Update: by 8:15 my questions to the transit service manager have been answered. Indeed the changes will be monitored with an eye toward making frequency changes elsewhere. I remain optimistic!
I spent much of this evening at Monk's House of Ale Repute monitoring the weighing in of contestants in Snakebite's Bike To Work Challenge. It was another satisfying year as a good number of people rode to work for more than 80 days between May and October.
Cash prizes were visited upon the three that rode the most days and lost the most weight. Smaller cash prizes went to those that finished outside the top three but still rode the most days or rode the furtherest.
The competition was so intense that one contestant, in addition to fasting for a few days, performed a pre-weigh-in de-pantsing. I understand by 8:30 she was replenishing her energy stores by binging on cookie dough - which she can afford after receiving a fistful of cash.
SAM is putting a challenge in front of me. They are proposing changes to many - maybe all - their routes. Especially hard on The MinusCar Project is the increase in distance from my home to the nearest bus stop from .6 miles to 1.4 miles.
My ability to walk with The Boys from home to bus is gone as well as my ability to rely on the bus as a car-free alternative on snowy unbikeable winter days.
Really I'm ok with all this. Like all public transportation SAM struggles to find ways to improve service and radical changes indicate to me a willingness to try different things.
I'm happy to trade my bus route - by my bus route I mean often when I ride I'm the only passenger - for the potential of increased ridership elsewhere.
Public commentary is welcome on these changes. I'm sending mine via e-mail and hoping to learn what gains might come about from these changes.