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To the Editor:
Thank you for your excellent editorial arguing that we need public transportation in The Valley.
Last year I contacted our Representative Carol Hosford and this spring I emailed State Senators Phil Scott and Susan Minter about this issue. I believe strongly that commuter service is necessary for several reasons including the high cost of gas, the harm to the environment from the hundreds of individuals driving separate vehicles, and the harm to the roads, especially Route 100, due to the heavy load of vehicle traffic.
In talking to other parents recently about this subject, I also realized that bus service would increase our children's independence and reduce our need to drive them everywhere as well as increasing the mobility of the less well off, disabled or elderly without cars.
I know that the previous GMTA bus service was discontinued due to low ridership. However, I think things are quite different now than they were five years ago. In particular, gas is far more expensive and people are much more aware of the dangers of global warming.
A major drawback of the previous commuter bus service was its inconvenience. There was nowhere to leave one's car when you met the bus on Route 100. If this issue could be worked out, such as by GMTA leasing parking spaces at convenient locations throughout The Valley (such as Harwood, VG, the Moretown Store, the Moretown School, etc.), then I believe riders would be very interested.
At the very least, I believe it would be worth ordering the appropriate agencies to reevaluate the potential ridership and cost-effectiveness of this service. A survey could be sent to all Valley residents to gauge their interest in such service and what factors would make it possible for them to use a bus service.
I agree with the editor that public transportation is a critical need in The Valley. I hope our legislative representatives will devote their attention to addressing this urgent need.