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Letter: Santa Cruz Metro in crisis; elderly/ADA monomania

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  • 10/31 Santa Cruz Sentinel
    Published Friday, October 31, 2003, in the Santa Cruz Sentinel Metro is in crisis Re Metro shifts advisory roles (Oct. 25
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2003
      Published Friday, October 31, 2003, in the Santa Cruz Sentinel

      Metro is in crisis

      Re "Metro shifts advisory roles" (Oct. 25
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/14505> ), people are
      telling me that they left the last Metro board meeting feeling
      disgusted. The board was supposed to figure out how to get input from
      a broad spectrum of bus riders. Instead, Santa Cruz City Council
      representatives Emily Reilly and Mike Rotkin led a two-hour discussion
      on fine-tuning Metro's committee for seniors and the disabled.

      [BATN: Hardly an uncommon situation around the country, as the
      squeaky wheels with untouchable federal legislation behind them
      get all the grease.]

      None of the politicians on the board said a word about the folks who
      pay the $1.50 cash fare; about the students who make up a third of
      Metro's ridership; or about the commuters who brave the 85-minute bus
      ride from Watsonville to Santa Cruz. One of the civilians on the board
      threw up his hands in frustration. The politicians even contradicted
      the general manager, who had proposed an inclusive, effective and
      responsible committee covering all riders.

      Metro is in crisis. This year's $2.4 million deficit was plugged by a
      fare increase, a service cut and reserves. Now, the agency is out
      $350,000 due to declining sales-tax revenue. Next year, the agency
      will have to cough up $500,000, give or take, to pay drivers their
      yearly raise.

      It's no surprise that riders are leaving. The politicians, by giving
      all their attention to a small but vocal minority, are failing to meet
      the needs of the majority.

      Regis Marcelin
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