Why Aren't We Riding Eau Claire Transit??

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Well, I have been quiet long enough.

Actually I was getting ready for the start of another exciting year at the University here in Eau Claire. This year will be filled with many issues ranging from the rise in tuition to the allowance of evangelical preachers on the campus mall.
The first issue I think is most important is how many of us are getting to the campus. Parking is a mess. Passes are expensive and many more are sold than there are parking places..(ok, I have no proof of that, however, every time I tried to park with a pass there were 20 or so of us wasting ozone destroying fuel driving around in circles looking for an empty space.)

This year I opted for the bus. I started riding on the 5th of September. UWEC students get free fare, there are no parking worries and the bus stops 50 yards from my first class! I was very happy with this arrangement.

Then I had to sit at the transfer station...
Many wonder why the ECT is not attracting as many people as it could. Out of many issues I would guess the transfer station is one of the biggest. As the hub of the transit system it is dirty, hard to traverse, and scary.
The windows are covered in spittle, obcene words in what looked like chapstick and the sidewalk was covered in cigarette butts. The sidewalk is very narrow next to the buses on one side and is very dificult for two rows of traffic or even a wheelchair to get around.
The worst part, however, is the growing group of young adults "hanging out" for hours. In the times I have to wait for my second bus, I have watched several high school kids be approached about giving money to this group, two verbal fights, heard several rude speculations on the amount of money riders may make at their jobs based on their clothes and possesions,(including me), and a set up for a minor to get alcohol from an older looking adult later that day. The young adults were loud, showed no concern for those around them and laughed at attempts to remove them by the security gaurd on the property.

The powers that be in Eau Claire have been trying to spruce up their downtown and attract more riders and advertisers to the transit system. Take care of two issues at once. DO something about the Eau Claire Transit Transfer Station.

Published

September 16, 2006 - 11:16am

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