As a regular user of our buses (2-3 times a week), I often wonder if those who criticise the service they provide have ever actually used one. We are so fortunate to have friendly, helpful bus drivers who go out of their way to assist those who need help with shopping, walkers, or pushchairs etc.
However, I do wonder why Horizons did not publicise the changes on some bus routes as much as they have for their new Bee Card, with stickers plastered all over the bus shelters, the pavements, roads etc.
On the Aramoho route, the 10.25am into town was very popular with those who shop at Pak'nSave, Countdown and New World; now those people have to go all the way into town and then catch another bus back along Victoria Ave to go to these shops.
So far on the new route (via Dublin St) the number of new passengers picked up has been one or two. A leaflet drop to the houses on the new route would, I am sure, help improve patronage.
I feel sorry for those not on a bus route, e.g. Durie Hill, who perhaps no longer drive but still need to go into town at an affordable cost. I have a feeling these changes might have been dreamed up in an office in Palmerston North by someone who has never visited our beautiful city.
Stop wasting money
Here we go again: "A roofed velodrome, multi events etc." This is the same baloney one councillor dishes up to us, the ratepayers who foot the bill.
Concerts, performances etc: facts and figures, please. Who have you contacted for the concerts etc?
We are an ageing population and buses stop dead on 5pm. Driving at night is a no-no for many.
Why did Napier cancel their velodrome? Their population is far greater than Wanganui's yet cost was far greater than they could afford.
Six hundred more homes will be going up in Mosston Rd. Will wastewater be able to cope? Parking at the hospital is as scarce as rocking horse manure. Parking all over town area is now a problem.
How about a few more ATM machines? None in the mall or in Castlecliff. We have a brand new hairdresser in the Citadel complex looking for customers, a library that has no customers or holiday programme — why wasn't homework done to see if these were really needed and used?
Like our bus stops: you're drenched waiting in the open, as no shelters. Sorry, I forgot. We are getting a decorated glass bus stop in Castlecliff. Very practical!
Get to the practical things and stop wasting our money, council and mayor.
"What are you waiting for?" asks the Chronicle editorial on January 6. The challenge is to do something meaningful about climate change. Whether readers are "believers" or sceptics, it must be agreed that waste and pollution are threats to the health of our planet.
So it's more than a coincidence that Frank Gibson's article about recycling is printed on the same page — a must-read for anyone who professes to care about our physical environment.
But there is a kind of recycling that could and should meet the editorial's demand re action from our local body councillors and MPs. There is a legitimate financial mechanism that would eliminate the waste of taxes and rates spent on debt-servicing, diverting them instead to fund municipal composting, waste-to-energy plants, riparian planting and cheap public transport.
Adrian Orr, our Reserve Bank Governor, already has authority to implement such a scheme, Labour having insisted on RBNZ independence by passing the enabling legislation back in 1989.
Locally, this would mean that nil-interest credits could be arranged for our district council and Horizons for essential infrastructures. This could be done by a non-inflationary revolving credit mechanism e.g. as tranches of funds are repaid, the next allocations can be made, given available labour and materials.
Frank Gibson uses the term "ecologically moral". What is recommended here is economically moral. 20-20 vision. So apt for this calendar year.
HEATHER MARION SMITH
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