There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The evil Transitator

Today, Bee readers learned that on March 26, California's governor, he of Terminator movie fame, decided to take his first ride on Sacramento Regional Transit's light rail system.

The transitarian is not amused. According to the article in The Bee:

"He is just a curious person, interested in new things," Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said. "There is really not much more to say about it than that."
Interested in new things?
  • RT has operated the Watt / I-80 line since 1987, when it opened the 18.3-mile light rail “starter line.”
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, the guy waiting for the 9:05 p.m. train at the 13th Street light rail station on March 26, 2007, was sworn in as California's 38th governor on Nov. 18, 2003.
The evil Transitator got off the light rail line at Watt, where he was met by his chauffeur and the rest of his security detail. The next day, March 27, according to The Bee:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Tuesday he will increase six-figure salaries for top state executives by as much as 27 percent, a move that could precipitate similar raises for his own chief of staff and other top aides in the future.

The pay hikes for 49 executives come after the Republican governor signed legislation last year enabling his administration to raise top salaries to as much as $258,125. At the time, Schwarzenegger's office said it had no plans to give raises except to the heads of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Highway Patrol.

Schwarzenegger said the raises are necessary to retain and attract talented leaders who otherwise would flee to higher-paying jobs. The 49 executives will receive pay increases starting April 1 that average 9 percent, though 10 agency secretaries will receive nearly a 23 percent bump.
This is the same governor who, in January, proposed a state budget for the coming fiscal year that would shift $1 billion in gas tax funds away from transit. His excuse: He must fill the state budget deficit.

RT's general manager, Beverly A. Scott, has been preparing for an "Armageddon" budget in the event the evil Transitator succeeds in cutting transit funding. According to The Bee, the RT board this week eliminated several planned bus service expansions in Natomas and Arden Arcade (where the tranistarian lives), and froze spending at last year's levels.

On the governor's one and only light rail ride, he apparently spent most of his time chatting with the train operator, getting the sort of cook's tour any celebrity would receive.

If the governor really wants to try something new, he should have his "security detail" drive him into the UnCity that surrounds the city of Sacramento and then ride a bus -- actually it will have to be at least two buses -- to the Capitol. Of course, if he tries to do that at 9 p.m. he had better plan closely. The buses don't run every 15 minutes.


Anonymous said...

What Ahnold needs to do is get on the Light Rail from Meadowview at or after 7 PMish at City College. Especially when there's only one car to pick up a TON of evening students for an already pretty packed ride. Then let's see him still justify shifting money to make up for his screwing up the budget.

Oh who's kidding who? He'll still support it...

John said...

The Guv spends a lot of time talking about saving the planet. That just isn't going to happen by shortchanging transit.