Thursday, November 20, 2008

Round and Round

"Highmark is among companies encouraging workers to consider alternatives [to public transportation]. Of its 4,000 Downtown employees, about 2,400 use public transit, said company spokesman Aaron Billger."

Some people say that public transportation is non-existent in Pittsburgh.

Some people say that the buses don't run often enough.

Some people say that the drivers get paid too much.

Some people say that...

2,400 out of 4,000 = 60%.

60% of the employees at one company use Port Authority.

Sure, public transportation in this city isn't as convenient as you'd like. Sure, it doesn't run enough at night. Sure, whine whine whine.

But public transportation is NOT convenient.
Even in New York City, the paramount of public transportation in this country, "on average, those commuting by public transportation spend 18 more minutes commuting, each way, than those traveling by car."

So why do people in New York City take public transportation? Because insuring and parking a car in New York City is exorbitant. I've slept in New York's Port Authority terminal because I missed the last bus. "I pity the person who gets stuck in Port Authority over night." I've complained a gazillion times about the travesty of Boston's T shutting down BEFORE the bars close.

The bus system in this city exists not to cater to tourists, not to cater to those who'd prefer not to drive. It caters to those who CAN NOT drive. It caters to those who work downtown and don't want to pay exorbitant parking fees if they can even find a parking space. And it caters to those who don't mind a little inconvenience for saving some moola and not driving drunk or having to sit behind the wheel in a traffic jam. Period. Just like any other city in this country.

Yes, the buses can do a better job, and I hope they will. Yes, everyone have a right to complain and a responsibility to voice their complaints. Yes, I have a right to rant. On my blog.

Most importantly, though, there's a little issue of a contract that is plaguing every union in the country and in particular Port Authority. Pensions and health insurance will drive us all to bankruptcy slowly but surely. What will you do on December 1?

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