Sioux Falls City Councilor Merkouris suggests free transit rides

As I have discussed in the past many cities throughout the US provide FREE public transit. Kansas City introduced it in 2019 to boost the working poor and has found great success. I guess Chapel Hill, NC has been doing it for 20 years.

During the city council meeting last night they approved a resolution;


During discussion before the vote, Rich Merkouris suggested FREE fare for our public transit system. He acknowledged it would be a heavy lift to get the public on board but when we are only collecting $500K a year in fares and spending $7 million a year on the program, what’s the point? Just think with the money we are spending on the 6th Street Bunker Bridge and the DSU research facility we could have had 40 years of FREE fares. Councilor Starr and Merkouris both suggested that the frequency and usage of the transit system needs to improve and experimenting with different approaches, like FREE fares, may get us better results. There was a suggestion that city officials have been sitting on their hands for the past 20 years when it comes to transit. I would disagree. They are not sitting on their hands they are using them to spread their butt cheeks so their heads can easily be placed.

To be honest with you, I think our current public transit system is beyond fixable. I would much rather see the city dismantle the whole system and bring in a new contractor.


#1 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 02.22.23 at 11:02 am

I still say we go with some sort of public/private consortium involving on-demand and DoorDash. It would saved the taxpayers immensely.

#2 Ridership on 02.23.23 at 9:24 am

Look at the map of planned SAM service changes and remember Tex Rolfing groups plan to find ways to shut down Sam altogether. We don’t need no stinking poor folk in town or encourage them to live near our exclusive neighborhoods. If we give those folks the ability to see how we live we will have to put up bigger fences.

#3 Very Stable Genius on 02.25.23 at 1:02 pm

Even the bike trail really doesn’t go into Taupeville.

#4 The Guy From Guernsey on 03.01.23 at 7:53 pm

“Even the bike trail really doesn’t go into Taupeville.”

Well, there is that Spur thingy which DOES pass into Taupeville.

#5 The Guy From Guernsey on 03.01.23 at 8:20 pm

Since the days of the Huether adminstration, the system of public transportation in this town has been progressively* stripped of any utility.

Free use of the current transit system is simply an invitation to someone to squander an hour to an hour and half of their time to try to get to any destination in this town, only to be asked to repeat the ill-advised forfieture of time for a return trip.

The proposed route structure another step to further diminish utility.
Of what use? … to anyone? … is a transit system which only covers a portion of a City?

* ‘progressively’ to indicate ‘actions in sequence’ and not ‘actions in the form of a liberal’.

#6 l3wis on 03.01.23 at 10:06 pm

GG- I have determined for quite awhile that city are trying to drive the impoverished out of our town.