City May Hire Full-Time Employee to Encourage Mass Transit Commuting

The San Antonio City Council today will take the first steps toward the most aggressive effort it has ever made to get you out of your car and into a bus, carpool, or other mass transit option for your daily commute, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The Council's Governance Committee today will consider appointing a full time staff member, the City Commute Coordinator, to 'develop and execute strategies to increase the use of mass transit, carpools, and other alternatives to the one-person-one vehicle daily commute.'  In other words, the City is proposing using your tax dollars to employ somebody whose full time job will be to convince you to leave your car in the garage and use mass transit to get to work.

Southwest side Councilman Rey Saldana and northwest side Councilwoman Ana Sandoval say this isn't just a worthy goal, its a 'necessary goal.'

"San Antonio will experience further challenges with our anticipated population growth--more than a million new residents by 2040," Sandoval and Saldana say in a statement.  "We will need a long-term multi-pronged strategy to achieve sustainability."

The are proposing a Transportation Demand Mangement plan which would work with employers to incentivize employees to carpool, take the bus, or other potential future transportation systems like light rail instead of an individual private car; and will work to deal with the objections that middle class commuters have to taking mass transit, like long waits for the bus.

The full time position, called the 'City Commute Coordinator' will also address mass transportation affordability, and help employers increase their competitiveness with excellent commuter benefits.

"Creation of a City program for developing and executing strategies to increase the use of mass transit, carpools, and other alternatives to the one-person-one-vehicle daily commute," the Council members say.  "The basis for the program will be an assessment of commuting patterns in San Antonio, which will help establish goals for increasing multi-passenger commutes to work."

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