March 28th, 2009
12:20 PM ET
11 years ago

King: Bus routes to be closed; stimulus money can't help

St. Louis, Missouri, is having to cut back on bus routes. This could devastate some of the area's most vulnerable.

St. Louis, Missouri, is having to cut back on bus routes. This could devastate some of the area's most vulnerable.

BALLWIN, Missouri (CNN) - For Stuart and Dianne Falk, it is a two-bus, 45-minute trip into downtown St. Louis to head to the gym and to volunteer at a theater group.

And it is a lifeline that ends Friday.

WATCH: Go behind the scenes with John King

"To be saddled, to be imprisoned, that is what it is going to feel like," says Stuart Falk. "It is going to feel like being punished for something we didn't do."

Stuart and Dianne Falk are confined to wheelchairs. And the bus route that takes them downtown, and to one of the few tastes of personal freedom they have, is being eliminated because of a funding crunch.

In all, two dozen bus routes are being eliminated outright effective March 30. Numerous other routes have been shortened or otherwise modified, including less frequent runs. Light rail service schedules also have been scaled back as part of an effort to close a $51 million funding shortfall.

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Filed under: State of the Union
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Had It

    According to the republicans, all spending is unnecessary (unless it pad their pockets or the pockets of their friends). Dream on, republicans. Haters. Dividers, Liars.

    March 28, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    If the demand is large enough, private shuttle and taxi companies will move in the fill the need.

    March 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Peter E

    The problem is that there is so little funding for public transportation that cutting back on it saves little or no money. (especially considering the economic fallout of forcing people to innefficiently pay out of pocket for more expensive commuting) This is false savings.
    Did you know that congestion, parking, fuel-saving, AND economic cost-wise each bus is worth it for a community even if it's only a third full, or even less? (depending on the type of bus)
    Think about it next time you have trouble finding a parking spot!

    March 28, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. George

    And the spin stops wiith John King at the state of the division!

    Say republicans hunt of minority!!!

    March 28, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Franky

    I believe is fair to say that my boy, doesn't like anything that's happening, let alone he has to balance so much stuff.

    St. Louis is just one of the few cities that are struggling. This is just one of the unheard stories that are out there in this country. And one can only guess how many they are?? Keep looking for em John(King), keep looking for em...

    Good stuff.

    March 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Alfred E. Neumann

    I am truly sorry Stuart and Dianne Falk but life is not always fair. America's deep pockets have a limit – look to your neighbors, family and friends.

    Sincerely – good luck to you.

    March 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. John

    Social services being eliminated because tax cuts eliminated funding? The poor stranded without transportation and left to fend for themselves?

    This sounds like a Republican's dream-come-true!

    March 28, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Dawn is clueless

    Obama closes needed bus routes like these, while at the same time he give $8 billion to Harry Reid to build a high speed train from LA to Reid's Las Vegas strip. Change you can believe in - Right?

    March 28, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. 60's survivor

    the birth of anything requires pain – public transportation may not be here yet but it will come – unfortunately many are left out because of the inequaties of the system due to all the excesses in our past.

    March 28, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |