Florida RNC delegates got stuck on their bus for hours. Let's just hope this doesn't turn them against buses forever. Photo: Paul Flemming/Democrat
You’ve got to hand it to the Republicans. Even the party of transit haters had to admit that the only logical way to move delegates around in the congested streets around the GOP convention was by bus. And they would have been right, except they had a little snafu that will undoubtedly convince everyone involved that transit is, indeed, an utter failure.
As an aside, remember when Mitt Romney offended half the planet by saying he wasn’t sure London was logistically ready to host the Olympics? And then everything went totally smoothly? Maybe he should have been more concerned about Tampa.
Florida’s own delegates bore the brunt of poor planning in their own state. The Sunshine State’s convention delegates got picked up half an hour late from their hotel but still got downtown with time to spare — except the bus drove around and around, navigating security checkpoints and officers who wouldn’t let the bus stop. The delegates ended up spending two hours on the bus, missing the opening speeches. Even during their ordeal, the RNC emailed out a statement that all buses had arrived and that their operations would only get more efficient in the coming days.
Floridians weren’t the only ones who had a bad experience with convention transit this week. California and Virginia delegates also encountered some glitches. Some even speculated that the bus fiascos targeted delegates that were planning to speak out against a controversial rule change.
Now, these are charter buses we’re talking about, not city buses, but the uninitiated might lump them all together. I just want to encourage all those Republicans to give transit another chance. I think it’s a real shame that this happened. I mean, when people who think transit is a waste of money and buses are for cockroaches actually board a bus, I’d like to think they’d have a positive experience and recognize the benefits of mass transit. I doubt this experience did that for them.
I don’t know who’s to blame for the problems in Tampa. It’s more likely the fault of convention security than the drivers. I just hope they’ll try transit again.