The bus system is needing more money to run. More money doesn't have to come from government bodies. But maybe the rules for using the roads could be changed.
Recently we had an increase in our gas taxes, but that hasn't led to more people using the buses. Private cars are the primary competitor of buses, and if raising the gas tax has not led to more people using the buses, then we should use another way of making buses cheaper or the use of cars more expensive.
I propose that we charge for parking on the streets that are often full of cars. If we charged market rates that kept a space or two open on each block during the busiest times, that might be enough motivation for more people to use the bus. This would be a direct cost for the driver who is taking a trip. If free parking was not required and if the gas tax was reduced in the same amount as parking revenue was increased that would be a fair way to change who pays for the parking space.
This would directly connect the one who benefits from the parking space with the one who pays for it. If a parking benefit district was set up for the downtown, then that money could be used for improving the downtown and making it more appealing.
Gary Stevens, Bloomington