Bus should offer complete service

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This winter has been noticeable in the lack of service from our city transit system.

If even less than an inch of snow is on the ground, but it is snowing, busses stop their service to needed areas such as Fourth Street downtown, Cordova and St. Ann streets in Douglas and areas in Lemon Creek. Why?

No real reason has been given to the public. I have been told that because of the record snow falls last year, the powers-that-be at Capital Transit have told their drivers not to drive in these areas for fear they might get stuck behind a car, as happened last year.

Last year is not this year and their fuzzy logic that something "might happen" does not fulfill what should be their main objective: servicing the people of Juneau with reliable public transportation.

I have seen first-hand when busses are not going up Cordova Street or St. Ann Street because a few inches or less of snow have fallen. Many customers are only made aware of this when the bus driver tells them they will not be traveling where the passengers need to go. Capital Transit says they notify the radio stations; however, in reality who is listening to radio updates for bus service when going about daily business?

Why is Capital Transit stopping service to these areas because of a couple of inches of snow on the ground or it might be snowing? I've never heard of one of the busses dying in any area of Juneau because of the snow. Why the fear now? Last year caused problems with cars getting stuck or disabled all over Juneau. However, I don't think Capital Transit should stop services because of something that "might happen." Customers, some laden with groceries, small children or the handicapped, would prefer the bus be a little late than to have to walk up a hill or walk long distances.

Capital Transit is a public service, and people who decide when bus drivers are able to drive the complete bus route should remember that. Keep in mind, not everyone listens to public radio or television for bus route changes. Capital Transit is stranding people in the weather on routes that busses can handle, but people on foot might not be able to manage on their own - especially our elders.

Patricia Everson


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