Sunday, March 29, 2009

As Bad As Things Are in New York, They're Getting Worse in St. Louis.

In Saint Louis, Bi-State Bus service (now called Metro) is being dramatically cut back.  The staff has already been radically reduced.  The cut back in service will almost certainly mean a surge in unemployment since many people will not be able to get to their jobs on time or at all.

I depended on Bi-State buses for awhile when I lived in Saint Louis.  The service sucked even in the best of times.  We used to say that the buses went from nowhere to nowhere through nowhere Tuesdays and Thursdays, and nowhere on Wednesdays and Fridays.   I remember standing and waiting 30 to 45 minutes in the freezing cold, or the pouring rain, or the suffocating heat for buses during rush hour.  I'd usually be the only white face on many routes.  It was a service always identified with poor Black folk, and as a result, was always first on the list for budget cuts and service cuts.  I see nothing has changed.

Those of us who live in New York, or other heavily publicly transited cities, sometimes forget how much racial segregation plays a role in the public transit vs. private car debate, especially in suburbs and in the middle of the country (Long Island is just as bad as St. Louis; Black folk in the buses and White folk in cars).

Ah America!
Cut back vital public services at the very time when they are needed most.  
Punish those poor folk for being poor and learn them some responsibility by making their jobs harder to get to! 


Leonard said...

The revenge of the ¨show me¨ Republicans...they intend to ¨show us¨...ugly, intentional and irresponsible.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Liverpool might be the opposite of this - busses everywhere! but all half empty...