Those embittered with the state of society invariably mutter that, in a democracy, the people always get the government they deserve. But if that's the case -- and it is -- then BART riders deserve both credit, and excellent transportation.
We've written before about how the BART board's idea of minuscule, temporary fare reductions was nothing more than transparent political pandering
by candidates seeking re-election or election to higher office. Yet, despite the crude simplicity of, literally, buying off the electorate, BART's ridership has spoken
. And they'd rather avoid sitting in filth than be gifted a few dimes a week for a couple of months.
The transportation agency has released a rider poll regarding what it should do with $4.5 million in surpluses. And only around a third of riders approved of the temporary fee rollback. More popular were the notions of cleaning the trains, replacing the seats -- BART spokesman Jim Allison told SF Weekly that while this is supposed to happen every two or three years, some of those seats are 10 years old -- or extending service hours.
The public's rebuking of a buy-off likely comes as no surprise to Tom Radulovich, BART's San Francisco-area board member. Last month he told us that the rollback "is just pandering to the public -- but the public is too smart for it
." His idea for the surplus: Apply it toward BART's multi-billion dollar operating shortfall predicted for the coming decades and/or replenish the system's reserves.
BART's board meets on July 22 to decide how to apply that $4.5 million. It remains to be seen whether a rollback is going to happen --whether you like it or not. Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly