Mount Vernon couple wants bus stops to stay
A Mount Vernon couple just got back from out of town and saw last Saturday's Sun article about the Maryland Transit Administration delaying action on a proposal to eliminate seven bus stops near their home at the behest of the local neighborhood association.
It turns out the association doesn't speak for Joan and Tom Spence.
We were away when your article appeared and it was with great dismay that we read about the proposal to close seven bus stops in the Mount Vernon area. We are a retired middle class couple who live in Mount Vernon. We voluntarily gave up our car a year ago to try an experiment of using public transportation. The experiment has been a success. We have been able to go almost everywhere by taking buses, light rail and/or the Metro. We have shopped, gone to the movies, kept doctor and
dentist appointments etc etc. Even our small dog has made trips to the
vet and kennel. We have only two complaints: there are too few buses and those there are don't keep to their schedules. Otherwise, we have found the bus drivers courteous and our fellow passengers kind and helpful.
This brings us to our anger with the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association.
We are Mount Vernon residents and we do use public transportation unlike most of the members of the Association. If they did, they would realize that a high percentage of the ridership is disabled and/or old. For them as well as for us who are able bodied but may be carrying a grocery bag which can easily weigh ten pounds an extra block is a LONG walk.
But let us put aside considerations of compassion or empathy and look at the availability of public transportation as an economic incentive to move to Mount Vernon. Nationwide cities appeal to empty-nesters who want to enjoy the amenities of city-living. Not having to have a car is an economic plus. We halved our transportation costs for a six month period when we compared the costs of having a car with those of using public transportation..
We follow your articles regularly on transportation issues and enjoy them. If there is any way we can help to advance the cause of public transportation, please let us know.
Joan and Tom Spence