Government Buses in San Jose: Sleep Location for Homeless — Feel Safe?

We all know that government buses have had a massive decline in ridership.  They are unreliable, expensive to the community and now we find out the buses are actually shelter and sleeping spaces for the homeless.  Who wants to take a ride to work among the sleeping homeless on the bus?  While this article deals with the use of busses over night as lodging for the homeless—it fails to mention the daytime homeless sleeping on the busses and begging for money.

“Transit advocates have a new reason to justify subsidies to public transit: transit vehicles provide shelters for homeless people. San Jose’s perennially cash-strapped Valley Transportation Authority is proposing to cut its only all-night bus route, but homeless advocates are protesting the plan because the buses are “another lifeline” to homeless people. The night-time buses cost taxpayers half a million dollars a year, money that could probably be more effectively spent on behalf of either homeless people or transit riders.

Please note that the media in California, while protesting the high number of homeless, have not mentioned the dirty secret—government busses—and trains—are being used as shelters and sleeping spaces for the homeless.  Another reason folks are refusing to use government transportation—because it is also government housing.

Rolling Homeless Shelters

Anti-Planner,  http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=15860#more-15860

Transit advocates have a new reason to justify subsidies to public transit: transit vehicles provide shelters for homeless people. San Jose’s perennially cash-strapped Valley Transportation Authority is proposing to cut its only all-night bus route, but homeless advocates are protesting the plan because the buses are “another lifeline” to homeless people. The night-time buses cost taxpayers half a million dollars a year, money that could probably be more effectively spent on behalf of either homeless people or transit riders.

In Minneapolis, the Green Line light rail, which runs all night, has become the shelter of choice for 200 to 300 people seeking to escape the winter’s cold. Heartless people who have their own homes complain that the homeless people make light-rail cars overcrowded, filthy, and smelling of urine, so much so that Metro Transit has had to add four staff members to clean the cars every morning. Some suggest that Metro Transit should stop running the trains from 2 am to 4 am to keep homeless people from using them overnight, but homeless advocates object that such people “need our help.”

While there are several different causes of homelessness, the problem is clearly worsened by growth-management planning that makes housing expensive. One study estimates that a 10 percent increase in housing prices results in a 14 percent rise in the rate of homelessness. A study released last month in Oregon concluded that “high rents are to blame for the severity of the state’s homelessness crisis.”

The public can thank urban planners for the dual problems they have created: making people homeless by driving up housing prices and making transit vehicles unappealing to most people by turning them into homeless shelters. No doubt planners will find some solution that is even more counterproductive to both housing and transportation issues.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.