Bus patronage in Britain predictably plummeted in the early days of 2021 after strengthened movement restrictions were introduced. But it has not plumbed the depths seen in the earlier stages of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, according to figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT).Outside London, on the year’s first working day – Monday 4 January – buses carried 29% of the passenger volume recorded in the third week of January 2020, which DfT uses as a reference. That figure dropped to 24% by Wednesday 6 January. It rallied slightly to 26% on Monday 11 January, the most recent day for which data is available.Weekend ridership is at similar levels. Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 January saw 25% and 31% respectively, declining to 23% and 25% respectively seven days later. In London, usage figures have hovered in the mid- to low-30% area, bottoming out thus far for 2021 on Friday 8 January with 31%.Outside the capital, the last full working week of December saw patronage peak at 58% on Tuesday 15 December 2020. That return has been bettered on only 10 days since 18 March 2020.Bus patronage in London for the early part of January 2020 was ahead of that in the remainder of Britain, but it is still much lower than late 2020January’s decline in bus patronage has undone most of the good work done by operators during the second half of 2020.But the figures for early 2021 thus far are stronger than those seen during the first period of movement restrictions in the early months of that year.Outside London during that period, bus use was at 20% or below for 81 of 82 consecutive days from 24 March to 13 June 2020. No data was recorded on 8 May 2020. Patronage bottomed out at 10% on four of those days.Despite the low figures in the early days of 2021, bus patronage both within and outside London as a percentage of previous figures is ahead of other public transport modes. Neither national rail nor London Underground services have exceeded usage of 20% since 29 December 2020, although differing methodology is used in both those instances. In the former case, some returns are provisional.
Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker during the primary canvass in August 2018.A Johnson County judge on Thursday sided with the progressive activist who sued Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker after Metsker refused to hand over a list of provisional ballot voters requested under the Kansas Open Records Act.Davis Hammet, who heads Loud Light, an operation focused on increasing voter engagement and participation, was the plaintiff in the case filed in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas in September. Hammet and the ACLU took legal action after Metsker’s office denied a request to produce a list of voters whose ballots were rejected because their signatures did not match those the Election Office had on file. Hammet also requested a full list of local voters who cast provisional ballots in the August primary, where Sec. of State Kris Kobach narrowly defeated Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican primary.Following the canvass, Hammet had filed a formal challenge to Kobach’s nomination in the gubernatorial race on the grounds that inconsistent treatment of provisional ballots from county to county could have impacted the outcome in so narrow a final tally.On Thursday, Johnson County District Court Judge David Hauber issued an order rejecting Metsker’s motion for summary judgment in his favor, granting Hammet’s motion for summary judgment in his favor, and directing Metsker to produce the requested records.“[T]he Court concludes that defendant’s refusal to produce a list of names of provisional ballot voters violates KORA and is not subject to any cited exemption,” Hauber wrote.In response to Hauber’s order, ACLU Legal Director and Interim Executive Director Lauren Bonds said the decision was “a win for democracy and transparency.”“Voting rights advocates now have the information they need to ensure election integrity and help provisional voters make sure their ballots count,” she said. “People should know whether their vote counted or if people faced any unnecessary barriers to voting.”Hauber’s full order is embedded below:[gview file=”http://shawneemissionpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/18CV05173_16289378.pdf”]
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CAPE TOWN, (Reuters) – Temba Bavuma hopes his eye-catching innings in South Africa’s seven-wicket victory over England in the first one-day international at Newlands on Tuesday will end the debate over whether he deserves his place in the side. Batting at number three, Bavuma’s excellent 98 comes after a difficult month in which he was temporarily dropped from the test side for a home series against England that South Africa lost 3-1.His axing stirred debate on social media about whether his place in the team was deserved or whether he was only being picked because of efforts to redress imbalances from the country’s apartheid era.Cricket South Africa targets the inclusion of two black African players and four from the mixed-race and Indian communities in each team, averaged through the year. “It has been hard. It’s not so much the dropping part, all players get dropped, everyone goes through slumps of not scoring well,” Bavuma told reporters.“The awkwardness and discomfort from my side is when you are thrown into talks of transformation.“Yes, I am black, that’s my skin. But I play cricket because I love it. “I’d like to think the reason I am in the team is because of performances I have put forward in my franchise side, and also for the national team, whenever I have been able to.”The 29-year-old, who has been a top performer across all formats in domestic cricket over the past few years, has hit out at what he saw as double standards in the transformation debate.“The one thing that irks me is when you are seen through the eyes of transformation,” he said. “When you do well, transformation is not spoken about but when you do badly transformation is thrown at the top of the agenda. I have a serious problem with that. “We’ve got to be able to take the good with the bad. If transformation is bad when black African players are not doing well, then when we are doing well, let’s also recognise transformation for what it’s done.”The diminutive batsman said he is not taking his place in the team for granted.“I don’t think I have nailed my spot in the side. This was just my third game and I am just happy to be on the field,” he added. “I don’t know what’s going to happen after this series or next week. It’s just to enjoy the little moments I have.”
Kolo Toure has rejoined Celtic just months after his playing contract expired, becoming a member of the coaching staff at the club.The 36-year old played nine times last season as Celtic lifted the Treble and qualified for the Champions League group stages, but left at the end of his one-year deal.The Ivorian has now been appointed as a technical assistant within Rodgers’ team and said he was delighted to be returning to Glasgow.“I couldn’t be happier to be back at this great club,” he told Celtic TV. “This is a new chapter in my career, a new beginning. The football is over now. I can officially say I am retired from playing and now I am fully concentrating on coaching.”The former defender also played under Rodgers at Liverpool and said he would reap the benefits of learning from the Northern Irishman as he takes the first steps of his new career.“I can learn so much from working with Brendan Rodgers, he is a top manager. I will be working with him and his staff very closely each day.“He is one of the best young managers in the world right now. What he’s doing for Celtic is there for all to see, he’s doing amazingly right now.” Rodgers welcomed Toure back to Celtic, saying that he would be a perfect example for younger players who would benefit from following the advice of a model professional.“This is great news for Celtic that we are able to bring a man of Kolo’s experience into our coaching team,” the Celtic manager said. “In everything he does, he is quite simply a fantastic example to anyone.“He has worked at the top of the game for so many years and he has all the qualities which any player of any age should aspire to. He is a fantastic role model for our younger players and someone who has a level of experience and knowledge which can only be invaluable to our established players.” “We are delighted that we will benefit from this experience and I know will make a real contribution to the club in this role.”