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Letter: A two-way route?

I have recently become aware that the upscale city of Northampton pays nothing for the servicing of its community by FRTA. The reason, according to FRTA Director Tina Cote is that “Greenfield people want to go to Northampton, not the other way around ...” Seriously ? Northampton does not have a community college ... they come here for that. The finest fabric store in the valley, the Textile Company, is in Greenfield ... Northampton has no fabric store. And, Turners Falls boasts the preeminent photography school in the world, Hallmark School of Photography, as well. And, this rationale from the same Ms. Cote who claims she has done everything she can to get funding for FRTA.

And, guess what ? Greenfield and Turners Falls people want to go to Amherst, the route that Ms. Cote tried to eliminate. And, for someone, supposedly interested in public transportation and improving the FRTA bus service, I notice Ms. Cote does not even take the bus, herself. Public transportation is the future ... does the term “peak oil” sound familiar ?


Turners Falls

Another interesting thing I learned today at the transit center FRTA meeting is that there is no real way to analyze benefits that accrue to the strength of the communities served. Planning decisions made on the basis of accounting numbers are important, yet the positive goods of public transportation do not always show up in traditional profit and loss analysis. This is the reason some communities have simply gone to a free transport system.

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