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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Walker: How Not To Win Friends And Influence People

by capper

So Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has a hybrid bus schlepped up from Alabama. I'm sure it was to use it for a photo op and to promote his myopic view for mass transit in Milwaukee. It's a good thing that the photo op part didn't work out, or we would have had the opportunity to see a nice snapshot of Walker with egg on his face.

He invited a group of city officials to come and enjoy the nice ride that this bus provides. But he changes the route, and leaves several officials stranded in front of city hall, standing around like most of the riders of the bus system lately, waiting for a bus that wasn't coming there anymore.

Not only did he have the problem with communication, and didn't do a lot to win people on his side with his faux pas, but the buses he likes aren't much better than the old derelicts that are in use now:

The 60-foot hybrid bus demonstrated Tuesday costs about $900,000, carries 63 passengers and gets 7.5 miles per gallon on the freeway and 4.5 mpg in the city, the manufacturer says.

By comparison, the transit system's current 40-foot diesel buses each cost about $350,000, carry 40 passengers and average 4.4 mpg between city and freeway use, county and transit system officials say.
Not only does the bus get negligibly better mileage, if one is to believe the manufacturer, but carries only a half again as many riders, but costs nearly three times as much.

Of course, this isn't the first time, nor will it be the last time, that Mr. Fiscal Responsibility has proven himself to be anything but fiscally responsible.

For other takes on the bus fiasco, check out James Rowen and Craig Kowalski, who had this telling cartoon, by Stuart Carlson, as well:

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