The Transit

In the late seventies one of the things I enjoyed doing was getting a newspaper and reading the highlights of the day; or maybe reading a chapter in a good book or a magazine article. If I had some project I was working on I might pull out some of my own notes and start working on them. I had plenty of time I was on the bus. And I liked it.

That was in Sioux City Iowa where there was probably a dozen routes running on 30 minute (or less) intervals. I transferred at the downtown central station but usually stopped and had breakfast and caught the next connection. It was part of a natural non-hectic routine. I didn't have to drive; I just enjoyed the trip.

Living in Tyler I don't have that freedom. The bus doesn't come close to where I live and doesn't go near where I work 30 minutes away. Today's front page discussed Tyler Transit problems questioning what needs to be done. With the traffic problems in Tyler particularly south Tyler there is a need for public transportation. At the same time the transit doesn't have the resources to meet the demand. And then there is the personalism that further widens the gap between the need and the demand.

The transit really is for the poor or the crowded. Tyler is just too fast and flush. People don't (think they) have the average 30-40 minutes to wait for the bus (Tyler routes are spaced an hour to 1:20 apart) and they don't worry about the expense. That's not a statement of fruitlessness but a note that it is not as simple as throwing money at it. There are priorities and other issues and there may be other solutions things that need serious consideration. But to keep this entry short these are just notes. Instead of focusing on fixing traffic problems in Tyler how about working on readily available (time-wise) public transportation. There is a lot of talk about getting more money funding grants. A lot of the expense with this is administrative. Success with this issue will not tolerate a lot of wastefulness. There are groups that build houses for the poor Habitat for Humanity. There are groups that bring food to the elderly. How about some groups to show up and help out with the transportation problems? How about an organization starting their own transit service? They (local government officials) say they know the limitations of the current transit systems that it will take money. But we can't always just wait for the government to be the solution. If we wait it could be a long wait.

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