Here’s a paradox that will make your head explode, or perhaps it will simply make your blood boil. A recent CAA ad appearing on the tail end of Kingston Transit buses boasts “insurance rates that won’t have you riding the bus.” Is public transpo in Kingston so bad that City officials are seriously encouraging commuters to drive their own vehicles? Doesn’t it behoove the marketing manager down at City Hall to sell advertising that increases ridership? What the hell is going on? Are we in bizarro-world, where up is down, and pink tastes like blue?
In the age of sky-high fuel prices and hyper-environmentalism, Kingston transit has seen a modest increase in ridership over the past few years. Now those factors may only be partly to blame, as we have to take into consideration various improvements to the public transportation scheme have also been made. Most noticeably, the addition of more buses meaning more frequent service, as well as the bike racks on the front of the buses, and even the new automated pass system. Sure the winter service is a bit to be desired, but on the whole Kingston Transit is better than ever before.
So going back to the advertisement, I just don’t get it. Although I own a car, I have the convenience of being able to walk to work, for groceries, shopping etc… so the bus isn’t really something I consider on a regular basis. That said, for those on the fence about buying a bus pass or leasing a car, I think it’s pretty safe to say these ads are going to sway people away from mass transit, and into self serving autos. Is there no standard for advertising on the side of these buses? Will they let anyone, advertise anything? I think that it’s ridiculous that the city can get away with selling ad space on public transportation that essentially encourages more people to drive, and therefore clog our streets. What do you think?