Audience limited for transit service [UPDATED]Published 4:00am Monday, September 9, 2013 Updated 6:03am Monday, September 9, 2013
It’s a good thing that the Otter Express received a $20,000 grant that will allow the bus service to operate on Saturdays in Fergus Falls.
That said, it’s important to realize that the service will, in all likelihood, service a limited number of clients.
Otter Express rides are used almost exclusively by the elderly and the disabled. Clearly, both groups have a need for transportation, and we’re glad Transit Alternatives can offer such a service.
For those hoping transit service will become a trend among working residents in outstate Minnesota, it’s simply too much to ask. Bus schedules and routes are still too limited, and cars much too convenient, to expect most residents who can legally drive to ride the bus.
Yes, getting everyone to ride the bus rather than drive would be better for the environment, save on our roads, and reduce traffic. But unless a new type of transportation technology is invented, it’s simply unrealistic.
When the grant expires, let’s hope the agency that provided the funding also has realistic expectations of who is actually going to ride the bus.