Editor’s Note: The following letter was addressed to Scott Geddes, a Windsor town councillor, in response to comments he made regarding Kings Transit. The Hants Journal was copied on the correspondence and is publishing the letter with permission of the writer. Dates were changed to past tense.
I am very appalled by your statement in the Hants Journal recently with regards to the bus service in Hants County.
“My feeling is that for the dollars we spend on this particular luxury it really is not something that is viable for long-term sustainability. It’s simply costing us too much,” said Geddes, who added Kings Transit to the agenda for discussion at the Nov. 25 meeting.
I live in Falmouth and work at Acadia University as the fitness and recreation co-ordinator. Four years ago, I discovered that I had epilepsy and had my license taken away due to seizures. Since then, I’ve had to rely on the bus service to get back and forth to work, for lack of other transportation options. Believe me, it is not a luxury, but it has worked for me and many other people who are unable to afford a car or have reasons for not having a license — until recently.
My understanding is that Annapolis, Kings and Hants County all work together to make the bus service a reality, each putting in their share for each respective county. After making numerous complaints regarding the new Hants County routes that went into effect a while ago, along with others who were affected, I soon learned that Hants County was not being as supportive as the other two counties, which is obviously reflected in the schedule in effect now and the new schedule that was to come into effect Dec. 8.
The schedule that is now in effect cut off bus service to a number of people living in the Hants County region, while decreasing the reliability of the bus being on time for pickup and delivery. This is by no means the fault of the drivers, but the expectations that were placed on them due to the new routes in Hants County (trying to keep town and county councilors happy). The number of paid fares has decreased as a result.
Statements like yours give the bus service a bad name. As a councilor, you should be supporting this relatively new venture as it encompasses all of your constituents, not just the ‘rich’ ones like yourself. I would love to pick up and move closer to my job, or find consistent travel options with another, but it just isn¹t happening for me. Other than providing us with transportation, the bus service also saves on gas and is good for the environment, promotes socialization, and builds friendships. I’ve learned more about people in the last four years than I have in my entire life.
The new schedule that went into effect on Dec. 8 will shut out even more Hants County bus riders.
If you take away the bus service to Hants County, you will be increasing unemployment for some (probably me included), increase depression (for those who end up sitting at home day after day), and take away a sense of independence.
I would like to see a retraction of your statement in the Hants Journal and have your support behind the Kings Transit service to Hants County.
I suggest that you take some time out of your busy days and ride the bus to see what some of your constituents have to say about Kings County Transit. You might be surprised to learn that these people are ‘human’ too and deserve just as much of our tax paying dollars as you do.