When NCTD cut back on weekend service, there arose from the multitude of transit riders such a cry of pain and rage...including from yours truly. As it is, I rely on NCTD to get to my job sites as a security officer. As well, of course, for other excursions, such as to the Vista Public Library to write this-here blog.

And yet, the pain I knew was coming in August turned out to be a minor irritation. The pain that NCTD plans to inflict on we. the ridership, in January? It will be far worse. Besides the fact that Regional Bus Passes will be more expensive with the coming of the New Year (the Senior/Disabled/Medicare pass I get every month will go up to $17/month)?

The ridership must prepare for the second round of service cuts. Many inner-city routes (including the 334/335 that I take to the library and to Vista Transit Center) will become hors d'budget mismanagement! And what have we to show for it? The Escondido Avenue (Vista) Sprinter Station still only allows stops on the Oceanside Sprinter runs. Hours have been cut back, to the point where those who work swing and/or graveyard shifts either have to rely on co-workers to get us home...or start hoofing it in the dark!

The number of security officers at the Transit Stations (as well as on the Sprinters) have been chopped back, with rather horrid results. The number of Fare Enforcement personnel on the Sprinter runs has been dropped as well (with folks being able to ride w/o benefit of ticket or monthly pass).

And to top off this horrid tale of mismanagement, the splitting of the 302 into the 302/305 still causes nightmares for riders. Not only was the schedule poorly designed (the last 302 leaves Kaplan College at 10:30pm, which is the same time the second-to-last 305 leaves Palomar College Transit Center).

But it is also rather clear that NCTD cannot or will not acknowledge their errors and revise the schedule to ensure that not only do the 302s and 305s meet at Kaplan College, but also make sure that those going westbound on the last 305 (which leaves PCTC at 11:00pm)have a 302 waiting to help complete the westbound journey.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...and those who run NCTD care not a plugged Euro about those of us who have no choice but to ride it. After all, NCTD's management will not deign to mix with we "unwashed peons" and ride the very same transit (as in every day, to all destinations) that we, the ridership, see being dismantled because of coporate greed, wishful budgetary thinking, and outright apathy.

If the current situation keeps up, there might be no more NCTD or public transportation here in North County. When that happens? If you think that Bejing's air quality is a certified loser...just wait until the only mode of motorized transport up here is a private automobile or motorbike. Then tell me how it feels to breathe in the air, now filled with exhaust from the jammed freeways and surface streets. NCTD...Change It Or Lose It!! --RKJ

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