Letter: Challenging RFTA
Let’s admit a few things after reading about Roaring Fork Transportation Authority in “Bus ridership flat despite upgrades, strong economy” (Aspen Times, Oct. 8).
First, RFTA is one helluva an expensive highway robbery public transit system. In all of America I have never encountered another public bus system in the biggest or smallest cities that charges extortion rates. Not Los Angeles, not New York City, not Denver. Not BART in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Second, RFTA is fundamentally a highway bus route. It uses far less gasoline and/or compressed gas per mile than the Metro bus system in Los Angeles.
Third, RFTA spent money on things like new buses that go empty down valley each morning in droves.
Fourth, RFTA pulled a slick one like the Los Angeles area powers did with the MetroLink train commuter system. MetroLink began on a hope with no clear idea of who would ride it back and forth from outlying areas to LA. MetroLink is heavily subsidized per rider. It began with a subsidy of a little bit more than $32 per rider as opposed to the Los Angeles Metro bus $1.25 subsidy per rider. How do you like them potatoes?
Fifth, the RTFA bull about ridership logic and conduct is not substantiated by scholastic research and solid causation evidence.
In closing, I’d like to check the financial statements and the books of RFTA. Better yet, let Reese Henry & Company check the books and do a 10-year comparative analysis of RFTA with the other public transportation systems I’ve mentioned in this letter.
Screw the argument that transit system size matters because no rural or city public transit in America can out extort the RFTA mafia’s busfare (carfare) charges. The little wee wee RFTA puts the big boy transit systems to shame.
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