Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor


Cover, May 10: On the Struggle Bus

Waiting for Webber

The Transit Advisory Board (TAB) last met in February 2020 and then informally in November 2022 with Santa Fe Trails staff and four past members. We assessed the value of continuing the TAB and wrote letters of interest to Mayor [Alan] Webber with suggestions to fill vacancies. We proposed to meet every other month rather than monthly but have not heard from the mayor’s office.

Improving ridership and service are the goals of every transit system and core to the TAB’s mission. Before COVID, the TAB monitored budgets, ridership, marketing, bus procurement, operations and Santa Fe Ride. An “automobile-centric” and often transit-hostile culture presents many challenges.

More cars and congestion strain our infrastructure and affect development. Schedules and convenience make us dependent on automobiles choking our community, engendering alienation and creating incalculable social costs—including climate-related ones. A bus can take 50 cars off the road and cut emissions.

Given political will, transit can work efficiently and equitably. Ridership can grow using fixed-route as well as on-demand service. We urge Mayor Webber to reach out to those of us who are interested in serving on and reviving the TAB.

Aurore Bleck, Stan Cooper, Marcos Maez, Colin Messer, Former Transit Advisory Board

Wheel we get there?

I live off Airport Road near the 599 bypass. To get downtown using the bus system, I need to walk half a mile to the nearest stop on Route 24, then hope for a good connection with the Route 1 or Route 2 buses. This is feasible during the day if the weather cooperates and the buses run on schedule—but the last bus leaves downtown at 6:30 on weekdays and even earlier on weekends.

I’m a senior citizen who would like to stay in my own home as I age. But when I can no longer drive, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to use public transportation to get around. Between the infrequent and unreliable bus schedules, the minimal service hours and the lack of shelter (or even seating) at bus stops, the system is highly unfriendly to those of us who may have no other alternatives.

Paula Lozar, Santa Fe

Not so bussin’

I live on the Southside near where 599 and Airport Road intersect, on the Route 24. I tried the on-demand bus only once to get to work and was only 15 minutes late, not more—I have a stellar attendance record—because I used my cell phone to call a neighbor to get me to work. Using the on-demand service means you may have to wait 15 minutes or an hour or more in all kinds of weather. I now rely on friends, family and neighbors to get me to work in the morning.

Others who initially tried on-demand are doing the same. A retired state worker who I often encountered at the Santa Fe Mall trying to give the on-demand service a chance told me he is buying a car.

If I cannot depend on the on-demand service to get me to those places that require very specific times of arrival on time—and if I have no idea when my means to get there will show up—how is this “a pretty good deal,” as you reported city officials stated? And to say “it works on riders’ schedule,” as Thomas Martinez, director of operations, stated, is so out of kilter with reality it sounds almost delusional.

Margo Sanabria, Santa Fe

Praying for pesero-dise

Andrew Oxford’s fine piece on the, um, “challenges” of the city’s bus system is spot on. But if we look to the cities south of the Rio Grande, an obvious solution may be at hand. Something cheap and highly efficient.

In Mexico City, they are called peseros or combis or micros—usually 12-person vans driven by independent drivers who cruise up and down somewhat regular routes picking up passengers without regular stops. Riders pay a few pesos depending on the distance.

The vans are often crowded, but the system works organically to meet shifting needs depending on events, days of the week or holidays. “Oh, the horror,” some here will cry. “How could we have such an unregulated system?” Easy.

The city could grant an uncapped number of permits requiring a properly licensed driver and inspected and insured vehicles. Within days, entrepreneurs would figure out when and where people needed rides and to where. Airport, Rodeo and Siringo roads? Sure. Cerrillos and Richards? Obviously.Why, there might even be Peseros on Paseo.

Tom Johnson, Santa Fe

The Fork, May 18: I am the Spork

Stick a spork in it

Oh no, no, no, no, no! Bring back The Fork. I didn’t laugh, or even smile once at The Spork.

Cyd Riley, Santa Fe

Forlorn for fork

Why would the Fork never come back?

Cheryl Bartlett, Santa Fe

Two tines down

Please bring back The Fork! The Spork just doesn’t hit the spot.

Daphne Lowe, Santa Fe

Online, March 8: Obelisk Plan Will Be Withdrawn

Divide and Falter

Narratives with words of hate, anger and fury charging “genocide and racism” may attract supporters shameful of being Americans, or those who refuse to acknowledge our “principled” efforts over past centuries.

We have worked to overcome mistakes and bias. Clearly demonstrated principled actions are witnessed in past battles and honored, such as in the Civil War, recognized in a Soldiers Monument, for they helped build freedoms; or even in 1778 ANZA-Indian Alliance against Cuervo Verde for peace for all peoples.

America, though not perfect, experiences a civil society benefiting all who wish to participate in collaboration, reconciliation, forgiveness and love. So is division, destruction and limited knowledge the standard to follow today? I would say truth, faith and love proved stronger principles than division and destruction, as a way forward!

Pauline Anaya, Santa Fe

Letters to the Editor

Mail letters to PO Box 4910 Santa Fe, NM 87502 or email them to editor[at]sfreporter.com. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to specific articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.

We also welcome you to follow SFR on social media (on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and comment there. You can also email specific staff members from our contact page.