The local transit authority for the Washington, D.C. area – known to most residents simply as “Metro” – is having problems getting feedback from riders on a proposed rate increase. It’s not that locals don’t have strong feelings about the plan; on the contrary, bus and rails riders are quite unhappy. It seems the main problem so far has to do with holding public meetings at remote suburban locations with no bus or rail service. So I guess they’re happy to hear from car owners who also happen to use Metro buses and trains occasionally, but are less interested in listening to anyone who actually depends on the system to get where they’re going.
Students of American history will remember that such inconveniently scheduled government meetings are nothing new. Over 230 years ago, colonists were complaining that a certain fellow named George had “…called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.” Clearly, the Metro board members have realized that one hears much less criticism at hearings that are inaccessible to those most affected.