Since there is a big push for sustainable development and stack and pack housing there is one thing we should ask our local elected officials in particular the ones who sit on boards such as SANBAG, SCAG, Omnitrans and its High Desert counterpart Victor Valley Transit.
I know there is a desire to get people from not relying on their cars, but could our elected officials could spend a day with just using mass transit to get from place A to place B. This could help our elected officials explain why when mass transit customers have means to own their own cars they are not likely to use the bus to go to work or go shopping.
Developers such as the Lewis Companies with their plans to transform the Empire Lakes Golf Course across the street from the Ontario Mills into a master planned apartment complex with shops nearby so people would not be relying on their cars, they said there would be a shuttle called “The Vine” to take people from the shopping opportunities nearby so they would not be driving. However what happens if you want to go to Kaiser Hospital in Ontario or Fontana or need to go to the drug store to get some cold medicine at 3:30 in the morning, will Omnitrans or the Vine take those people to the places they need to go?
When you are relying on mass transit you are constrained by the schedule of the agency. Some people may work graveyard shifts in the warehouses of the Inland Valley. If they want to work they have to drive for better or worse. It feels like Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage when the last bus of the day is over and you have to wait for 5am for the next day’s service to begin. Service has to be frequent, convenient and in some cases 24/7 on routes 1, 14, 61, 66, 84 as examples with Omnitrans.
I would like to be humane for this experiment. For the Board of Supervisor members they would just go from their residence to their district office. City council members would just go from their home to their city hall or even their primary workplace if applicable. I think if our local elected did use mass transit for at least one day a year they would have a better understanding of the issues when it comes with Omnitrans and Victor Valley Transit or even development plans when it comes to city or county planning issues. Its only wishful thinking to try to satisfy the mind of SCAG executive director Hasan Ikhrata.
Its illogical to expect people in the Inland Valley to give up their cars. Its like mom and apple pie. We want smart growth, but we want fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly growth at the same time. We want transportation that people will use by choice not by the edict of a government planner.