Watch out! The days of AC Transit‘s cozy relationship with Belgian bus maker Van Hool are numbered, at least if a group of organized “Van Hell”-haters succeeds in staging its day of action at the entrance of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 8th and Oak streets in Oakland, at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
The event is being organized by Joyce Roy, who only managed to rally a handful of mostly elderly and disabled riders, along with a bus driver, to speak to the AC Transit board recently against the buses for their shaky rides and difficult-to-manuever front entrance, which is constricted some by the Van Hools’ front-engine design.
The controversy has set records on this blog. I really had no idea people could be so passionate about bus design and procurement. I guess that’s because I take a train to work most days and can drive whenever that’s not convenient.
But for people who take the bus because they can’t drive, it’s serious stuff. With all the hubbub on the blog, I would have to expect a much bigger showing at the MTC offices tomorrow.
In what has to be some kind of cosmic magnifying glass on where our heads are, many of the people who might care about this issue will be looking south tomorrow and thinking about another mode of transportation.
Wednesday is the big vote in Irvine by the California Transportation Commission on how to spend $4.5 billion in highway money — the biggest chunk of the $20 billion transportation bond voters approved in November.
Lucky me, I’m going to be flying down there to cover it, and Joyce, I can say only this: I really would have come to your protest were it not for the $4.5 billion, the threat of the Willits Bypass and the fact that the overwhelming majority of commuters in the Bay Area drive to work. The second thing is that I looked on the OCTA Web site, and wouldn’t you know it? There isn’t a single bus that goes the entire four miles from John Wayne International Airport to the Irvine City Hall, where this meeting will be held, so I’ve got to take a cab.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll run into someone from the MTC, and we’ll carpool.
Photo from busforsale.com.