Monday, December 15, 2008

YouTubing the Boss

Pensacola has what is surely one of the lamest mass transit systems in the nation. Buses, only, and even they run on a schedule only a banker could use.

Take the Pensacola-Pensacola Beach run (above): Just two runs a day, six days a week. Early arrival at 8:19 am, last bus leaving the beach at 4:54 pm. How convenient is that for a daily destination largely populated by service industry employees half of whom, or more, work the dinner hour and late into the night?

ECAT also has been deeply troubled over the years by management problems. Those just got worse this week when a fired employee -- here, we need a new verb -- YouTubed Escambia County Area Transit's general manager, Travis Lakin. Now the manager's been suspended, pending an investigation into allegations he directed two public employees to work on restoring his private boat. Thyrie Bland has the story for the Pensacola Newsletter.

This is hardly in Blagojevich territory. More like dog- nips- at- mailman's heels, or boss- sends- secretary- out- to- buy-wife's- Christmas- present. Still, if true it was a stupid and probably illegal use of public resources.

There is a lesson somewhere in all of this, but it's not likely to be the one wanted by those of us who hunger for a truly innovative mass transit system for the Pensacola area. Most likely, it will be taken only as warning to middling managers not to hire -- and especially not to fire -- anyone with video skills.

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