Friday, April 25, 2008

Dear Port Authority,

I want to take your bus, but it just doesn't make sense for me financially. I do not commute to the city every day, but I live in the city and I want to use the bus to go to events.

For me and my husband to take your bus to and from one of the events you have a full-page advertisement for in the City Paper, it will cost us over $10. Even including wear and tear on my car, and the ever-increasing price of gas, my estimate is at less than $5 for the ride to Lawrenceville or downtown, not to mention that it's definitely more convenient to drive.

How about instead of wasting so much money on advertising, you give me an incentive to take the bus? How about Friday night date nights with a 2 for 1 special on the bus? How about an off-peak discount? How about a discount for taking the bus to one of your advertised events? How about bus rides cost $1 on a Saturday night when the bars close to discourage drunk driving? I've noticed that's not the most popular time to ride the bus.

Right now, it's just stupid for me to pay more to be inconvenienced by public transportation, and if that's the case, it makes me feel stupid for helping fund your advertisements. I'm willing to go slightly out of my way to benefit the environment, but to pay more than double isn't justifiable. I wish that would change.



Sean said...

The port authority should not have to discourage drunk driving-- let's leave that to much, much harsher laws against it. Rather, the port authority should defray the cost of normal bus hours by charging more for extended hours on Thursday through Saturday nights. $5-$7 is less than a cab ride, a little more than the cost of a drink, and not a bad price for a ride on the drunk bus.

illyrias said...

I appreciate your comment, but I have to disagree. It should be easy to not drunk drive, and at every opportunity, it should be discouraged - from free soda for designated drivers to discounted bus fare. It's a solid fact that there are drunk drivers out there and ignoring their existence will not make them go away.

Also, I don't know where you've been drinking, but I usually pay $1-$3 per beer, and then I walk home. Anyone who is paying $7 for a drink in Pittsburgh is NOT taking the bus.

Your cab math only works if you're traveling alone, and my point is that I want to take the bus, but it just doesn't make any sense for me to do so as a person who virtually never goes out alone for a night on the town.

I feel the need to mention that public transportation in general is an inconvenience, and that having to pay a premium for it is simply ridiculous.

You may argue that Port Authority should not be catering to me, but when they advertise in full-page ads for events that I am attending, it seems like they are feebly attempting to do so.

Of course, the people who are most likely to take the bus either have to take the bus and can't complain by abstaining OR won't complain because their student ID gets them on for free.

Sean said...

You're correct in pointing out my bad cab math, but I remain steadfast on my view that free cranberry juices and cheap bus rides will not deter drunk drivers. Especially in a city such as Pittsburgh where driving to most destinations does not take long, those people that have a car will drive it to the bar, and those people that want to drink will drink.

As for PT as an inconvenience, that may be. But remember that PT is a service, not a right. Sure, PGH doesn't do a great job in making the service attractive, but attractiveness is not mandatory. Though, PT remains an attractive alternative to walking to work in the cold/rain/heat.

illyrias said...

Just as I will complain about potholes, Barden's questionable financing, and liquor prices, I will complain about poor service from the Port Authority.

It is my right to complain, and that's the only way to change things. As my money is directly funding Port Authority, I will especially exercise my right to complain.