Last week’s cover story (“Get on the Bus,” Nov. 14) offered some fascinating insights into a world most Nashvillians never see, and that’s a damn shame. Nashville is a city that needs an adequate mass transit system in the worst way. Traffic is out of control. Few will argue with that. A passenger rail link between Music City and its suburbs is, by all accounts, years away. We need to work with what we’ve got, which means a massive overhaul of the city’s bus system. The vehicles are old, inefficient and unattractive. Basically, they’re a last resort for people who can’t afford to own a car. That’s got to change. A little bit of creative thinking on the part of the MTA can go a long way.
It could start with a few strategically placed kiosks that sell newspapers, coffee and breakfast food at key bus stops. A co-op deal with a local chain of cafés could benefit the chain, the MTA and its riders by creating “comfort zones” instead of forcing commuters to stand at the curb and twiddle their thumbs. Those who purchase a monthly pass could be rewarded by presenting that pass to local retailers for discounts on merchandise. Once the idea catches on and the money starts rolling in, some of those funds could be funneled back into the system to purchase new vehicles or refurbish the old ones.
Whatever the plan, there needs to be one. The city cannot go on like this. The population is growing, pollution is on the rise and patience is growing thin. Let’s encourage the MTA to “get on the bus” and make the system work for everyonebefore Nashville becomes NashLanta.
And she loved the writing
I’m a Nashville native and wanted to say thumbs up on last week’s cover story (“Get On the Bus,” Nov. 14). I feel your writers turned articles about every day bus rides into a magnifying glass on the lives and souls of ordinary Nashvillians. At first, I felt the article would be based on the pros and cons of the bus system in Nashville, but the article went much deeper than that. It magnified the souls of individuals of all ages. While reading it, many emotions ran through me. I felt sad for the “redheaded amazon bitch.” And the young black boys selling candy in Belle Meade gave me a feeling of hope and brought me back to my own youth.
Great job on this article. I’m a huge fan of Southern literature, and this article would make a wonderful book of short stories. I work at Legislative Plaza for the Tennessee General Assembly and see the different individuals boarding the buses daily and always wonder about the stories behind the faces. Your writers did an amazing job showing me some of those stories. More stories like these, please.
The article, “Get On the Bus” (Nov. 14), was interesting. A possible solution to Nashville’s public transportation problem is a jitney service, which would be valuable to individuals who work second or third shift and need public transportation.
801 Hillview Heights, Nashville
A future in comedy, perhaps
I wanted to let you know that it would take a real nerd to approve a cover such as yours relating to Governor-elect Phil Bredesen (“Revenge of the Nerd,” Nov. 7). There was no humor in this at all, and you should run an apology. I saw Mr. Bredesen on the news wherein he handled it very well, but deep down no one appreciates being called a nerd, and it certainly is a hurtful statement to most people. I’m sure there are many citizens who feel as I do. This was completely uncalled for, inconsiderate and stupid. All I can say is look in the mirror, and a nerd will be looking back at you.
Mary Jo Fagan
680 Center St., Gallatin
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