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Economic incentive would help mass transit 

Paso Robles

By now it is a given that greater use of mass transportation and reduced automobile use would be an environmental and economic plus for the nation. In fact, a loaded bus is the most energy-efficient way of moving people of all mass-transit methods. As a city bus driver, however, I find it frustrating to get stuck in rush-hour traffic jams caused by hundreds of foolish drivers who are the sole occupants in cars driving just a few miles home while my bus is mostly empty, or to ride the bus through a shopping center with hundreds of cars in the parking lot while no one is using the bus.

The people who do ride the bus are mostly poor and can’t afford an automobile. Even the vast majority of the middle-class liberals I know, who talk environmentalism, never use the bus.

A large spike in ridership occurred when gasoline briefly exceeded $4 per gallon. Ridership since has fallen back to previous levels. Hitting people in the pocketbook may be the only way to create a more rational transportation system. A gasoline tax increase that pushes a gallon to $4.50 would entice people back to the bus. The extra revenue, instead of going to the oil companies, should go to the government, which could use it to improve mass transportation.

-- Gerald Manata - Paso Robles

-- Gerald Manata - Paso Robles

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