We’re in for another winter of denied bus service in Asheville, while the roads are in great shape. The Asheville Transit website has this to say about bus service today: “12/27/10 Due to road conditions, bus service has been suspended.” (Link .)
Here’s a picture of Patton Ave., just west of downtown, at 12:45pm today. As you can see, the roads are in great shape, and traffic is flowing at full speed. You can see the mist of water coming up from a tire – there’s some water at the edge of the road in places. Water, not ice.
Employers need to depend on their workers showing up, and some workers depend on the bus to get to work. But just like last winter, you cannot depend on Asheville’s bus service.
I’ve written about these problems in the past, and have written City Counsel. Nobody is interested in changing anything. Here are some excerpts about winter bus service from a previous post (found here):
- Those several days in the winter when the bus wasn’t running, but the cars were doing fine, and there was no ice on the roads. I called the main transit number one morning asking where the bus was, and the guy acted like I was supposed to know they announced on TV the previous night they would be starting the busses 4 hours late. It was 7:45am. I said there’s no ice, and the cars are doing fine, so why aren’t they running to get us to town? He said the forecast was for ice. I said well there’s no ice, so where are the busses? He said “you got out of the wrong side of bed.” My voice was normal. That was his attitude. You actually expect bus service? I said why aren’t they on standby in case of a bad forecast. He hung up on me.
- One day I called Mariate Echeverry, the Transportation Planning Manager, and asked her why the busses weren’t running the previous day. She said they were expecting ice on a couple of the routes. I said “a couple of the routes? What about everyone else?” She said most people get connections elsewhere from downtown and they weren’t going to run the busses downtown when they couldn’t complete a connection. I said I see nearly everyone get off the bus downtown, and again, what about everyone else? So you just shut everything down if one bus can’t run. She had no response. That was truly ridiculous. Regarding the busses being delayed in the morning, I asked her why the busses weren’t on standby in case of no ice. She talked about the city deciding to delay the busses the previous night. I asked again why they weren’t on standby, and she just repeated herself, not answering the question. (The problem of bus service starting much later in the morning, even though there was not ice, kept happening.)
That article shows up on the first page of various web-search results, so people are seeing this. One person trying to get changes made isn’t enough. If this is important to you, please do what you can.