Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Green Line Eats Green

The Indy Star is touting IndyGo's Green Line from the airport as some kind of winner. If it's a winner, the bar must be set below the low hurdle of mediocrity. From the report:
So far, the Green Line isn't profitable. All of the express lines need a federal subsidy.

"It is unlikely to make money given the hours" that public transportation has to be available, Terry said. The Green Line runs from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Green Line driver Dennis Harrell said the bus is often full and, sometimes, his passengers are celebrities, such as the players and managers attending this month's winter meetings of Major League Baseball in Indianapolis.

"We do see the Green Line starting to pick up, and it is one of the areas we will focus on next year. It has been getting better as we continue to tweak the routes," Terry said.

The Green Line was carrying about 300 to 400 passengers a month when it started in 2007, but the numbers had grown to 3,868 in October. There were nearly 23,000 through the first 10 months of this year, an increase of 94 percent from the same period last year, said IndyGo spokeswoman Jenny Brown.

Why is it unlikely to make money during those hours? Given the quote, one might expect the buses running from Midnight to 4am.

23,000 passengers? That many cars pass over I-465 in half a day. Etc.

I tire of the waste. If there is to be public transportation, the riders should pay for it. Raise the fares, and make it so. And, don't hand me the similarly tiring line, 'Well the roads are also subsidized'. No shit. You don't say. So, because we do one thing wrong, we should do another wrong, eh? We can as easily make user fees pay for the roads entirely as we can the buses. So, the reality is that our system is designed really as a transfer of wealth, to those who enjoy transportation, public or private, from those who very frequently do not.

There's your waste. Cut, cut cut.