consultants are sandburs

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ramsey Town Center rattlings.

[click the image to enlarge and read] Hat tip to the reader who sent the heads-up email. It was a trial balloon. Deflated by lack of use.

I think it was one of those Reagan "supply side" economic adventures.

They bought and paid for the supply. Actually, Ben and other taxpayers did.

But for supply-demand to equilibrate and reach a sane balance, supply alone is insufficient.

Zippo demand put it with other flotsam and jetsam on the sea of Town Center great ideas and dreams.

An innovation too soon before its time? Whatever. It failed. Or in Town Center speak - it succeeded insufficiently.

This link, the lead image from there, Paul Levy for Strib, yesterday, this excerpt:

From now until June, the midday eastbound 852 bus out of Ramsey Station belongs to James Horvath. Most days, he’s the only passenger for the first four miles. Other days — like Wednesday — absolutely nobody gets on the 1:03 p.m. bus at Ramsey Station.

When Ramsey’s commuter rail station opened 14 months ago, Metro Transit agreed to extend Bus Route 852, once a day, four miles west to the train station, to give Ramsey residents a midday alternative to Northstar trains designed for early morning and late-afternoon commuters. But the added bus stop has turned out to be a little-used one that Metro Transit says has wasted fuel and manpower.

Come June, which will be 15 months into what was supposed to be an 18-month trial run, it’s likely to be the end of the line for the extension.

“Rarely does anybody get off here,” bus driver Glen Wiemelt said as he prepared to leave the Ramsey station Wednesday without passengers. “I’ve had as many as three riders get on here, but never more than that. This is typical.”

The 32-mile 852 express route is among Metro Transit’s busiest, averaging 1,100 rides per weekday. But the 2013 average ridership for the four-mile route extension was one customer per trip, Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr said.

Now, with "Metro Transit" having agreed to the experiment, who has paid/is paying what? Levy's answer:

Ramsey residents are paying $295,000 a year to be in a transit taxing district — with taxes going toward Metro Transit services, including Northstar. The city does not pay extra to have Route 852 extended to the Ramsey Station. Metro Transit said it didn’t have an estimate of the cost of extending the route.

Kurt Ulrich is noted by Levy as admitting it was tried and found wanting. The city council must officially pronounce it an ended trial. Still - part of getting that ill-used Ramsey Northstar stop was committing to the three hundred grand per year pop for a stop with no pop, and a trial midday bus.

Can you say "waste?" Can you say "Why?" Our County Board District 1 rep, he talks against waste and sees in his mirror a fiscal conservative. What do you see? Besides a stop with no pop.

On Jan. 11, Levy in a brief item wrote of county board new year adjustments and assignments:

Other committee chairs include: Julie Braastad, Intergovernmental and Community Relations Committee; Jim Kordiak, Parks and Community Services Committee, Waste Management and Energy Committee and Internal Audit Committee; Carol LeDoux, Public Safety Committee; Matt Look, Regional Rail Authority, Finance and Capital Improvements Committee and Wetlands Review Committee, and Robyn West, Management Committee, Information Technology Committee and Benefits and Compensation Committee.

[italics added] Look has from almost the start of his tenure on the County Board been the Regional Rail Authority head honcho for the county, and was instrumental along with former Mayor Bob Ramsey and consultant Darren Lazan, in getting this three hundred grand per year arrangement in place for Flaherty -- and us.

Curiously, anti-waste fiscal hawk watching dog, posted:

The other race is over in District 5, where Carol LeDoux is stepping down after a few years of doing, uh, nothing as far as we can tell.

The empty suit will has apparently decided that sitting around watching Matt Look and company get things done was exhausting and thus an inducement to retirement.

Good riddance.

Woof to you too, pup. At least Ms. LaDoux has not stuck Ramsey taxpayers with picking up a three hundred grand per year tab, yet the woofer had much spleen to vent frequently in the past when Dan Erhart had a dinner tab or two, over Northstar matters.

Poor old dog, blind in one eye and can't see out the other. Throw him a bone.

Now curiosity upon curiosity, we get the same thing on the one other website headquartered per Secretary of State filings in the dog's Fridley doghouse:

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