Soviet Leader Vladmir Lenin said, "A lie told often enough becomes the truth". Unfortunately, sometimes once is enough. Accordingly, this letter is a response to the 10/24/08 letter by Steve Stambaugh wherein he states the ridership of BAT "is declining....down to one person per mile".
That claim is as far opposite from facts as the claim that, "the Holocaust never happened." The facts are that BAT ridership is constantly increasing to the extent that sometimes there remains only standing room.
Transportation is not a luxury; it is a necessity. During World War II, of which I am a veteran, General Patton and Rommel spent as much time racing for sources of fuel (necessary to keep their tanks rolling) as they did fighting each other.
Within the limitation of 400 words, I cannot state all the advantages of a public transit system for Bend and thus voting YES for measure 9-60. For one thing, thriving businesses are absolute necessities for a thriving economy. And what is necessary for a business to thrive? Customers. Regardless of its goods or services or location, a business (any business) must have customers. And the more customers, the more that business thrives.
It matters not whether young or old, whether sick, lame, or lazy, hale, hearty and ambitious - they are customers - which means all BAT riders are customers. And Mr. Stambaugh, it seems, lacks the common sense to appreciate that fact, as well as another most important fact. With no exception - absolutely none - regardless of age or how physically fit today, anyone (including Mr. Stambaugh) as of tomorrow could be dependant on transportation with handicap accommodations because of accident or injury.
As a member of the Committee for Accessible Transportation and a board member of United Senior Citizens of Bend, more than a few times I have become familiar with such an unfortunate occurrence. Every BAT bus has handicap accommodations, including a wheelchair lift.
Earl Williams, Bend