by Locker Room contributor
In light of the recent HOV discussion, I thought this little bit of information from Otis White was of interest.
Too Busy for the Bus
When Washington, D.C.?s Metro transit system hosted a town-hall meeting recently, a number of citizens demanded to know whether any of Metro?s board members actually rode the system they governed. Good question, the Washington Post decided. So it asked 10 of the board members to describe their transit usage. (Two others refused to talk with the newspaper.) Turns out, the citizens were right to wonder. Only half of Metro board members said they rode the system regularly, none is a daily passenger, and most said they?d never ridden a Metro bus or, if they had, couldn?t remember the last time they did. Only a few board members said they rode the system to board meetings. Most drove and parked for free in the transit system?s underground garage. One board member said riding Metro just wasn?t worth the hassle. ?My travel, my destinations and my time frame make it very difficult for me to use the system,? she said. ?I would have to take two trains and two buses…. It just makes it very inconvenient for me to depend on the system on a regular basis.? Transit advocates were appalled. ?If Metro board members feel they could not be on time for their meetings, they could not conduct their daily business in a timely fashion using Metro transportation, what does that say for the rest of us?? asked one. He added, ?If they were riding regularly, they?d be better caretakers.? But one Metro board member said that was nonsense. ?We?re a policy board,? he said. ?I?m not called upon to know whether or not something is working at the Gallery Place Station. I?m appropriately involved with the problems of the system.? Footnote: After the Washington Post article appeared, the Philadelphia Inquirer surveyed SEPTA board members about their riding habits. Results: Pretty much the same, with only four of the 14 members interviewed saying they used the system twice a week or more. There was also the same unconcern that this was somehow a problem. ?It?s like any other board,? said one member. ?There are people who serve on boards who have very little or nothing to do with the product produced by the company.?