Tuesday, January 15, 2008

soo...about that free ride for seniors...
i had a call at the office yesterday from a Gov staffer who tried to get us to go to a press conference this morning, geared to drum up support of Gov Rod's free ride for seniors. on the surface, i'm all for it. why not give seniors a free ride on public transportation? but then (and the Gov never seems to do this) i started to think about what a free ride will cost. (because there's never really a 'free' ride.)

dude. the trib estimates that this could cost around $19 million; yesterday, i was in a policy meeting and all the folks there (who've been around springfield a long time) rolled their eyes and scoffed. 'what's next,' some guy said. 'lollipops and clowns for everyone?' to me, that meant the governor is on crack.

i can't wait until the governor is up for reelection. let's hope the dems have some other kind of candidate waiting in the wings.


Trope said...

I'm of two minds; I think that seniors would be somewhat less likely to ride during rush-hour times (because dude, who would go through that if they had any other choice?) and I'm all for packing the trains and buses off-peak if they're going to run anyway. But that discounts wear and tear on stations and buses, the necessary but frustrating time delay when folks with walkers or wheelchairs need kneeling buses or help from el conductors getting on the train. And if the off-peak trains and buses are losing money, putting free riders on those routes will not solve the financial issues.
This is my totally off-the-cuff initial reaction, and I haven't done any research. So I'm off to read the trib article now. (Thanks for the link.)

ding said...

basically, from what the policy wonks i was with said, the Gov has a habit of pulling rabbits out of his ass to avoid looking like he's the governor who raised taxes and it's just becoming nonsensical.

while the proposal is commendable, it puts everyone in a really hard place: the legislature, the city council, advocates, the CTA, etc. if you vote no, then you hate seniors, you doom the bill and everyone is at square one. if you vote yes, you've pretty much guaranteed one hell of a future budget squeeze on other areas and you've also voted on higher property taxes.

(there was a recent Metro article about a couple of tax proposals attached to the transportation bill that no one has been paying much attention to.)

this is what i know: i will NOT vote for another blagojevich term. no way. the man is a mush-head.