Over at Seattle Transit Blog, there’s a discussion of the upcoming elimination of the free ride area, and answering some objections to it. While I generally agree with the post, this stuck in my craw: “while I would like to see more County programs that provide transportation assistance to the poor, giving everyone a break on downtown trips seems like a badly targeted way to do it.”
I’m not sure that it’s in the county’s best interest, in general, to separate things that help the middle class from those that help the poor. Programs tailored to the poor have a tendency to get the ax earlier than those with middle class support.
I readily admit that I don’t know what busing should look like downtown. And I support eliminating the ride free area (although I supported it a lot more before the fare increases). But in general, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have separate programs for the poor and the middle class.