Letter: RFTA is not a business; it is a subsidized public service
David Brown (Letters, Oct. 24) compared RFTA to his construction business, the success of which he attributed to years of hard work. Like you, Mr. Brown, I succeeded in a business, and now life is good. And yes, I wouldn’t have succeeded without persistent hard work. But I know lots of folks who worked harder than me for more years than me, and now they are poor. I got lucky, Mr. Brown, and so did you.
RFTA is inefficient because it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t leave out people who need a bus late at night, people who need to get to work before daybreak, who need to… You get the idea. RFTA is not a business; it is a subsidized public service, as it ought to be. Its buses carry lifties, food service workers, hotel cleaners, desk clerks, etc. Some of those buses have likely carried your painters, carpenters, and all-around grunt workers. They take workers when and where needed at prices the workers can (barely) afford. RFTA is, among other things, a subsidy to entrepreneurs. It helps your business along with your employees. It helps people who don’t have cars and students traveling to school. It moves skiers to the slopes. In short, it enhances the regional economy on which most of us depend. RFTA buses run mostly empty at times because it’s requisite they are big, but at other times they run with standing-room only.
Could RFTA be run better? Probably! Do you have some suggestions about how to do that? Share and discuss! But criticizing RFTA because it’s not run like a business? It isn’t a business. If it was, many of us probably couldn’t afford to ride the bus, just like we can’t afford profitable new homes private construction companies build with labor that’s cheaper because RFTA exists. Your letter, Mr. Brown, bites the hand that feeds you. And why would you think that people riding near-empty RFTA buses at midnight aren’t working the same long hours for just as many years as you and I did?
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