Despite dire warnings that eliminating Metro's downtown Ride-Free Area would create huge delays for commuters, the morning and afternoon rush hours have, so far, gone fairly well. New schedules, new routes, and the whole "pay on entering" have proven less confusing than feared, said Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer.
Social service advocates have negotiated successfully for additional bus tickets, to be distributed to the homeless. The surprise for many observers, rather, was the depth of vitriol directed against the down-and-outers who, over the years, have made extensive use of the Ride Free Area, to the point of using buses in lieu of public restrooms. "Good riddance," was a typical comment.
-- Ronald Holden