Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Great Post on the Art of Spin

Why Doesn't the Mainstream Media Do More of This?

Brewed Fresh Daily had a great post today comparing the rates of various transit authorities around the country. This is excellent response to the spin by the Regional Transit Authority. I always wonder why there is not more of this by the media. How long would things like death panels, or mushroom clouds out of Iraq, or charges of socialism persist if these phrases were immediately shot down with facts? Plus, I love graphs. How long could these public relations people be able to keep their jobs if they were shut down for saying that the current RTA rates are comparable to other communities.

According to the Post, for Single ride users, Cleveland is in the Top 3
1. Bay Area (where everything is expensive) is $3.20
2. Washington DC is $2.30
3. Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Sacramento, New York and St. Louis are all next at $2.25
4. There are 12 transit authorities at $2
5. By the way, Columbus and Cincinnati are both at $1.50

RTA also in the Top 5 for Monthly Passes
1. Miami and Sacramento at $100
2. New York City at $89
3. Chicago at $86
4. Cleveland at $85
5. Nashville and Philadelphia at $78

By the way, Columbus is at $45 or $62 for an "Express Pass" and Cincinnati has this elaborate zone strategy and range from $55 for Zone 1 or $170 for something called an "All Pass".

This is helpful information that should have been a part of the Plain Dealer story. Transportation is one of the biggest problems faced by homeless people, but it gets very little attention. We are thankful for the Change Bus that the Downtown Cleveland Alliance put in place last year. And the free Downtown green trolley is great, but those have limited range and usefulness. Every meeting I attend transportation problems come up as one of the top five problems in our community for homeless people, and this is only going to get worse with the fare increase yesterday. How can we get the Columbus COTA system to extend their routes north on 71?

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Rob Pitingolo said...

Another issue with RTA's fare system is that the price is exactly the same whether you travel from one end of the county to the other or if you are staying entirely inside the Cleveland city limits. If you look at the income of people who ride from, say, Westlake or Strongsville to downtown vs. the income of those who ride within Cleveland, and then calculate the fare price per mile, I think the findings will be pretty predictable.

Erin O'Brien said...

I agree. This is excellent information.