Letters to the Editor (04/28/2012)
Halting Belen shuttle not wise
The mayor has announced the Socorro shuttle to Belen to the Railrunner will be temporarily suspended due to an accident (involving a driver only, who was hurt).
When the shuttle started, it was lucky to have two passengers because people didn’t know about it.
In recent months the shuttle has turned away people every morning. (It’s difficult to reserve a seat because the shuttle office doesn’t answer the phone 3 days out of the week, nor is there a reservation confirmation mechanism.) For months the city has not responded by sending two buses. When I asked, I was told they have trouble hiring and keeping people.
Part of the problem was that the shuttle took away its midday and part of its Saturday routes; then, when the leftover times became too congested, reinstated some extra, only different, times.
Reliability and consistency over the last few years in spite of some terrible flaws in the service, such as the reservation system, built up a clientele that needs the shuttle for its critical transportation: E.g., people who got jobs because they knew they could get back and forth on the shuttle and train; people who established relationships with dentists, doctors, in the city.
It is obvious to me that when the business got to be too much for one bus the city should have added another until it became clear, after a fair trial of a year or two, that there wasn’t really enough business to effectively utilize two buses.
That wouldn’t have happened: The poverty and need in Socorro for the resources of the city, is clearly more than a 12-person thing.
The mayor’s idea to acquire a larger bus is an excellent idea; his intention to halt service while he thinks about it and makes a plan to improve the deficiencies of the old way of doing things, achieves a pretty high level of arbitrary disregard for the lives of others.
But I guess it will save the city some money. And when the question of its starting up again arises, the city may be able to claim there isn’t enough business, because by then the people who have learned to rely on the shuttle will have lost their jobs.
Loose dogs could lead to trouble
I really hope that the situation with pit bulls running loose and attacking animals is dealt with before the next thing they attack is a person, or worse, a child.
I saw one loose pit bull last week on Spring Street; he was brown and white and headed towards downtown. What if a child is at any of the city parks unattended when one of these dogs shows up?