February 14, 2007

Intercity Transit: Another Story

I write about Intercity Transit from time to time, most recently about a slightly wobbly trip home. I came across this story, on OlyBlog, describing our community's response to huge cuts in Intercity Transit's routes due to the dramatic reduction in tax support for the system due to I-695 (Eyman's $30 tab initiative).
When we heard how people were going to be stuck, some of us got together and organized the Oly Free Bus. We used our own vehicles on our own time paying for gas with our own money, and we tried to fill the gaps in transit service as best we could. At the time, I had a van equipped with a wheelchair lift, and I'm proud to say that for 13 weeks in the spring of 2000, my van was the only wheelchair accessible public transportation in Thurston County on Sundays. At first we tried running scheduled routes, to make our service as much as possible like what people had come to expect from IT. After a few weeks, we got enough publicity and enough public support that we were able to switch to more of an on-call service. A local business owner paid for us to have cell phones, and helped to pay for gas.
This is an example of the idealism and bias for action that I love about this town. Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, so the rest of the story involves a letter from an attorney, working for -- you guessed it -- Intercity Transit. I can't wait for Part Two.

No comments: