Take a look at these numbers from the city’s 2017 official Comprehensive Annual Financial Report:
Despite the major investments that Sun Metro has been making, money collected from passengers decreased $676 thousand from the prior year.
At the same time they got $862 thousand more from our sales taxes.
While ridership revenue was down their operating expenses increased $1.1 million.
That in spite of the fact that their fuel expenses decreased $774 thousand.
We deserve better
Plus, Sun Metro does not have the resources to properly maintain the facilities they operate. At the Five Points Transit Terminal there is always litter on the landscaping surrounding the property. The solar powered pedestrian crossing sign has not been flashing for years. Appears they cannot afford to change the battery on the sign. The sinks in the restrooms dribble water. Facilities need daily attention..
Once upon a time, the only buses running around town were privately owned. Remember the red buses? How did we ever exist in those days? And, btw, anybody notice that the city of Arlington – you know, home of ATT Stadium, The Rangers Baseball park, Six Flags, and a host of other big time visitor attractions – still has NO public bus service?
It will just continue to get worse. The “progressives” who started this bus endeavor initially as a giveaway to the former city manager’s friends from Arizona. Then, Byrd, Ortega, et al joined in with their smart community plan that envisioned a world without cars. They don’t ride the bus themselves, but they imagined that everyone in El Paso “wanted” to ride the bus, because taking three hours to get to any given destination must be a great experience. What they failed to realize, or simply ignored, is that everyone on a bus wishes they had a car. Period. No one WANTS to ride a bus, it is the opposite of freedom and will ruin your day if you need to go to two or three different places.
To more Brio lines are still in the works, so get ready for much higher spending and much less income. El Paso has saddled itself with some serious long-term debt that produces little to no benefits for the general taxpaying public. We will end up with a $150 million per year public transportation system that no politician will admit is a complete failure. This doesn’t even factor in the trolleys.
Brutus, thanks for keeping us updated on Sun Metro.
When everything is done you will have four BRIO bus routes, plus don’t forget the street cars become operational next year.
Also, don’t forget that Peter wants to expand the street car routes.
Tell your city representative that proposed street can expansion money, could be better used to take the toll off the Border Highway West.
Didnt TX Dot already approve or actually get rid of the tolls?
They removed the toll between the Zaragoza and Cordova Bridges because lane utilization was something like less than 3%
and the toll lane was actually paid off before the project was completed. More importantly it was a big money loser. Which is odd since the new lane was in place from the original construction The road project was essentially road resurfacing and restriping,
The west end of the loop, which is currently being built is new construction and still planned to be completely tolled.
Hopefully that toll gets removed also.
El Paso has a strange culture. I used to ride the bus and El in Chicago because it was the most efficient way to get from point A to point B. EVERYBODY took pubic transportation. Just like in New York. But in El Paso there’s a stigma attached to public transportation. I take it here all the time and it’s wonderful. But years ago when it was SCAT the joke was “scoot chicanos around town” and another less flattering interpretation. Nothing’s changed. We have a lot a lot of roads and Go 10 projects designed to carry cars and trucks. The buses carry maids, students, old people and people that can’t afford a car. That’s not going to change in my lifetime. We’ve built way over capacity for reasons I’ll never understand.
Glad you are able to use the bus. The sprawl here makes it hard – the nearest stop for me is a mile away and that bus comes once an hour – there’s no bench to use if you arrive early. And it only goes downtown so getting to my destination requires a transfer to another bus. Nearly two hours to get there and I can drive in twenty minutes…and of course if my return is in the evening I will have to drive even though I am getting old! The continuing lack of any transportation at night is a pretty good indicator of who Sun Metro really considers to be its target audience.
Sun has also been pouring lots of new concrete for non-BRIO stops. You sometimes see two buses running back to back on Mesa.
[…] If you follow elpasospeak (and you should), you know that the troubles at Sun Metro have been chronicled on that blog. The most recent was this post. […]