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Bus system could cure some of our problems

Allen Lottinger -   Aug 14, 2008

St. Charles Parish apparently is finally going to get a public transportation system that will allow residents to reach destinations without fueling their gas tanks. It will cost about $2 a trip or $60 for a monthly pass, which still can be much cheaper than visiting the pumps on a regular basis.

But it will be transportation on demand, not a normal stand on the street corner wait till the next regularly scheduled bus comes along. Residents will have to call a number to get a ride, somewhat like ordering a taxicab.

And that isn’t bad. What can be more luxurious than telling a chauffeur to pick you up? Of course the wait may be longer than ordering James to pull out the limousine pronto.

Only four busses will be put to use in the two-parish program for St. Charles and St. John at first. It may not be enough to make a major dent in the commuter traffic that burdens our major highways.  Especially with gas prices on the descent even to a possible unbelievable $3 a gallon.
But every little bit helps. Since Katrina, the New Orleans metropolitan area has spread far and wide, even to Baton Rouge. A rush-hour look at our roadways during those times shows how ridiculous our traffic patterns are in wasting time and gasoline use.

It was former Gov. Edwin Edwards who wanted someday to have a commuter train between those two cities to end the ever increasing need for more traffic lanes between destination points. It was a good theory and maybe its time to put it to use. Our plans to have a public transportation system, however, is just a start into something that someday will cure many of the problems of everyday living such as the waste of nonrenewable fuel, air pollution and the never ending need of building and repairing highways.

Iacocca is very angry

Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes, is now 82 years old and has a new book out.  Here are some interesting excerpts, submitted by Brent Tregre via Marilyn Richoux of Destrehan:

“Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else/s kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

“On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A Hell of a Mess. So here's where we stand . . . We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

“But when you look around, you've got to ask: Where have all the leaders gone? Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

“Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

“Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

“Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

“Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

“Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

“I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to do nothing while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

“I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope, I believe in America . In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I’ve also experienced some of our worst crises: the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy Assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America . It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's go to work. Let's tell ’em all we’ve had enough.”

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