Impact on region justifies more aid
The crisis situation with our transit system has gone on long enough. All I hear are some people crying about a couple of pennies on a gallon of gas or some other minuscule increase.
Why should Buffalo be different from any other city? Other cities have taxes to keep their transit systems running, why shouldn't we? Are we too good or too stupid? The NFTA is asking for what other cities have: a dedicated source of revenue, so what's the big deal? There is a price to pay for growth, and if the city wants to continue to do so we better do it. There are a lot of great cities with great transit systems; they go hand in hand. Each complements the other -- great transit, great city. Buffalo's transit system is not nearly there yet.
Many people in the area mention Toronto and how beautiful it is and how great its transit is. But do those people realize that Mr. Savage, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority executive director, is responsible in large part for that system? Why don't they let the man do his job here instead of fighting him? Is this city ever going to gain national attention, or are we always going to be labeled as losers?
One of the NFTA's biggest opponents is our Legislature. Why don't we vent our anger at them? They are responsible for this mess because they are not doing their jobs. They fight among themselves like a bunch of children.
One of the leading opponents of the NFTA among them is a woman who whines, cries and demands so much she reminds me of a middle-aged, nagging wife who, no matter what her husband does for her, it's not good enough. As is in the case of the NFTA, every time they meet one of her demands, she dreams up another one.
Let's get it together, people. Our transit agency is too important to our economy and our image for us to be without it.
Motorists should leave cars at home
Many motorists have written because of proposals to add extra taxes on gasoline prices to help bail out the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Owning a car is expensive. One way to cut down on this expense would be for drivers to use alternatives in traveling.
Almost anyone who travels along Fuhrmann Boulevard during the rush hour from the South Towns would be much better off to travel by bus. With plans on having the Skyway closed later this year, the traffic jams will be even worse.
Observations prove that most cars coming to and from downtown have only the driver. A bus can seat approximately 50 people. I am sure the NFTA would be more than happy to accommodate us with more buses, especially from the South Towns if more people would leave their cars at home and use public transportation. If the NFTA suddenly had 300 more passengers for their transportation system, we would certainly have more buses running. It would also keep cars off the road.
In reference to the writer who mentioned bad schedules, a lack of bus stop shelters and discourteous bus drivers -- I currently see no need for more South Town buses because of the lack of riders. Most stops are not used enough to warrant expensive shelters and I have rarely entered a bus with a discourteous bus driver. Most drivers are friendly and polite, which is not always easy when dealing with the public.
Using a bus for at least commuting to and from work more often would save the car owner money on gas, parking, and wear and tear. It would cut down on air pollution, traffic jams and possibly accidents. It would let the passenger relax while traveling to and from work.
If some of us would depend more on public transportation, just maybe, it would not have to depend on all of us.
ROSEMARY VANDER HAEGHE