This is in rebuttal to the letter "Excellent Bus Plan" on Nov. 1. I have spent my entire adult life commuting to and from my Downtown Pittsburgh job via Port Authority bus and, for as long as I can remember, city officials and business owners have looked down upon bus riders as "undesirables" to be gotten rid of. Let's call this bus banishment plan what it really is: class warfare. Hoity-toity shop owners do not want "those people" walking their streets.
I have been suffering the consequences of this mindset for quite a while now. Several years ago, my bus was pushed from Fifth Avenue all the way to Boulevard of the Allies, forcing me to hike 10 blocks to and from my office in the Federal Building, with only a few precious minutes to cover that distance. I've lost count of the number of times I have tripped and fallen running for my bus. That "couple of blocks" nonsense is not my reality. How much farther away could they possibly push us? The South Side? Altoona?
I echo the sentiments of a previous letter writer that, since Downtown business owners don't seem to appreciate bus riders' patronage, I will spend my hard-earned dollars outside the Downtown area.
At a time when communities should be doing everything in their power to encourage increased use of public transit, both to ease traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Pittsburgh seems hellbent on doing the opposite. How about joining the rest of us in the 21st century?