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It’s all about numbers

Nevada Appeal editorial board

A couple of numbers caught our eye this week – one because it was too low, the other because it seemed far too high.

The first number – the low one – is 1,000, and it represents the number of people riding PRIDE buses between Carson City and Reno each week.

Some of those people find it convenient, economical and energy-conserving. But many are riding it because they have no other practical means of getting from here to there.

For years, we bemoaned the lack of transit services among area communities. Now we have it, but not enough people are using it to make sure it will continue to survive.

Lack of ridership threatens to force cutbacks in the routes, which could well mean even fewer riders and, ultimately, the loss of funding – a downward spiral.

It takes time to build support for a public transit system, even one that likely never will pay for itself. We urge any motorist who has ever become frustrated with the traffic between Reno and Carson City – and that would be all of us, at some point – to consider the PRIDE bus as an alternative.

The second number – the high one – is 4,000, and it represents the number of people in Carson City warned or cited for wasting water.

That’s an amazing figure – as many as one in every five households in the city has been caught violating the city’s simple rules for conserving water in the summer. (Odd addresses can water on odd dates, even on even. Nobody waters on the 31st. No watering from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

The idea isn’t to punish people for watering. The idea is to make sure all of us have water when we need it.

In the middle of a bone-dry summer, when fire danger lurks every day, when demand for water approaches the city’s capacity on many days, we hope those 4,000 people got the message.

If they didn’t, they’re pushing the rest of us precariously close to more extensive watering restrictions.