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el no. 1: The Cue Bus

Being a poor out of stat college student living on campus I do not have the luxury of an automobile. As a result I frequently use the Cue Bus as a cheap alternative for transportation within Fairfax. The Cue Bus charges a very reasonable rate for and extraordinary service and fortunately for me the Cue Bus gives free rides to George Mason University students and staff. I have many friends like myself that utilize the Cue Bus to get to work, making this transit system very beneficial for us. Because the Cue Bus also connects the people of Fairfax to the DC metro it is an invaluable tool for which I am grateful.

The experiential learning process has encouraged me to look deeper into this service that I utilize everyday but know very little about. Prior to learning about the Cue Bus I assumed it was the workings of a non profit organization that serves the members of Fairfax City. I figured because it was so cheap that its goal wasn’t to become a rich corporation but rather to create enough revenue to cover its expenses on employees and maintenance on vehicles.

What I found when I researched the Cue Bus system was that although it does not operate for profits, it is a function entirely funded and run by the state and local government. The Cue Bus is a transportation subsidy that is provided for residents and visitors of Fairfax City. In 2005 the state funded 78% of the costs while fare revenues provided the reaming 22%. Of the $2,494,616 raised $2,230,883 was spent to cover operating expenses. I also considered the advertisements displayed on the inside and outside of the bus and was curious to see how they were linked with the Cue Bus operation. The inside the bus posts signs that clearly states advertisements do not reflect the views of the city of Fairfax. They also make efforts to support local businesses rather than large corporations like coca-cola. For example, the other day on the inside of the bus was an advertisement for the Woodson high school play Footloose.

On the surface the Cue Bus seems to act similarly to a non profit organization but because it is linked so closely with the government it cant be considered a part of the civic society. Now I realize that it is the government in this case that has created a function that assists and gives valuable opportunities to middle class Americans.

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