The Greensboro Transit Agency (GTA) held its final virtual public meeting on the proposed fare increase for Access GSO on Monday, May 17.
This was the third virtual public meeting held on the proposal to raise the fare for Access GSO, the paratransit service, from $1.50 to $3, on Jan. 1, 2022.
George Linney, a transit planner with the GTA, moderated the virtual public meeting, which was scheduled to be from 6 to 7 p.m. but ran a little long. Linney several times started to end the Zoom meeting but kept it open to allow everyone a chance to speak or to call back and extend their remarks.
The consensus of the callers, most of whom identified themselves as Access GSO riders, was that they didn’t object to a fare increase but thought that it should be raised incrementally rather than raised by 100 percent all at once.
Several suggested raising it 50 cents a year for three years, to get the fare up to $3.
Several callers also suggested that Access GSO riders should not bear the full brunt of an attempt to raise more revenue from fares and that fares for the fixed route bus service should also be raised.
Access GSO was called SCAT from 1992 until January 2021, when, after a rider complained to the City Council about the name, the city changed it to Access GSO.
One caller asked, “Couldn’t you come with a plan where the rate increased incrementally for fixed route and Access GSO?”
Another caller said, “Doubling the fare seems to be a little bit excessive to me.”
She added, “I understand the budgetary concerns. But trying to balance the budget on people who are low income or fixed income just seems excessive.”
The suggestion was also made that GTA turn to the foundations in Greensboro to raise money to subsidize the fares rather than raising the fares for the riders. Another suggestion was that a program be established where individuals could purchase passes that GTA could distribute to riders who needed help paying the increased fares.
When you get a $30 freebie for $1.50, it’s hard to let go. Everybody wants a ride at someone else’s expense.
I would gladly pay that, and more, if I couldn’t afford my own transportation.
Oh, $3.00 for a $30 item is not excessive. It’s a gift extorted from the taxpayer.
Since $3 seems to be out of reach for the trips I’m already paying the other $27 for on average, how’s about walking? My groceries & gas are going up to, along with everything else everytime Uncle Joe prints another batch of cash. Somethings gotta give! John Q. Public cannot keep shouldering the burdens. There might would be more empathy without the air of entitlement from the likes of the speakers quoted in the story.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. . . .other people (including me) will eventually pay for this service.
The question is, what is the actual cost of the service and could Greensboro get a better deal if they contracted out the service. Oh wait. . . .that would mean the council members who serve on various boards and multiple non-profits would get a hand in it as well. They’ve already shown they can’t manage the City, so let’s leave them out.
Bottom line? Drop it in one of the bottomless pits in the City budget and then come forward to offer it for “free”.
Anyone who thinks this increase is going to balance the budget is nuts and I’m sure the folks who use wheelchairs that use this service would be GLAD to walk if they were able. There are so many projects in Greensboro that the City Council just THROWS money at making a stink about this seems absurd to me.
I does no good to give the govt more money. They will spend it all, plus all that can get away with.
What we have now is taxation without representation. Say it ain’t so.
Aint it the truth. It’s about time to start slinging some tea overboard!
Didn’t the mayor and city council give away nearly 10 vans to counci- PERSON Kennedy ?
Perhaps Kennedy could , at the very least , do a photo op using invalids as props .. it would make the city , and Kennedy , weren’t just shuffling taxpayer owned vehicles around .