In the spirit of the holidays, I’ll not reflexively pooh-pooh Thomasville’s trial bus route, paid for with $80,000 in federal stimulus money funneled through the High Point Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Instead, I’ll praise this High Point Enterprise editorial:

During this pilot project, those operating it must keep meticulous records on ridership numbers, chart the opinions of riders and also gather information from Thomasville citizens in an effort to gauge the real consumer demand for such service. And then there’s the matter of funding such a system in the future, if the need for public transportation in the city is demonstrated by this pilot project.

…But such systems are expensive, don’t usually cover their operating costs and end up requiring local tax dollars from citizens in addition to state and federal subsidies. They can “take” more than they “give back.”

Evidently they’re not grasping that concept in Greensboro, where a ‘green panel’ will attempt to ‘boost bus ridership.’

That’s going to take some doing, because the other night I saw two GTA buses cruising down Friendly Avenue with a total of one rider.