For those in the
However, it is important to take a closer look at the Paratransit service is, how it came to be and how much it actually cost.
Paratransit service was created out of the
The problem with Paratransit service is that it is more of a taxi service than a transit oriented service. People who are not capable of taking regular bus service are picked up at their homes and taken to work, appointments or shopping. While this service caters to a very small group of people, the cost to provide the service is substantial.
As I have noted before, it cost about $1.75 per passenger on TRAX, $3.75 on the bus and about $35.00 on Paratransit. The cost of providing transit services is not just a problem for UTA but for transit systems across the nation.
Transit systems are caught in the middle between a group of people who think that everyone should have a bus on their front door step and the politicians who have starved transit to death and put unrealistic requirements on how well they perform.
We must face the facts that we are paying the price for 70+ years of auto centric development that makes transit more expensive that it would be otherwise. As more baby boomers get up there in age, this will have an even more dramatic effect on mobility of our society.
Finally, it has to be pointed out once again that most transit funding comes from one of the most volatile forms of taxing, the sales tax. When the funding is need the most during hard economic times, it is going down. Until a stable source of funding can be found and a sure fire system to keep politicians from steeling it away from where the voters approved it to go like in California, transit systems will continue to suffer when a sales tax dollars go down during recessions.
While it is easy to go and blame the UTA, there are many more problems that are too hard for many to comprehend. Instead they will go out and complain about the big evil UTA, call for John Inglish’s head, because it is the easy thing to do while looking for the root causes would take time and effort.