Get on the bus

Citifare marked its 25th anniversary in September. There is no doubt the bus line leaves some things to be desired; for example, there are areas in town that are underserved, but the many benefits of our public transportation company far outweigh its few shortcomings.

There is less traffic on the road, thanks to Cififare. There are fewer people who had one too many on the road, thanks to Citifare. There is less pollution in the air and water, thanks to Citifare. Citifare has been a leader in alternative fuels in the past, and has plans to become a national leader in cleaner fuels in the near future. Citifare makes it possible for post-driving seniors and pre-driving teenagers to get around the most necessary areas of town affordably, safely and on time. So, too, does CitiLift help disabled people get around the city. The bus line is hardly a drain on taxes, and only rarely makes the headlines for reasons other than its fundamental competence.

In fact, there’s only one problem with the public transportation system, and it’s got little to do with the bus line’s management.

The bigger problem lies with the users, or more precisely, the non-users.

A quick survey of the office yields some sad results. We only use the bus system when it is absolutely convenient in every way. We hate the idea of riding the bus to the office and feeling confined to the office or taking an extra 15 minutes to get to and from appointments. What if an emergency should come up at home or at the kids’ school or breaking news should happen across town, and we don’t have our schedules?

The bottom line is that, if people want to put their money where their mouths are and support public transportation, they’ve got to make some adjustments. They’ve got to plan their lives a little better.

If your life requires you to have a car, drive to work but take the bus to appointments or lunch during the day. Have a designated car pooling driver in the office.

You don’t even have to do it every day, just ride the bus once or twice a month. If everyone took Citifare twice a month, the Truckee Meadows would be a better place to live, for us and for our children.