Eliminating fares on Metro buses and trains, as Mayor Annise Parker recently suggested, would cripple the agency’s light-rail expansion plans and force reductions in service to people who depend on public transportation, board chairman David Wolff said [Thursday].
At the close of the monthly board meeting, Wolff read aloud his Feb. 11 letter to Parker responding to her comments in a Houston Chronicle article published three days earlier. Parker’s suggestion that the Metropolitan Transit Authority should explore the idea of eliminating fares to increase ridership, Wolff said, was “not thoroughly thought out.”
Parker responded that Wolff seems to have missed her point that Metro should “think outside the box” and refocus on its mission of serving the public rather than on boosting the share of its revenues that come from fares. Wolff, she said, has presided over an agency “that in my opinion, has been stuck in neutral for six years.”
The mayor said she expects to get reports in the next few weeks from committees she appointed to study Metro, and she intends to replace Wolff and perhaps other board members soon after that.
You can see a copy of the letter here. There’s no love lost between Wolff and the Mayor, that’s for sure. I look forward to seeing what Mayor Parker’s transition team has to say, and who she has in mind to replace Wolff and other board members.