On one hand I'm bitter that the county voted down the funding bill for Metro. I am aggravated that city people have to suffer as a result of the county not wanting public transit. The city traditionally votes yes for Metro funding/expansion. I feel sorry for those affected. It just got harder to get to/from work for many.
However, there might be a positive out of all the cutbacks in service. The trains were full yesterday, not a seat to be found on my Clayton to Shrewsbury ride. Same way this morning, I had to share a seat for the first time in my 2 months riding the train. Maybe the buses will become full too. This could help with the perception of Metro. It could appear full, safer, running at capacity.
This could be a good thing. It could change the perceptions (arguably misconceptions) that many have about Metro:
- only bums and people who can't afford cars ride public transit.
- the buses are never full
- it's scary to ride the metro because there's no one on it
- metrolink platforms are scary/dangerous because you can be the only one getting on/off
If the trains and buses are full to capacity at rush hour and big events, and the off times are more populated, maybe we'll get an increase in ridership. Maybe when the county suburbanites do ride metro or observe the buses in passing, they will seem full and worthy of voting for funding in the future. Maybe passers by will see the bus stops and train stops teeming with people and decide to give public transit a try.
I know, I'm stretching here. I'm trying to be positive. Overall I'm still miffed and sad over the cut backs.