Sunday, March 16, 2003

  • PREPARE TO PAY THROUGH THE NOSE If you didn't happen to stumble onto this article from Friday's Boston Globe about the MBTA's proposed fare increase, don't feel bad. You're going to feel worse after you discover that this tidbit was buried towards the end of the article:

    Philadelphia's SEPTA is proposing a 25-cent increase, which could make it the most expensive transit ride in the nation at $2.25.

    Gee, this is the first I've heard of SEPTA proposing a fare increase. Wouldn't it have made more sense for the newspapers in Philadelphia to have reported this first (disclosure note: I work for the Inquirer at the Downington home delivery warehouse)? Unless that's what SEPTA wanted to have happen...

    Then there's this tidbit of bad news from Friday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on the financial problems at the Port Authority of Allegheny County (the transit operator in the Pittsburgh area):

    Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which is three times bigger than Port Authority and whose base fare has been $2 for two years now, is facing an estimated $55 million operating budget problem for the 2003-04 fiscal year.

    Again, it would've been nice if the folks at home would've heard about this without having to go on a UN mission across the internet to find out. But, again, that's SEPTA's modus operandi. By the time the public figures out what's going on, it's too late to stop it. That's what SEPTA tried to do with the Schuylkill Valley "MetroRail" boondoggle, but failed thanks to the efforts of DVARP and the Federal Transit Administration. How much are you willing to bet that along with the fare increase comes dramatic service cuts? And are Fearless Leader and the rest of the stooges running SEPTA even willing to fight Harrisburg to get increased funding for the system to keep it relatively in tact? Don't bet on it...
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