I hate to be the one to tell you this, Indy: You're addicted.
Sure, it was all new and exciting at first — the freedom, the adventure, the fun. But that's all gone now, and it's never coming back. I bring it up now because things have really been getting bad these past few months.
It's all you can you can talk about, and it’s all over the news. Shoot, it’s unofficially surpassed “the weather” as the most used small-talk conversation topic. That's right — gas prices and potholes. Your unrelenting bitching leads me to only one conclusion, Indy: you're addicted to the car.
Fortunately, there's a way out. Public transportation.
Think about it. If you took the bus, you wouldn’t have to worry about driving yourself through potholes, or rather pits of death. And every time you drove past a gas station, you could smile and feel sorry for the those fretting over price fluctuations. You wouldn't have to worry about that — you’d just be paying the $60 monthly ($30 if you are 18 or younger, 65 or older, or disabled) for an IndyGo bus pass.
In general, you’ll save big if you ditch your car entirely. According to the American Public Transportation Association, the average person would save nearly $10,000 a year if they didn't use a car and only took public transportation.
But change won't come easy.
Legislators at the Indiana Statehouse have been working hard to cut the already meager state transit budget by nearly 18 percent. That would mean a big cuts for IndyGo, which is already significantly underfunded compared to services in other metropolitan areas. And this is all despite the fact that IndyGo ridership increased by about 4 percent last year.
Lawmakers don't seem to be in any hurry to help these riders out by improving Indy's transit. The Indy Connect transit plan that would significantly expand options and improve reliability, adding bus rapid transit services and increasing transportation services throughout Indy, is just that — a plan. At this point, it looks like it will be a couple years before any real changes are made.
Basically, legislators are trying to cut the services that would ween you off the car and take your mind off potholes and gas prices.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret, Indy. Over the years, gas prices, are only going to continue to rise. So instead of locking yourself into a life of worrying and complaining as they skyrocket, hop on the bus — and tell your legislators keep up the funding. If you’d rather carry on moaning and groaning, you won't get a sympathetic ear from me — not while there's still another option.