Archive for the ‘Reader’s Letter’ Category

A “Convenient” Time for Community Feedback on Centro

In Government, Reader's Letter, Transportation on February 18, 2015 at 8:13 am

Note from the Author:

“Thank you for your work organizing writing for action. I look forward to the better letters of action and “yes! and!” mentality of the writers’ ideas, and your writing group meeting, and all of your experiences in political punditry (I just write and ride the bus. Thank you for understanding). I refused to wait until Centro found a “convenient” time for community feedback. Thank you for your time and attention. 

Sincerely, Amie St.Amour “

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing in response to the testimony of the Centro Executive of CNYRTA to the Senate Finance Committee & the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. I found the notice of the testimony posted on Centro’s website. I think that the community deserved notice to be actively involved in the prevention of Centro’s business model failure when there were clear warning signs. Was this not done in advance to protect the Executive’s job and pay in the disguise of protecting Centro employees’ jobs? Furthermore, did Centro fail to imagine resources that might be available, such as from Security, or Energy (having a “Green” building and some “Green” buses), or Destiny USA (as part of the settlement that led Destiny USA to continue), or even from Defense (the cross-county Centro routes serve many, and Veterans can only use the VA on Veteran’s Insurance)? Was he not interested in problem-solving if it meant accountability: the possibility of the Centro Executive’s personal losses? Now, the proposal to end service after 9 pm on weekdays and no service on Sundays is a form of racism and class warfare (whether or not there is proof that it was the Centro Executive’s intent).

I’m appalled that Centro’s announcement wasn’t one of increased service and commitment to righting wrongs in a city on the scale of Syracuse. In my opinion, the statement describes the Centro Executive’s complete lack of accountability, mentioning little of the City of Syracuse and the customers/riders. Each day people with budgets within “the skin of our teeth” depend on Syracuse having a transportation system. They had to buy bus parts? How many? Which ones? From where/who? Where are the receipts? Why should this be my problem after I paid fare to TAKE THE BUS? Now that emergency funds are needed, the community will be invited to respond, and they will update us as to when?!!

It should be reasonable in Syracuse to expect that in riding transit there will be lower risks than driving a car, and that the fares be less expensive than gas. The community was always there with questions. Although the transit isn’t as good, Syracuse, unlike New York City, had/has the opportunity to learn from the models of other cities like Charlotte, NC or Rochester, MN. The Executive had the opportunity to work with businesses, hospitals, and universities (some like SU with government contracts), to beg attention in advance to the needs of the community before this “Dead End” or pseudo ultimatum. Funds for Anti-terrorism, “Defense”, and “Security” seem to be the necessary fix for now, as other transit operations in the State are also struggling to be safe, let alone be of the 21st century and great minds of prevention.

Not only did the Centro Executive distract from his specific accountability or authority for apology, he didn’t use the opportunity, at the very least, to point to his “partners” in unaccountability in what happens to transit and why Centro is “safe” from bankruptcy, competition, and Anti-trust laws? He didn’t use the opportunity, at the very least, to point to anything that is working, from a skilled bus driver who makes sure everyone (including, but not limited to students) is safely off the bus before continuing to drive, or mentioning the statistics of on-time arrivals and departures.

This isn’t the best letter, but it has done more than the testimony of the Centro Executive that most likely made more in a year than I will in my life (some of it spent on Centro buses). Centro should be bailed out and it should be acknowledged by the City, or the State, or Federal governments (along with unpaid community voices), that this proposal is a form of racism and class warfare and also infringes on freedom of religion and separation of Church and State. And to add “insult to injury” of Centro raving over new maps! (at what cost?) on the website (while ignoring the simple confusion occurring when “buses continue on as other buses” and so don’t have the all the route numbers expected on the signs even after a rider doing the work of finding the way) Racism?!!! and Socio-economics?!!! is how the Centro Executive is now getting out of getting caught as the Centro Executive in charge of a failing business?! What a role model for how NOT to use time and records. Centro or CNYRTA should be held accountable in the future to make certain it is better.

Sincerely, A Citizen Bus Rider

Editor’s Note: Centro’s proposed changes are located at this link.  Please consider attending and testifying at an upcoming Public Hearing in your community, schedule here.  A Syracuse Common Council Committee Meeting about the cuts will also take place tomorrow, Thursday, Feb 19, 5:30 pm at City Hall.