Transit system needs fine-tuning
As a kid living in Brooklyn, I always wanted to get behind that big steering wheel and drive the bus. Growing up we took the bus everywhere: to school, to Coney Island, to work, shopping, or even to a friend's house. You always knew you could catch a bus on the avenue, and if need be, you could transfer to a cross avenue bus and get almost anywhere.
For years here, I have said that the PSTA (Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority) line should be called the PASTA line instead, because the bus routes are like spaghetti. Nobody knows where the bus goes or when.
I've been in the Tampa Bay area now for more than 30 years and seen many changes. This area has grown, roads are crowded, we have tourists and the elderly, and as we all know, high gas prices. So why don't we have a bus system that people use?
I was sitting at a light on Klosterman Road during the evening rush hour and a big empty bus went by with nobody on it. I decided to submit my suggestion.
I'm not as familiar with the south end of the county, but in the north county it would be so easy to have a bus system that works. Large buses would go north and south — for example, U.S. 19, McMullen-Booth/East Lake Road, Belcher Road, County Road 1/Keene, and Alt. U.S. 19. Small buses would go east and west: Drew Street, Sunset Point Road, State Road 580/Main Street, Curlew Road, Tampa Road, Tarpon Avenue and so on. You could transfer to a cross bus for free.
This would allow you to get to almost any area with a short walk to businesses and homes. If it was easy to use the bus to get places, more people would use buses, rather than large buses traveling empty through the county. I hope we can improve and be more effective with our transit system.
Mark Rutstein, Palm Harbor
Re: Please don't feed the pelicans | letter, July 3
To help, cut back on the handouts
As I read Kathy LaDuke's letter about not feeding the pelicans, the first thing I thought about was the human welfare program that exists here in America. Any time we give handouts to humans or animals, including our birds, the less they do for themselves.
One thing people seem to forget is that God provides everything we need to live a normal and healthy life, and all we have to do is work for it. The same is true for the birds and animals, as God gives them the know-how to provide for themselves. But once the humans think the animals need help, then they soon depend on those handouts and no longer know how to survive alone.
The same is true of human beings. When the immigrants started coming to America at the turn of the century for a better life, they knew they had to work or they didn't eat, so they worked to survive. However, today when immigrants come here, we immediately give them handouts (welfare services) until they find jobs. But once they know they won't starve, it takes them much longer to find that job that they said they actually came here for. As I said, we allow folks to become dependent on the state and on others.
I'm not saying all welfare is wrong, as there are many who are really sick or crippled and can't work, and those are the ones we should help, not the ones who refuse to work. The Bible tells us if man doesn't work, he doesn't eat. But the more free programs that are out there, the more folks become dependent on those services.
We need to cut some of these handouts and get folks back to work, as God intended.
Fran Glaros-Sharp, Clearwater