I took my son to ride the Tide today. It's only the second day of it's operational debut. There were some minor hiccups, congested crowds, idiots getting in the way, and so on, but it was worth it. It was worth every second of waiting in line, boarding and riding it from end to end.
Afterwards, I thought about some of the discussions overhead at the stations and on board. Many were complaining about what it doesn't do, where it doesn't go, who it doesn't help, and blah blah blah. It's a start.
But I thought I'd try to respond to some of the views I heard spoke out.
How will it help Virginia Beach residents?
It won't. They voted to skip out on the offer to join in. So they don't count. They have no voice. They can STFU - or VOTE to change things. It would help if they showed up at any of the three or four public forums, but only the blue-haired whiners showed up, and ran their mouths against any suggestions to improve traffic congestion. Why? Because they don't deal with traffic congestion. They stay home, watch TV all day, and get a ride to show up at public forums to bitch about keeping things the way they've been for 50 years. Progress is evil.
So, none of the other cities wanted to pitch in. Norfolk decided to go it alone. They did. Norfolk has balls. The other cities do not. So other city residents have NO rights to complain or even debate what Norfolk decided to do.
Don't like the route? Tough
Don't like the design? Tough
Don't like the fare system and schedules? Tough
Why didn't they run it down the center of I-264?
I can't believe I actually heard people argue this in public. They might as well have yelled out "I'm a complete fucking idiot! Listen to me make a fool of myself!" Ok, for those folks, here goes:
A. 264 is owned by the State of Virginia, not the City of Norfolk
B. How would stations get access to the rail line and to the adjacent parking areas? How would that huge "gap" be bridged? For how much money? paid for by whom?
C. Who cares. It's done. If you can't figure this out on your own, you're just too stupid.
Why didn't they run it on an elevated monorail?
B. Lack of Money
C. Norfolk had to go it alone on this
Whatever. It's a start and I'm excited to see SOMEONE have the balls to try it out after so many decades of being gone from our environment. Yes, there used to be a public transit rail system in this area back in the day of our grandparents. But our generation prefers sitting in traffic jams for hours and hours and then coming home late to complain to our family, neighbors, and friends about how bad the traffic is getting. Yet, when the votes come around they give any alternative a thumbs down. For you folks: Suck it.