I'd like to address complaints by Mr. Greg Watson in his [letter] "City Buses are Either Too Early or Too Late; They’re Also Disgusting." (Aug. 11, Xpress).
Over 5,000 Ashevilleans depend on the Asheville Transit System (ATS) each day. While most find ATS a reliable service, there will always be customers who slip through gaps in service.
Asheville's City Council, transit staff and community advocates are aware of, and working to address, these gaps. A big part of this includes implementing a first round of changes from the Transit Master Plan — such as 30-minute frequency to five corridors, improved maps, way-finding and route updates to reflect traffic patterns. These reforms will address many concerns about bus timeliness.
This Transit Commission disagrees with the assessment that ATS buses are filthy. While our buses are not new, they are cleaned and swept daily. Transit Commission members do use the public transit — as do several members of City Council. We would know if hygiene weren't a priority for ATS.
It was implied federal monies for ATS would be spent on projects other than public transit. In fact, all transit funds have been, and continue to be, allocated properly as they can't legally be used for anything else.
— Paul Van Heden
Asheville Transit Commission