Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bus station blues -- redux

Sorry to be gone so long. Just spent more than a week in Memphis, Tenn., helping produce a planning "charrette" for the Knight Program in Community Building, based at the University of Miami. If you're curious about that, see this link.

You’ll recall that on June 23 I described my experience trying to take Bus 14 home from uptown. And you’ll recall that July 11 I reported that Charlotte Area Transit System CEO Ron Tober told me things would get fixed.

Herewith a report from my newsroom colleague Joe Sovacool, who rides the bus to work daily:

"The good news is that 14 is now correctly listed on the displays at the bus barn as bay A. The bad news is that the times for all routes on the displays have been wrong all week.Well, they’re likely right twice in a 24-hour period – they either read about 12:50p or 11:30p for all routes.

"This is not only not unheard-of, but common. Too bad, because when they’re functional they’re one of the better and more useful features over there.

"And I can predict what their response will be. To a bum like me, anyway. ..."

4 comments:

Dan said...

I moved to Charlotte about 3 years ago and I was so impressed with the on-time and clean buses, that our family gave up our second car and I ride the bus to/from work downtown each day. We can afford a second car but it was unnecessary given the convenient bus service here in Charlotte. Today on the bus, I met a woman who moved here from Minneapolis. She commented that she too was impressed with CATS and that she is choosing to go carless because of the excellent bus service. I know it is easy to beat up on CATS, but I can tell you that CATS' service is far ahead of many other communities. Yes, they can do some things better but they are doing a pretty good job in my book.

Rebecca said...

For a few days after the article they had a guy posted in Bay A, a la Express procedures and had a newly-minted sign explaining that Bay A is now the stop for 14. (note that no sign exists to show where "Bay A" is - but whatever) Then the stop abruptly changed a few day ago to over in front of Burger King -- again, no sign no notice. I was lucky and saw it pull up...And since I didn't exactly "give up" my second car - it burned to unrecognizable blob in a fiery explosion while parked --- it looks like I am a rider of the 14 for the forseeable future and will just have to put up with the Keystone Cats ...It still beats driving and parking.

Anonymous said...

And so TOber did as was expected and responded to Mary, and he basically said what I predicted: some of the problems were going to be solved at soem undefined point in the future, and the basic problem was just one employee who screwed up and it's been corrected.

And as expected, it was mostly lip service.

I said before that if they had a modicum of management talent and some incentive toward ACTUALLY performing -to borrow from the State motto, an incentive to "be rather than to seem"- the basic problem could be fixed quickly and easily.

That they did not do so is telling.

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