Hope renewed for bus service

When I looked at the front page of my Sunday Leader-Herald on Dec. 11, I was so happy to see that our new mayor as of Jan. 2, Mayor Vern Jackson, will be discussing renewing bus service in Johnstown again.

I spent a lot of time on letters to the editor, attending and speaking at the Common Council meeting, and in fact presented a petition to bring back the bus service signed by 81 residents of Trackside Apartments. I’m sure had I gone to other areas of our city as well, many more people would have signed it.

Former Councilman-at-Large Christopher Swatt was working hard on our behalf to make this happen. When I read he had suddenly left the area, my hopes of it happening faded away.

But now, Mayor Vern Jackson has renewed my hope that this much-needed service will finally be reinstated after a six year absence.

With winter once again approaching and the cost of taxi cabs hard on folks with fixed incomes, the thought of being housebound (even more so, than the other seasons for those who can take walks at least) is very depressing.

It is physically and mentally very unhealthy to be housebound. If people have a hard time paying for taxi fares, they certainly cannot afford a vehicle, car insurance, gas, repairs, etc.

Reinstate the bus service and you’ll also be supporting local businesses once people have a way to get out and go shopping and stop to have lunch.

There are so many things: A doctor visit, a visit to a friend, you need transportation to your job and can’t afford to take a taxi every day, you simply need to get of the house and walk around our local mall most likely spending money while you’re there. The list goes on and on.

Please, my fellow “Johnstownians,” follow my lead. If you want the bus or even know a friend or relative who needs the bus, let your voice be heard.

Write a letter as I have just done. It’s free and only takes a short time. The more voices heard, the better our chances are that this will finally really happen.

And to Mayor Vern Jackson, thank you so much for seeing the need in our community. And for letting us know you’ll do your best to make our lives healthier and happier.