The State as Bizarro Company
Is it me, or is there just something fundamentally bizarre about this construct:
The pressure comes as the authority is already having trouble carrying a large influx of riders. More Rhode Islanders are taking the bus since the spike in gas prices that began after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Public transportation provides a reasonable check on one’s own priorities and principles, because it’s technically a public service, yet it’s hardly a public entitlement. Although folks will have differing opinions about the efficacy and boundaries of such programs as welfare, there’s pretty universal agreement among those who don’t draw income directly from them that the fewer people who need the “safety net,” the better. By contrast, we want ridership to increase, and one would think that it has the potential, at least, to be a source of revenue, rather than an expenditure.
Granted, there may be intricacies to the world of buses and boats that I haven’t considered, but how is it possible, given that they travel their routes according to schedule rather than immediate demand, that filling more seats could represent an additional burden? That seems a bit like McDonald’s complaining about an increase in burger sales.