Reals Cost of  JETS - Taxpayers pay about $32.00 per ride on bus transit in Jonesboro, contrary to what MPO reports.

This letter was published in Jonesboro Sun February 13, 2011 on Sunday.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Letters To The Editor

They are devious

An alderman said he suspects the huge price per passenger on the JETS system is causing some of the fear of federal mandates that citizens are expressing about the Metropolitan Planning Organization plan in Jonesboro. Then he said, “We are not federally ‘locked in’ to provide this transit service, but it would undoubtedly be something of a bitter pill to pay back reasonable-cost assistance that we have received.”

This JETS problem does indeed typify the way federal government buys local control with its grants (our own money given back to us as rewards for living our lives like the government wants us to). However, these grants cost taxpayers more money in the long run as with JETS. And citizens do rightfully fear more of the same with the proposed bike lanes, walkways and expanded mass transit that receive huge federal grants.

However, nowhere in the media or in the alderman’s editorial have we seen the true costs of JETS. The MPO draft indicated the price per passenger as $17.52 for 2010 — the amount of money the taxpayers pay for each person who rides on the JETS bus (minus $1 fare they charge.) However, another recently added $770,000, $95,200 and $50,000 were not included in those figures. If you add in those figures with 2010 gross expenses ($1,044,576) given by JETS and divide by the gross ridership (63,789), the price for each ride is $30.72, not $17.52.

We don’t know how many other expenses were not included in the calculations by the JETS system in 2010 or earlier years. That is why most people agree these days that you can’t trust anything the government tells you. The ridership has decreased in 2010 as well.

And one wonders why the City Council is discussing lowering speed limits in Jonesboro to 25 miles per hour. These lower speeds will do wonders for lunch hour and 5:00 traffic! It wouldn’t be by any chance in anticipation of changing some traffic lanes to bike lanes as they plan to do in Memphis, would it? Then they could say the lowered speed limits were not the result of bikeways when they are implemented. Our government is truly devious!

Debbie Pelley


Posted February 13, 2011