Transit service essential

Transit service essential As the mother of two small children, I will admit I drive my car to run errands, take my kids to school and to work. I would love to say that I take the bus. But, alas, for the time being, I do not. That said, I know a handful o

As the mother of two small children, I will admit I drive my car to run errands, take my kids to school and to work.

I would love to say that I take the bus. But, alas, for the time being, I do not. That said, I know a handful of people in Whitehorse whose livelihoods depend on the running of a reliable bus service.

Where are the voices of those who ride the bus?

After an article in the News a week ago in which reporter Tristin Hopper consulted one “transit specialist,” and Friday’s editorial in which Richard Mostyn essentially challenged the city to pull the plug, I would like to know where the Yukon News is going with this issue.

Hopper’s article, in particular, was very one-sided with little standard journalistic cohesiveness. As I read the article it occurred to me that he decided to make a story up by calling one specialist in Toronto and asking his opinion on what a “free transit” system would look like and why we should not opt for that route.

An important point that was left out of his article, for instance, was that in Whitehorse we would never have a free transit system; we would pay for it through our taxes, just as we do for our highways and public schools, regardless of whether we use them or not.

Consulting one specialist in Toronto does not qualify as being good investigative journalism.

I would love to hear from some of those who ride the bus everyday to learn what they have to say. It seems to me there are too many people who drive – myself, the city counsellors, and Mostyn included – doing all the talking and deciding. Let’s open up the forum and hear from those who actually read and use the bus schedule on a daily basis.

While Mostyn claims that the current system “serves only a very few,” in fact “those few” are nonetheless hardworking, active members of our city who depend on the running of a public transportation system to get to work, get home and every thing in between.

Of course, improvements can be made.

I have yet to meet someone who would argue the point. My main concern, however, is that Mostyn is suggesting that if the city cannot, or will not do anything to improve the current situation, they should just “kill it.”

Let’s admit it, as Whitehorse residents we are all proud to have a public transit system for such a relatively small population. We all like to know it’s there, now we need to take responsibility and figure out how to improve on it in order to get us out of our cars.

While I appreciate Mostyn’s hard-edged approach getting me out of my comfort zone to write a letter, suggesting that the only option is to kill the current system is clearly not an option I will just stand by and let happen.

Aisha Montgomery


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