Today committee members attended the Transportation and Airport Committee meeting at City Hall. On the agenda was an update of the RTA's Strategic Mobility Plan.
Committee members spoke about the serious need for more buses that run every fifteen minutes, an increase in overnight service, geographic expansion of the bus service, and a shuttle service for downtown workers. We also spoke on the RTA's failure with last week's Hospital and Hospitality Mobility Focus Sessions. We demanded that the Mobility Plan focus not just on tourists, but on the workers of New Orleans whose quality of life suffers because of poor public transit.
We asked how restaurant and hotel workers generated $7 billion dollars in revenue last year, yet Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world and a public school system that ranks as one of the lowest in the country? The money is clearly there, but is not being allocated towards the betterment of our families and communities.
One committee member pointed out that for each hour spent by parents waiting for public transit is an hour not spent with their children.
Council Member, James Austin Gray II, claimed that our statement on the ranking of New Orleans public schools is unfounded and not true. RTA Vice President, Justin Augustine, claimed that buses coming every fifteen minutes is a luxury that no city enjoys.
Buses come every fifteen minutes in cities across the US, and, really, in cities across the world. Louisiana is ranked as having one of the worst public school systems in the country and below are links with the information to prove it. Several committee members have lived in other cities and have relied on the public bus system within those cities. Below you will find a link to show how every buses every fifteen minutes is, in no way, unrealistic.
Public Education Links:
Philadelphia Bus Schedule: http://www.septa.org/schedules/bus/