Carta's new fare schedule kicked in today, though it seemed that the majority of riders were clueless. About half the buses I've been riding the last few weeks had flyers and/or signs posted. Kudos to CARTA for making the flyers bigger and more eye-catching than the surveys and notices about the public hearings. It is quite disappointing however that CARTA decided to both make service cuts and raise the rates. While I'm lucky enough that my routine isn't going to suffer much, I feel for those people who will now literally be stranded by the loss of bus 106, CARTA @ Night and some of the Sunday services. Rumor has it that the Teleride services are next on the chopping block. So far the only positive in the whole situation is the addition of runs to route 10, which will now be running every 15 minutes on Rivers Avenue from 7am-7pm.
I was quite surprised when a passenger said he was told by a driver that the route cuts were due to the fact nobody showed up at the public hearings. Really?! I'm not a nobody, and neither are the twenty plus people who showed up at the meeting I attended. Yes, it was a drop in the bucket compared to the number of riders CARTA has. My recommendation if CARTA really wants to hear what their ridership has to say, is to have public hearings where and when more of the passengers can attend. Like the Superstops on Cosgrove, Meeting and Mary, Super K-Mart and the Citadel Mall during prime hours.