancellation of the St. George's to Hamilton daily ferry service, as well as this recent article about the reduction of the #6 bus route for St. George's to St. David's, I have to wonder what exactly Government sees its public transportation role as.

Considering that Government promised to make public transportation free for all in their election manifesto, and indeed followed up with enabling schoolchildren to ride buses for free, it should be clear that they're treating the bus and ferry services as services to the community at large - taxpayer dollars rightfully going to what can be considered an essential service to the population.

However the claim that they're cutting routes because they don't get enough passengers or that there are financial constraints at play doesn't make sense.

Make up your mind. Don't short-change your customers, particularly those in St. David's. The Government should be pushing hard to encourage people to leave their cars at home, thus reducing congestion, noise pollution, exhaust fumes, while making the streets safer at the same time. However you have to provide the means, and that includes having consistently running buses and ferries, adequate parking at the ferry stops, sheltered bus stops (and include sidewalks/pedestrian crossings in the vicinity), to encourage the populace to do so.

Public transport isn't likely to be a profitable industry here, so don't try to make it as such. The value of a good public transportation can be measured in other ways than dollars earned or spent.

No comments: