AANews announces that AATA will not be persuing a millage to expand service to the entire county.
A consultant found that 54 percent of Washtenaw County voters would support a .5 mill tax to extend AATA service countywide. Without at least 60 percent support among voters at the outset of a campaign, a strong informational effort would be needed, the study said.We'll asume for now that it is rational to abandon the idea even though more than half of taxpayers were willing to support it without any prior marketing. Still, wouldn't part of this informational effort be made by local government and employers? If this study was based on a go-it-alone marketing campaign, then AATA needs to work on their networking skills. There is all kinds of info we'd like to see from this report, but top of the list is what township and village governments think of the idea. We are more interested in what the 21 "key opinion leaders'' said in their interviews than the 6% shortage on public opinion. If local leaders want this to happen, they can contribute to the effort to make it happen.
But AATA is going for a softer sell:
"We are not interested in putting forward a proposal that the community is not interested in supporting," Nacht said.With the usual caveat of potentially pot-stirring journalism by the News, doesn't that come off as stupid? 46% of respodents don't support expansion of a service they don't know anything about but AATA is not willing to explain it to them.
AATA is "not close to offering the community any specifics," he said.
...the study included that there is little awareness of AATA outside its immediate service area.
At the same time, AATA is dealing with enough problems in the existing service area. It looks like Ypsi won't be able to pay their part of the bill soon and we need to keep those lines running. Maybe this isn't the best time to expand.
On the brighter side, the report finds that, "the buses are clean, safe and usually on time." Between that, Ridetrak, and the fabulous Link, our buses are rollin' pretty smooth.