Stupidity strikes Capital Metro again

<RANT>

I was on the bus yesterday and noticed a “Rider Advisory” stating that Capital Metro will no longer publish their schedule book, but will instead post it on the internet.

The statement goes as follows:

Due to declining use, more reliance on the web and cost-cutting measures, Capital Metro will not print the Destinations Schedule book for the fall 2009 service change. The book will continue to be available online and printed schedules and system maps will be available free of charge. Fewer than 8000 of the books were purchased in 2009, down from a usage of 135,000 in 2006.

They continue to talk about how much money not printing the book will save taxpayers… which is silly to begin with. Unfortunately their thinking is heavily flawed. The higher circulation in 2006 than in 2009 was because in ’06, the book was FREE but in ’09, the book cost $1 and was only available for purchase at their downtown transit store, which is a huge hassle to get to within their limited operating hours, and online purchase is a rather slow method of getting one, plus there’s a $2.00 surcharge for ordering online and paying with a credit card. They also claim that this is a positive change that is in line with CapMet’s commitment to the environment and ‘smart investment of public dollars’.

Bullshit.

Obviously the decrease in circulation was by design from their decision to start charging for the book and making it near ridiculous to get a copy, and now they’re just completing the job. This is just further fallout from their decision to raise the bus fares by 50% and the special transit service fares by 233% (from $3.00 for 10 rides to $7.00 for 10 rides.) I’d call this behavior discriminatory against the poor and those with fixed incomes at the very least, as they’re the ones who ride the bus the most.

I strongly urge anyone who rides the bus and uses these schedule books to lodge a complaint with CapMetro as I did. Their number is 512/474-1200.

</RANT>

2 Responses to “Stupidity strikes Capital Metro again”

  1. By all appearances, you are blogging to yourself, Cory. Or should I call it “ranting?” I rode Houston Metro this week and found their online schedule, maps and trip planner to be efficient. I don’t ride the bus – well, extremely rarely. The last ride, I remember the fare was a Buck ($1) and you had to have correct change. I didn’t recall that the fare box took bills, so I had quarters ready. Now it is $1.25. When I asked for a “transfer” the friendly driver inaudibly replied something that I interpreted as “no transfers.” OK, I had 3 quarters and some pocket change that I had not counted. The transfer timing of the buses matched OK, although a little off schedule. I dropped everything I had into the fare box, $1.15, and then look “dumb.” The driver told me I was 10 cents short. I dug out 2 pennies more and dropped them in and he looked satisfied, but then I had to pay the price. You see, maybe 3 people were on the bus and I was standing right there near the driver, so he began talking. I listened. Turned out he is 42, single, very personable and nice, driving for many years and explained his job thoroughly. He has 5 cars (Jaguar, Honda, S-10 Chev, etc. and, of course, a Cadillac-none new). As more riders boarded, I sat down and realized I could have used a dollar bill in the fare box. It was an interesting ride and I arrived at my destination, well 0.42 miles from it, and I enjoyed the walk the remaining distance as I thought of all the information the driver gave me about himself and Houston Metro. Oh yeah, the bus was clean and cool, but very, very noisy!

  2. All bloggers are blogging to themselves. 😉 Houston’s system is considerably more advanced than Capital Metro…

    CapMetro has a considerably smaller service area than Houston and does a piss poor job of servicing it, then because they can’t get their act together and run a rail system that will pay for itself, we all have to pay the price for their ineptitude.

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