Bruce Trigg: Wary of where Summit Stage is heading
As a driver for Summit Stage, it was with more then passing interest that I read the recent article about the transit board’s efforts to secure a loan from CDOT to conduct a survey addressing the Summit Stage’s routes and schedules. My main thought while reading the article was that the transit board is an advisory panel with no authority over Stage administration, and therefore their survey would essentially carry no weight. That begs the question: Why spend that much money when the Stage administration could take or leave the surveys findings?
Over the past few years, the work environment at Summit Stage has gone from fun to unhealthy. Some but not all of the reasons for this can be attributed to diminishing revenues and the resulting alterations in schedules, routes and drivers’ working schedules. There are any number of drivers who wouldn’t hesitate to leave the Stage if a job with equivalent wages, benefits and year-round employment were readily available, but jobs like that are hard to come by in Summit County, so they don’t have much choice other then to stick it out with the Stage.
Currently, Summit Stage is overseen by the county government and the Summit Board of County Commissioners. The BOCC has a large number of other issues to deal with, and it is becoming well known that they are anxious to rid themselves of Stage operations. Last fall when First Transit took over Fleet Maintenance, the general consensus among Stage employees was that we were next. After watching the way that transition was handled, many of us have legitimate concerns about the security of our employment.
Perhaps the transit board should be given full-time authority to manage Stage operations, with Stage administrators being made responsible to answer to them. That way their $70,000 survey would take on new meaning, and the findings would be more readily implemented into Stage routes and schedules.
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