Jun 12, 2009

Crimes Of Lanta

Regular readers of this blog know I don't think much of Lanta. A couple years ago when they decided to sacrifice the Hamilton Street merchants for their own agenda, I got involved with that cause. Their board of directors is a case study in bureaucratic aloofness. From a alternative transportation idealist (currently not serving) to a professional politician in training, every wrong interest is represented, but the common shmo* who rides the bus out of economic necessity. The shmo used to be able to do his shopping, or fill his prescription, between buses on Hamilton Street. He now has been restricted to sitting on a cold bench or eating a stale donut while he waits. But there's big news for the shmo. Lanta has $9.3 million dollars in Stimulus money and now is squandering two of it on a GPS system. They refer to it as a "Monumental Step" toward improving conditions for bus passengers. Although the buses already have radio systems and cell phones for emergency communication, now Lanta will know where each bus is at every moment. Because the buses are on a fixed route with well publicized schedules, this is sort of like putting GPS on a children's ride at the fair which goes around in a circle.

This system will be monitored by the same guy who watches Allentown's crime cameras. He will take a taxicab back and forth between Lanta and Police headquarters. Back to the shmo; while waiting on the bench he will able to see a screen telling him where his bus is now, reducing his anxiety and improving his mental health. Lanta's buying these devices from a small company in State College, on a single bid. A review of their web site, between the lines, indicates they do not manufacture these devices. Can you take Chinese at Allen High? One would think with $7.3 million left over, Lanta might find an alternative to tearing down that baseball field.

* hapless victim of circumstance


Anonymous said...

folks are systematically erased from the word "stimulus" dollars.
it's taxpayers footing this bill.
Absolutely agree with your comments. LANTA does not need this GPS system, especially since it already has bells and whistles. Now, imagine, if they used this money to construct a “green” bus terminal at old Mack 5C.

Anonymous said...

I thought stimulus money was to be used to employ people in the US?

Wonder if these are US made GPS units?

Maybe they think something will happen like "Taking of Pelham 123"

Anonymous said...

$2-million for a new bus terminal? Wow, I want you to be MY purchasing manager. Again, MM thinks a bus company's job is to service the bodegas of Allentown, not the passengers. I get off at the new Allentown depot every day and the donuts are always fresh. Maybe MM gets the 'stale' ones 'cause he's a critic.