Spokesman-Review Letters to the editor
Cars emptier than buses

I pondered my response to Harley Frank’s rant about empty STA buses (“Empty buses cruise bad streets,” Sept. 4) as I rode the standing-room-only 27-Crestline yesterday morning.

He posited that roads are in poor condition due to spending on buses and suggested slashing service by half. Looking from the bus window, I noticed all the commuters traveling single-occupancy along crowded streets.

I realized if we slashed spending on roads, there would be more money available for buses! Then, bus service could be expanded and routes scheduled at 15-minute intervals. Ridership would increase, reducing dependence on foreign oil and the need to constantly expand highway capacity. Funds spent on public transport pale in comparison to the massive subsidies facilitating automobile travel.

I submit that the problem isn’t empty buses; it’s nearly-empty cars.

Mr. Frank, if you care to know how the bus system works, try riding a bus. Nearly all routes operate at 30-minute intervals. The buses are often full as they leave the Plaza and park-and-ride depots. They empty as they progress along their routes. Traveling against traffic, they might be empty. For example, that empty Liberty Lake Express returning downtown in the evening was packed when it left the Plaza.

Doreen Fox Kelsey

From your experience, how full are the STA buses the majority of the time? The route I ride is packed in the morning and evening, to the point where I often have to stand, but pretty light on riders during the day.

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