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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

 

City of Colorado Springs Budget Cuts

The City of Colorado Springs Colorado has recently gone on the record stating they have a budget shortfall for 2007. As part of this budget shortfall, the city government are looking to adjust the bus routes within the city. This will in turn cut the budget for mass transit. This adjustment is to be made through fare increases along with service route cutbacks. The bus routes are the only form of mass transit within the city of Colorado Springs.

Transportation costs, in specific fuel costs have increased over the last two years. I can understand fare increases as a method of cutting costs. Although, the price elasticity for a 10 percent increase is only 3.3% decrease in ridership, for many individuals bus travel is their only means of public transportation. It does not make sense to cut the routes currently offered by the city. In the past year ridership on the bus routes has increased every month. As this is the only means of mass transit in the city it will greatly effect this primary source of transportation to work, schools, medical appointments and travel in general.

I don't belive that a fare increase will reduce ridership due to price elasticity. People understand that transportation costs have risen over the last year. It is being proposed that routes to newly emerging economic growth areas, such as Fort Carson and Fountain are slated to be cut. This makes little sense as these growth areas require transit for workers to these areas along with other areas that have a need for workers. The bottom-line is that I propose fare increases, yet don't propose cutting bus routes as a budget cutting method. It may be a good time to explore deregulation of this city service and allow private enterprise to more efficiently provide this valuable service to the Colorado Springs market.

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