Yesterday I attended an open house for several transit agencies to discuss the elimination of the free ride area in September. It was mostly what you know already if you’re paying attention. Starting September 29, every route will be pay as you enter, and what’s now the free ride area will just be part of the Seattle zones for Metro and ST.
The one thing that I hadn’t realized (and I didn’t notice until I was reviewing one of the handouts on the way home, so I didn’t get to ask anyone about it) was that they are considering ways to help poor people get around. These include “increase the number of human service tickets provided to the agencies” and to “operate a free circulator.”
I wish I had a chance to ask someone about it, but the two questions that come to mind are who would operate it and how do they keep it from becoming a rolling homeless shelter? I assume that the question of who operates it hasn’t been worked out since the entire idea seems to still be up in the air. As for the homeless people: of course there should be services for them, but the bus isn’t that.
I’d like a circulator through the urban core (and both ways if it’s not just up and down the same street), free or not. But I’m not sure free is the better way to go.