by Sam Hieb
Winston-Salem City Manager Lee Garrity submitted a budget that increases spending 9 percent over last year’s budget:
“The budget is trying to make employee compensation more competitive with the market, and to provide additional funding for transit in terms of not only maintaining the financial sustainability of WSTA, but enhancing service on some of the routes,” said Ben Rowe, the assistant city manager, referring to the Winston-Salem Transit Authority.
OK that’s city staff putting the Winston-Salem Transit Authority’s operating deficit at the forefront of the budget, not me. As the winston-Salem Journal reports, WSTA’s operating deficit is projected to grow to $2 million by 2020, while Garrity’s budget calls $3.1 million increase in spending to eliminate the deficit while simultaneously expanding night and weekend service on eight routes. Meanwhile, one low ridership route will be eliminated. Forgive me if I’m skeptical that the deficit will be eliminated anytime soon.
On a semi-related note, Triad City Beat reviews the W-S bike share program:
While I was pushing one of the bikes through the crowd at Bailey Park, Brian Soper excitedly pointed the machine out to his wife.
“We used it in Chattanooga last weekend,” he said. “We were from out of town. It was easy to jump on.”
Noting that he lives in the suburbs of Winston-Salem, Soper said using the bike-share to commute to work wouldn’t make much sense for him, but he could imagine that visitors to the city would find the service a convenient way to get around downtown without worrying about the hassle of parking.
I think that sums it up—local resident unable to use the bike share program because he lives in the evil suburbs and must drive his evil car to work. But it sure will be good for other people.