Letter: Use the bus
I have lived in Greenfield since 1975 and in all these years, I didn’t often consider riding the bus to events or appointments. For where I needed to go, walking and bicycling was just fine with me. But nowadays, driving a car to distant appointments and events has caused me to reconsider how I use my car. There are already buses going to my destination. The winter weather has made me realize that I don’t need to risk driving in winter conditions — I could take the bus.
In 2011, the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA) held a Dump the (gas) Pump Day in June. That was a great offer, but I didn’t take that opportunity to use the bus service. I recommend that the transit authority offer another summer Dump the Pump Day. All of us who have cars can accept the offer to try out the bus service.
Last November, the FRTA announced a Ride Free Day for all buses. I accepted that great offer and my husband and I chose to take the bus to Shelburne Falls to enjoy the town’s Black Friday preparations for a street fair. We had a comfortable ride and enjoyed learning more about those who take the buses. That day there were several young people leaving work and going home, perhaps making a connection at the Transit Center for another bus.
The FRTA covers the largest area and most rural geographical area in the commonwealth of all transit authorities. There are 39 communities served by FRTA and they pay an assessed amount based on the number of miles served in each town. Before 2006, the Greenfield Montague Transportation Authority provided service to Greenfield and Montague.
It took a long time for me to be pried out of my car to try bus transportation, and I invite others to “think outside the box.” Take advantage of a service that our towns are financially supporting. I recommend that the next time FRTA offers a Ride Free Day, make plans and enjoy the offer. Of course, $1.50 is the fare all other times, with transfers available.