Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ray Melleady to speak at Citizens for Public Transportation Meeting Tonight

Lucile Brewer left me a message the other day that CDTA Executive Director, Ray Melleady will be presenting to Citizens for Public Transportation tonight at 7 p.m. at the main branch of the Albany Public Library.

Click here for an article that Andy Arthur posted from the NY Times -- about the possibility of some stimulus funds being allowable for operating costs -- this could help with regards to the next fare hike which the CDTA board had discussed going into effect in April 2010-- raising fares to $2/ ride -- with NO free transfer.

If you can attend tonight's meeting -- I suggest the following:

1. Tell Ray that riders can't afford this fare hike -- let alone another one -- urge CDTA to use stimulus funds to defray operating costs.

2. We need free transfers. Don't let him get away with "That's what the Day Passes are for!" Tell him no - riders want both. Remind him that the MTA issues transfers that are good for 2 hours from the time of issuance and they sell day passses -- CDTA should do the same!

3. Ask when CDTA will introduce a weekly or bi-weekly pass that provides a discount for bus riders who don't have the upfront $ to purchase monthly passes? Remind him that CDTA reported in 2008 that 63% of riders earn $25,000 or less per year -- coming up with $55/ month for a 5-day pass or $65/ month for a 7-day pass is simply too much for the average CDTA rider!

4. One CRTA member brought up the idea of purchasing rides in bulk amounts greater than 10 -- for example -- these three options: 30 rides, 50 rides and 100 rides -- each at an incrementally higher discount than the lower amount of rides.

5. Ask when the 31-day rolling pass will be rolled out.

6. Ask how efforts are going to better serve low-income riders -- e.g. working with non-profits and county agencies who serve low-income community members so that more organizations can get free or reduced-price passes to their clients.