18 September 2008

Mama don't take my Ecopass away

Why write? Because of the folks I heard speak for three minutes apiece this afternoon at the RTD proposed rate hike hearing at the library, which was added to the schedule when Regional Transportation District officials realized there was a huge football game that self-same evening. Hard not to think RTD is out of touch with its constituency at moments like that.

The first question posed when the Power Point presentation bullet points had been read for the record in an extremely rapid clip was: How many of you are here about the ecopass program? Every hand in the room but the RTD official's went into the air.

"I thought so," came the official's response.

It was great to spend the next 90 minutes in a room full of concerned citizens like me representing various constituencies or simply themselves and their own interests.

The variety of views presented was impressive, but a couple of notes organized into themes: please don't take away our access to our precious ecopasses. Don't keep new neighborhoods from signing on. Don't raise the fares and costs to businesses and in turn discourage people from riding the bus. Be creative in pursuing solutions to the current problems; we are a resourceful bunch and you want us, your future ridership, on your side. Preserve access to inexpensive transportation for the people who can afford it least. I was proud to get up and speak for my neighbors, who value their Ecopasses as much as I do.

Not many people had made comments before the RTD director said that already there were changes to the current plan on the agenda for the RTD board meeting next Tuesday night, and another community member recommend attending the next public meeting on Sept. 30 at 1930 Blake St. in Denver. The same fellow was the one who pointed out that these rate hikes were being based on projections of gas prices being $4 per gallon, a peak they've already retreated from.

I also reported on the doings on twitter, where I posted also as vanillagrrl. Darn the iPhone's autocorrections ("sex" for "sez"--grr--and again just there when it tried to replace "grr" with her, here, etc.).

Seems like a good reason to write, on any forum.

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