Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Big Plus: Oro Valley Council Restores Funds For Coyote Run Bus Service

At last week's council meeting, the vote was unanimous to restore the necessary funds for Coyote Run, the bus service that serves mainly senior citizens and those with disabilities.

The council deserves the thanks of all Oro Valley residents for doing the right thing.

Read the Explorer story here.
http://www.explorernews.com/articles/2010/06/23/news/doc4c2139a44f80f110112008.txt

11 comments:

The Zee Man said...

Got some numbers from this Explorer article:

• 1,386 Monthly passenger trips

• $47,583.40 Monthly operating costs

• $4,739.67 Monthly fare box proceeds

Doing the math...

• Total cost per trip:$34.22

• The monthly fare box proceeds are $3.42.

This means that the users of of the service pay 10% of the cost of the service. That's quite a bargain.

There must be a pricing assumption that people who use the service can not afford to pay for it.

Is this assumption based on fact?

One of the parents of an individual who uses the service said they would be quite willing to pay more.

Maybe a fare increase is in order.

Christopher Fox said...

Z,

Luxury, necessity, or somewhere in between? I for one think that expenditures for painting squad cars in the du jour scheme is an extravagance beyond the pale, but this issue is in a grey area. Perhaps it could be offset by allowing town staff to speak for themselves, under the supervision and guidance of well-compensated managers, rather than funding what I consider to be another extravagance, a "communications" department. But I do agree, this does sound like a deal "too good to be true;" the question is, too good to be true for who?

The Zee Man said...

Chistopher

Don't know much about squad car painting :-) .

My only thought on Cayote Run is that someone should consider a fee schedule for the users that, in some fashion, relates to the cost of the service.

Paying 10% of the cost of the service, as is the current case, makes this a welfare program. Personally, I ain't big on the town providing welfare programs.

So, one idea is to keep the service but to charge the users more for it.

Or, maybe, the town should eliminate the service and provide vouchers to needy users to take a cab, which would be about the same cost!!! If the town did this, people would sign up for it.

All of us would then recognize that this is a welfare program and we would know the exact cost of the program.

Otherwise, the costs of the program look like a line item in the budget instead of a program whose cost and benefits should be consistently challenged and managed.

Jay D said...

Just an FYI...Many of the Coyote Run users are disabled and in wheelchairs. Taxis would not be ble to accomodate them. It would be great for someone who uses Coyote Run to post here...Rather than guessing and inferring about the service, we could hear from people who benefit!

Oro Valley Mom said...

It's my understanding that many of the users of Coyote Run are able-bodied. I can't comment as a user, because I am under 62, and therefore excluded from using this taypayer-funded service.

Also, it's my understanding that no user need prove financial need.

And according to the Town's web site, all disabled residents who live south of Tangerine are able to use the county-run Handi Car system that we all pay into.

So it's difficult to say how many users would be left taking a taxi. But I find Zee Man's idea intriguing.

I think, though, that if funding for this service is coming from the taxpayers, it would be more equitable if all citizens could use it, including children and bar patrons.

The Zee Man said...

Jay D... Thanks for the input. I really have zero knowledge of the service and would never want to hurt those who need it.

Ov Mom... Thanks for the clarification. I really haven't studied this thing. But I am over 65 so I guess I could use it :-)

My only thinking is around cost and benefit and welfare and managing what some seem to feel is an essential, but costly, service.

Victorian Cowgirl said...

If I say that we/taxpayers should support this program because those who CAN and are able-bodied should help those who CAN'T because of disabilities or age-related issues, the Good Old Boys will label me a socialist who wants to "spread the wealth around."

On the other hand,if I say that this program wreaks of socialism since one group of people is paying to support a program for another group of people, and we live in a capitalistic society where I should not be expected to pick up the tab for someone else, the Good Old Boys will accuse me of being anti-elderly and anti-disabled.

It is fascinating though how everyone thinks socialism is bad until they are in need of a "socialist" program themselves.

So what do I really think? I think there should be a happy medium. I think taxpayers should contribute to this program (many of them will need it themselves one day) but I also think that the users of the program should be required to pay maybe 30% of the cost rather than the current 10%. When taxpayers are paying 90% and the customers are paying 10%, Zee Man is right. That's welfare.

Socialism is one thing. Welfare is quite another.

I also think that the cheaper it is, the more often people will "take advantage of it" whether they really need it that day or not. Raise the price a little, and you'll most likely see a drop in ridership and therefore a drop in monthly operating costs. If you don't see a drop in ridership, that will indicate that the customers CAN afford to pay the increased price.

I base this theory on the following:

When I worked in a doctor's office in the 1980's, the patients who were on welfare who only had to pay the doctor $2.00 for an office visit were in the office every week being seen for every little ailment, while the patients who were not on welfare and had to pay $25.00 for an office visit only came in once every 1-3 months.

When the price is higher, suddenly people are a lot more selective about how often they really NEED the service.

Nombe Watanabe said...

Methinks VC has an old boy problem.

Vickie, say your piece and be done with it, you make good points and you could just ignore the nattering nabobs. It IS what they deserve.

As far as Socialism etc. VC makes a great observation that you will get the behavior you reward. Give someone unemployment for an extended time and you will get more unemployment that is the thesis behind the failure of the latest unemployment extension vote in our fabled congress.

A modest fare increase is a good idea.

Victorian Cowgirl said...

Nombe,

You are correct...I have a Good Old Boys problem. But I'm turning the tables now and making it THEIR problem. I'm using their tactics against them. Because you know, they can dish it out but they can't take it.

To wit (as you would say)...

OV Dad chastised me relentlessly. So I cornered him by stating that he was clearly obsessed with me. Haven't heard a peep out of him since and it's been over a month!

Roger made an accusation about Zinkin that he could not prove when I challenged him to do so. Haven't heard a peep out of HIM since either!

The're amateurs and The Good Old Boys Kingdom is now falling apart as a result.

Victorian Cowgirl said...

Nombe,

P.S. I had to look up nattering nabobs. I hadn't heard THAT one before!

Nombe Watanabe said...

nattering nabobs of negativism.

OVOT?
Spiro Agnew?
Pat Buchanan?
William Safire?