July| Vol. 22 No. 8.02 | Christian's Chronicles © 2015 – All rights reserved.
UPDATE: Here’s a video to explain the petition:
In this edition of the Chronicles, I will relay a tale of a board meeting… did I misspell the title? No matter. At the end, I will ask you to sign a petition, because this is the Web 2.0 interactive portion that makes the Chronicles the virus you want to pass on! At the Chronicles, we hope you judge us by the content of our posts, rather than the color of our… font.
I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but that is one of the perks of being editor in chief. I can write whatever I want, subject to my self-imposed moral restraint of sticking as close to the truth as possible, within reasonable limits of artistic fancy.
To quote Snoop Dogg, if I am not mistaken, but uhm, back to the lecture at hand.
I recently moved to downtown Sacramento. A place full of charm and modern conveniences including its fair share of homeless (purportedly at least) people, and other sorts of entertainment within walking distance. Indeed, there are so many attractions within a stone’s throw that I thought I may as well give up on driving altogether. This would endear me to the save-the-earth community by reducing the proverbial carbon footprint, and besides, whatever is not within walking (or biking) distance can surely be reached by public transit.
Being a person of healthy proportions (not to mention a background in hand-to-hand combatives, as well mad skillz in the art of verbal self-defense) I am not one to shy away from such adventures. So I looked into options for monthly passes on RT, the not-so-creatively abbreviated name of Sacramento’s Regional Transit Authority. I thought it would be a sensible alternative to driving, and I admit I was hoping for a military discount.
Much like the strategy of the Gulf war, I was in shock and awe! Not only do the not offer a military discount, but their prices are, well, above limits a reasonably prudent person would consider a reasonably prudent price to pay for a monthly pass.
No that is not a typo. That is the full price of a month pass on RT. In my view, this reflects a strategy that seeks to charge as much as possible out of people who have no other choice than public transit, because if you have a car it is not worth paying.
Far be it from me to go quitelty into that good night, I took it upon myself to further investigate. It so happened that RT was having a board meeting right around the time I made my shocking discovery. So I managed to muster what courage I have left in my broken and beaten body (and soul) and made my way to the board meeting to argue in favor of adopting a military discount. I argued that this would:
1. PR – yes, it is good PR to support the military. Everyone is doing it!
2. Increase revenues, by offering an incentive for many in the area to opt to spend their money on RT rather than at the gas pump.
3. Reduce congestion and help the environment, essentially as a byproduct of 1. above.
4. Improve safety, by providing essentially unpaid security guards in uniform, who deter crime and misbehavior by their mere presence.
I had to squeeze my Shakespearean monologue into the tightly circumscribed quarters of a 3-minute window, but it worked. I followed a group of passionate individuals (some more eloquent than others) who seemed to be something like professional board meeting speakers, that is to say, who have nothing better to do than to show up at RT board meetings. I do not mean to belittle their efforts, because I do think that public transit is an important issue to them. I only mean to say that I was an amateur in the halls of experience.
But my message was well received, if applause is any indication.
Yes, the board agreed to look into offering a military discount. How could they disagree? That would be politically incorrect no matter what side of the isle you hail from. I even pointed this out in my speech. I also mentioned that in New Jersey there is an executive order mandating a military discount on public transit, and in Chicago service members ride for free. Even BART offers perks to some service members.
I guess the guilt trip worked. But now, I must build on the momentum and force them to do more than give lip service to the notion that current and former service members deserve a discount on public transit. I will create a petition to show that the public is behind me!
This is where you come in. Sign my petition and put pressure on RT to offer a military discount!
The ball is in your court. GO!