Wednesday, April 30, 2008

May 1, 1991: When the Red Bus Stopped Being Free

To read the stories now you would think the end of the world was coming to Roosevelt Island seventeen years ago tomorrow. It was in fact the end of an era where the local Red Bus maintained and operated by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation was run for free. On May 1, 1991, RIOC started charging 10 cents for rides on the Red Bus.

One quote from an article regarding the change and the fact that many of the island’s young people either didn’t have enough dimes with them or did not want to pay the fare ended on a positive note:

"The kids are getting a lot more exercise," Ms. Neis said. "And the older people have more room on the bus."

Compared to the increases in the cost of the MTA token and now metrocard for a single fare over the years we certainly can’t complain that the Red Bus fee today is set at only 25 cents. Although over the two short years I have lived on the island I still hear plenty of residents who believe ardently that the fare should return to being free.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Maybe the folks that complain that there is hardly any room in the bus by the time it reaches the church should take this to their hearts: just walk! You are only a five minute walk away from the subway and maybe seven minutes away from the tram. It's good for you.