Bonuses for Transit?

Sure Fire Shovel Ready Investments

mass transitThere has been a lot of talk about the ethical conduct of failing firms who gave their fearful leaders bonuses with bail out funds. Between 1 million dollar office make overs and the willingness to forego a big corporate party to Vegas, we have allowed ourselves to get even more shocked by the actions of the people who played some part in creating this mess to begin with. Now, shedding light and exposing this behavior is justified and necessary. But we need to be devoting as much time to moving forward, thinking about the “what now,” rather than the “can you believe the audacity?”. Because if you don’t now, you probably never will.

We need to focus on Americans who are not in shock because their corporate retreat has been cancelled, but rather, they are on hard times, and now they have lost their bus service too.

An article in yesterday’s Times, reports the simultaneous “Surge in Mass, Drop in Transit,” situation that we face from coast to coast.  Funding cuts, fare increases, and reduced services are standard. The problems that the MTA faces are not the exception, people. It is the norm. Highlighting service cuts from Denver to Charlotte, the article touches on the larger implications of transit cuts. In St. Louis, where bus lines are going to be entirely eliminated, people fear their jobs will be lost as they have relied solely on certain bus lines. And these are jobs that might otherwise remain stable in a recession, nurses, cooks, etc. If only there were some pool of money that these transit authorities could tap into…

At a time when everyone, their mother, and the kitchen sink, have their eyes and ears on the federal stimulus package and a buzz word is “shovel ready,”–as in projects that are ready to get going ASAP, transit is post-shovel. It is already there, it is being heavily utilized and it is a fundamental pillar in making us be a bit more responsible (another buzzword) in our lifestyles. Let’s talk about THIS more and corporate retreats less. No, executives and the other brains of the operations who find themselves lining up for government money do not deserve bonuses. But transit certainly does.

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