Heritage News Letter to the Editor on Public Transportation

A recent letter to the editor on public transportation was posted on the Heritage.com.  The letter offers the perspective of a senior and the impact the lack of public transportation can have on the way one lives.  Click on the link or read the full text below.


My husband and I are giving serious consideration to selling our home in Texas and moving back to my hometown.

I'm sure we would be welcomed by family and friends as well as local merchants, taxing entities and the governor.

Frankly, the one area that gives us "pause" in our decision is the limitations in the current public transit system.

Last fall, we moved into a senior apartment complex here in Chelsea to recover from injuries suffered in separate accidents. We love the activities and the residents where we live. Like most residents, we want to be active members of the community. We want to attend community events and do some volunteer work. There is so much to do in this area. The problem is getting to these activities.

The door-to-door bus service operates in Chelsea from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It costs $4 round trip for seniors needing service in Chelsea.

If you need door-to-door service to Ann Arbor, the cost is $10 one way for seniors and persons with disabilities.

You can take a personal care attendant at no charge.

The Chelsea Community Ride Shuttle offers free service three times a day, six days a week. Unfortunately, our apartment complex isn't one of the stops except for three times a week.

Many of the activities I had planned to attend during my recovery period were "off limits" due to problems with transportation. Participating in evening activities is out of the question in Chelsea since the system stops working here at 4:30 p.m.

The monthly lunch outing our residents enjoyed was canceled due to high costs. We can no longer attend concerts at another nearby senior facility due to lack of transportation. Few residents are able to attend the programs sponsored by the library, hospital and local merchants.

The time is here for every resident, regardless of age, to think ahead. What will happen when you can no longer drive and become dependent on public transportation? Do you want seniors to feel trapped and dependent on their children to provide transportation? What about the valuable volunteer services seniors often provide to the community? It will be very costly for everyone if our seniors are unable to fully participate in our community activities.

If you are still not convinced that we need to expand and improve our public transit system, stop driving. Start using public transportation and your family and friends to meet all of your transportation needs. I believe that you will quickly learn as we did that Chelsea isn't "45 minutes away from the world" as advertised by the Chamber of Commerce. It is much further away when you don't drive and/or have mobility issues.

Mary Ann Snider