Thursday, March 14, 2013

Burlington Transit – Fares Going up – Service Going Down.

In a previous posting I tried to find humour in the City of Burlington’s idea about raising transit rates.

The Toronto Star, Canada’s most widely read paper, quoted Burlington’s Mayor as saying that there should be a clear rationale to determining fares.

But that isn’t happening and a proposed 8% hike is  against the advice of staff and totally arbitrary coming out of the environmentally/transit challenged head of some Burlington Councillor.  So at the end of the day I guess raising rates really isn’t funny.

But now that Burlington’s transit planning is becoming so well known with a story in the Star of all things I thought a little history might help.

Last year we put this video together to show how badly resourced Burlington Transit is compared to other communities.

I looked at it today. While the data is a year old it reflects the historical trend. And the acting is terrific.

The Mayor of Burlington Made me Smile Today

 Does the Globe and Mail still have that “Morning Smile” on the front page?

Here is today’s knee slapper from Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring.
Referring to a steep increase in transit fares that his council will be considering on Monday night Goldring said:
They should not be done on an ad hoc basis.  There should be some clear rationale.”

OK, I sense you are not rolling in the aisles on this one.  And how good is a joke if you have to explain it, right?   But here goes.

Well, why it made me laugh is that the just a little over a year ago the mayor had a rationale in his hands.  A report from Dillon Consultants entitled  The Route Ahead: Burlington Transit Master Plan 2012 -2021 ran  nearly two hundred pages and laid out a busload of rationales and all kinds of strategies for Burlington Transit including pricing strategies.
Council didn’t like what was in that report (which by the way cost over $100,000).  It never was released for public comment.
Instead Council has headed off on its own by cutting routes and shifting gas tax dollars away from transit.
Now the basis for all transit decisions is truly ad hoc with absolutely no clear rationale for what is being done.  
Actually it really isn’t that funny is it?