Kitsap Transit cuts don’t entitle riders to be angry

Someone once described anger as a function of expectation.

By that it’s meant that you’re only entitled to be angry when you don’t receive something you had some realistic expectation you’d receive in the first place.

You can be disappointed you didn’t win this week’s Mega Millions jackpot, for example, but you have no right to be angry about it because you had no business expecting that you would.

A similar standard can be applied to the service cuts with which Kitsap Transit passengers are currently grappling.

We can understand how anyone who’s come to rely on a given route would be disappointed to see it eliminated. But no one is entitled to be angry about the cut, since they had no reasonable expectation their route would be preserved indefinitely — particularly if it’s a money-loser for Kitsap Transit.

To be sure, KT isn’t a break-even proposition and its operations do receive a public subsidy, which entitles riders to certain expectations.

But when do these cease to become reasonable?

Obviously, that’s the whole point of the ongoing public debate about which routes must be cut to save money.

Riders instinctively understand they can’t expect a bus to stop at their front door at precisely the hour they wish to depart and whisk them nonstop to their destination. And though they may be disappointed it doesn’t work that way, they understand they’re not entitled to be angry it doesn’t.

But the only real difference between that level of service and what they’re actually getting is what they’ve been conditioned to expect.

Likewise, the only difference between Kitsap Transit’s previous schedule and it’s scaled-back service is our expectations.

Unfortunately, sometimes our expectations aren’t realistic. Presumably, this is one of those occasions.

If so, be disappointed. But don’t be angry.

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