On Feb. 10, I attended the transit meeting sponsored by the consulting firm hired by Laguna Beach to address the lack of ridership on our buses, traffic and parking problems. Though I appreciate that the public was invited to give its input, the whole meeting seemed like a complete waste of time.
No one could read the power point slide presentation due to the fact that the print was so small as to make it un-readable and the speaker was constantly being interrupted by unnecessary comments and questions. Most frustrating was that the paid consultants focused most of their study on those who already ride our bus transportation system. A lengthy survey was done to poll the riders in order to find out why they ride the bus (work, school, other) and when the most popular times of the day they do this.
Am I missing something? Or shouldn’t we be focusing our attention on those who do not use our bus system?
In my opinion, Laguna should be encouraging, through creative incentives, etc., ways to get locals (and tourists) to more efficiently utilize the transit system which would in turn take cars off the road and alleviate traffic and congestion downtown.
I didn’t hear any discussion regarding advanced technology, i.e. GPS systems, smart buses, etc. In fact, only one person brought up the Trolley Tracker, the phone app that shows the trolley’s location and arrival time. My kids love this app!
What I did hear was talk regarding possibly making buses more flexible with the possibility of riders calling for pickup at their home. Who are they calling? Does that mean needing a fulltime dispatcher to navigate all of the calls? That question was never answered….. along with many others.
The most important group of riders, who really need public transportation assistance, are seniors. It is our duty to come up with creative solutions to help these much-deserved riders who for are no longer able to drive but are still active.
We have another workshop scheduled. I, for one, hope it will take place at a Planning Commission meeting for one simple reason… to keep things on track and in order. I also encourage the consulting firm to consider requests from the public for more guidance, solid ideas and more focus on non-riders.
Michele Hall, Laguna Beach