Robust Inland Empire Economies - Paying for "More Buses"

San Bernardino and Riverside need a robust private sector job market for economic and mobile prosperity.

An Omnitrans bus heading to Chino Hills.The City of San Bernardino was once an economically powerful region in Southern California, but it has constantly degraded over the past several decades especially since the closing of Kaiser Steel and the Norton Air Force Base in the 1980s and 1990s respectively.

More than half of the city's population now receive public assistance. The current per capita income is less than $16,000. Violent crime is also up. The city budget is out of control and is now bankrupt. Various grass-root coalitions have formed to combat the crime and public spending issues, but the fact remains that this once robust city as well as Downtown Riverside are both starved for a stronger private sector job market. Entrepreneurs continue to have little confidence that local officials will do what's necessary to improve the market economy. The lack of tax revenue thus negates transportation efficiency.

Record Bus Ridership...and Overcrowding
As gasoline prices have risen, many local commuters and travelers are turning to public transportation. It's been a long fact that whenever prices at the pump go up, so does ridership aboard public trains and buses. However the latest spike has caused not only record ridership figures for both Riverside Transit and Omnitrans, but serious overcrowding issues along major routes to the point where patrons are being turned away and have to wait for the next bus. Transit agencies simply cannot just add more buses as they are not in the fleet. There must be a means to pay for them. Each public entity will need to work out a solution to address the increased bus demand. A robust market economy is vital for productive funded public transportation.

More Private Sector Jobs: More Buses
Financial investors and small business owners know that a local economy cannot thrive with high government-mandated expenses. San Bernardino and Riverside can be thriving cities once more with a first-rate transportation network, safe streets and a robust private market like West LA, Irvine, Pasadena, and Rancho Bernardo. However, it appears these cities are still saying "no". The goal of the Transit Coalition is "Getting Southern California Moving". The goal of the cities of San Bernardino and Riverside should be "Improving Economic and Mobile Prosperity": Incline the private sector to invest in the downtown cores; eliminate all wasteful public spending and unnecessary policies and mandates. Serious damage has already occurred in San Bernardino, and the public is well aware of it.

Photo © George Lumbreras CC-BY-SA