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Well, this says it all; this article has been out there for almost a week now and I'm the first one to post something about it. I can understand why the Sarasota County commissioners want to get out of the bus (mass transit) business. WE love our cars, and Sarasota county commissioners know that. The fine transit system they first envisioned and have put in place does not service (for the most part) the people who put the commissioners in office, and the commissioners know that. The commissioners know that the vast majority of SCAT customers are not the people who can affect them by voting them out of office because most of these people don't, or can't vote.
The county commissioners all have THEIR OWN CARS. SO IF A PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION took over SCAT operations and chose to raise rates and eliminate routes and other services in order to make a profit, it would not affect them or most of the voters who put them in office. That's how politics---and politicians---work. Their concern is self-serving and I understand that.
You can easily see how shallow the county commissioners' concern is for SCAT just by taking a look at the filthy dirty facilities that SCAT customers must use. The main SCAT Downtown terminal is a relatively new and impressive structure, just across the street from Whole Foods and a block north of Main Street. It's a lovely design, but if you take a closer look at it, you can see how dirty it is and no one but those who must, would want to linger there. The same goes for the terminal at The Pavilion, just off Stickney Point and Gateway. The newest terminal at Cattlemen Road looks like it has NEVER been cleaned on the outside since it was first built; there is dust on all the outside windows and ants cover you if you try to sit on a outside bench to wait for a bus. The landscaping has not been touched and looks like it. No other county facility suffers for the lack of attention that these SCAT facilities do. Why is that? (BTW, the terminal at the Pavilion is still adorned by the OLD SCAT logo that was changed years ago. Why?)
Running a transit system like SCAT is a messy job, and the Sarasota County Commissioners are tired of dealing with it. They know their jobs don't depend on keeping SCAT like it is because the people riding the buses didn't put them in office. So, it's just going to be too bad for SCAT riders when the system is privatized and the rates go up and the services go down.
This will happen because the only way to make a transit system profitable s to decrease costs and increase revenues. It's a simple formula.
Besides, the county commissioners and the voters of Sarasota all have their cars...so who cares?3 months ago