I don't know how many public officials or candidates have ridden the Davenport buses recently, but they should. I did recently and learned a lot while talking with the drivers and the riders. More was learned when discussing the problems with other Davenport citizens who don't take the bus.
If we want to make Davenport thrive, improvements must be made. I've already begun working on a public-private partnership for heated bus shelters. However, the hours and days have to be expanded. Some people haven't taken jobs because of the limited transportation. I know some ministers who'd be happy to see new faces at the services. Meanwhile, stores and entertainment centers would see a boost in sales, and Davenport would see more revenue from sales taxes.
Nearly 5,000 people ride daily. That is a lot of commercial activity.
We know the City of Davenport wants to attract young professionals and has steadily been improving the downtown area partly with that intent.
There are great minds in this city. Let's use them to find solutions. We have the money if we use financial resources smartly. Perhaps Scott County and Rock Island County can team up for a regional transportation authority.
We need a public transportation system that will take people from where they live to where they work and where they want to spend time. The bottom line is that we have a good system now, but we can and must make it better.