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Pittsboro Express bus between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill is just a niche

By Jeff Lane
Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - On Monday, October 12 this appeared on the Chatham Chatlist:

"The bus is a perfect example of this. Now that we have it, folks have to give up their habit/addiction of driving their own car to work/school/whatever and learn to ride the bus. Admit it - you jump in your car without even thinking of the bus, don't you? You don't even wonder if a bus/train/other form of public transportation is available that could save you money, wear-and-tear on your car, the environment. You just jump in your car and off you go. Same for everyone else out there. It is a habit that we all need to give up eventually when more and more Public Transportation becomes available."

On the one hand, in a time when more and more people are finding they can not afford to pay the bills, let alone foot extra taxes to pay for a little used single route bus, and a time when the county seems to want to keep spending and spending without much thought to where the money is going to come from, I find an extra $360,000 expense a bit offensive.

If you (meaning the county commissioners) want this bus so badly, what programs did you de-fund to pay for it, to avoid charging 99.9% of the county for a bus that only .1% or less will be using?

The fact is, a bus between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill is just a niche. It's like a hired limousine service. Something that only a few people are ever going to use or take advantage of. You seem to be under the impression that all you have to do is get the word out and soon people will be flooding Pittsboro to ride the bus to Chapel Hill.

But let me ask you, why should I stop to ride the bus? If I'm already in the car, driving to Chapel Hill, why should I take the time to stop at Lowe's, switch from one vehicle to a much slower vehicle, just to ride the rest of the way into Chapel Hill?

Also, I asked this well before the bus route was started, and no one really answered, but the idea of this new route is to allow the "under privileged who have no transportation of their own" to have job opportunities in Chapel Hill. Ummm... If they don't already have transportation, how exactly are they supposed to get to the bus stop?

It's a nice idea, it really is, but even for a first attempt it's woefully inadequate. I noticed in an older article that the future plans are to add more routes to Siler City, Down to Lee County (I'm assuming Sanford), Moore County, and along Highway 64. Who's paying for that? Are we also going to start paying for Sanford's bus service? Are we going to throw even more money to Chapel Hill Transit to send their buses from Chapel Hill all the way down to Sanford? Or out to Siler City?

Like I said, it's a nice idea, but saying that it does not seem very well thought out is an understatement.

Just my plug nickle worth...

 
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