A Bus Too Far

An open letter to the Golden Gate and Sonoma County transit systems

I have relied on your buses ever since they began operation. I have much to say about how they are scheduled, which, without question, does not seem to serve the majority of your riders.

In all the years I have been a passenger on your system, I have heard nothing but complaints from my fellow passengers, and they are increasing every year. Most of these complaints are leveled at the total lack of any seeming intelligence behind how the buses are scheduled. It makes everyone wonder how and why the bus company administrators and transportation agencies have created such a futile mess out of what, with a little thought and a modicum of cooperation, should be an easy fix.

Many of your riders theorize that these various agencies are paid by the oil companies to purposely sabotage public transit systems in order to discourage ridership. Don’t laugh. It’s a well-known fact that in the 1940s the oil companies bought out and completely dismantled Los Angeles’ public transit system, which at the time was considered the best in the world.

It takes upwards of four-plus hours to get from Sebastopol to west Marin. If I want to catch a bus from west Sonoma County to the SRJC in time for a class that begins at noon, the closest stop to that time is 10:49am. These schedules should be designed with students’ schedules in mind, as there are many who have no choice but to take the bus to school. This lack of connectivity is true even in the case of routes serviced by the same bus company.

I doubt that any bus administrators rely on their own service to commute, but if they did, I’m certain the bus lines they use would operate in a timely and functional manner. And don’t even ask me about the “Stupid Train.” What a huge boondoggle that is now and will be when it begins to operate.

Jay Cimo is a Sonoma County resident.

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Sonoma County Library