“If we are serious about a zero per cent increase, we absolutely have to put services on the table,” he said, “and I don’t buy that we have an efficient system. Why are we running a Cadillac program in a Chevrolet system. As far as I am concerned, you are buying too many buses.”
First of all, this man obviously does not ride the bus. Yes, service is pretty good during weekdays, but there are serious gaps in service after dark and on weekends. It is by no stretch of the imagination a “Cadillac” transit service. And I don’t see why we shouldn’t strive to be Cadillac in all things anyway.
This puzzling Chevy-Cadillac talk aside, the mayor confirmed the faith I have in him and council:
“We are looking at service cuts,” he protested. The fact that nothing has been cut yet doesn’t mean the city hasn’t considered cuts, he said. “We are just going another route. ” And despite Petrowski’s and Bedwell’s calls for cuts, McMullan said they’re in the minority.
“Ninety-five per cent of the calls I get are for increased levels of service, not decreased,” McMullan said. “Yours is not a sentiment that is shared by the public.”
(In the end, council decided to cut next year’s bus purchases from five to three, which is less damaging to transit in the short-term than service cuts, though it’s not a sustainable place to find savings.)