Our weekly luncheon speaker series brings outstanding presentations every week, and this week we welcomed a frequent visitor … Gary Richards (aka “Mr. Roadshow“) from the San Jose Mercury News, telling us stories about his job.
Of course, our connection to Richards comes from Jerry Cummings, who is a frequent “expert” on gas prices for the Mr. Roadshow column.
Richards regaled us with several stories from over the years, including his column about the strangest things readers have ever seen on the roads (including breast feeding, marriage vow avoiders, trunk passengers, and other drivers’ excuses).
Gary also addressed the upcoming changes for Carpool Lanes that will become “Toll Lanes” with variable toll rates. He noted that every test site for these toll lanes has actually increased carpooling, because people use it flexibly when money is involved.
He also discussed the troubles facing the SJ Mercury News, including content development and the shrinking business model. On the one hand, more people are reading news (online), but fewer people are willing to pay for it.
He also expressed his delight that his “Mr. Roadshow” column is one of the most popular, and is also a prime example of local news that people want to read. He also noted that government agencies and businesses are very helpful and responsive when he has questions.