Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has an interesting essay on the reaction of transit systems to higher fuel prices. There seem to be three potential responses:
- Raise fares to cover increases in fuel costs (the TriMet response)
- Cut service to control costs (does it get any stupider than this?)
- Recognize a market opportunity and expand service (are there any systems actually doing this?)
The last response is the correct policy, but we need a financing approach. Reich suggests making it part of the next stimulus package. Can we get that past the same folks who just defeated the global warming bill in the Senate?