The cruelty and ignorance concerning Western Maine Transportation Services’ riders expressed by County Commissioner Terry Brann is appalling.

“A couple of us” decided that program shouldn’t be funded, Brann stated recently, as he believed only a few people use it. Yet WMTS cited 4,595 rides in 2018. Brann goes on to say he bets riders could find people to take them where they need to go.

It appears that Brann can drive and does not have anyone relying solely, permanently, on him for all of their transportation needs. Or, perhaps, he has private hired transportation, or MaineCare.

Every rider has unique reasons. The buses are wheelchair accessible; most passenger vehicles are not.

I can’t drive because of permanent medical reasons. Losing independence is difficult at any age. I was humbled in mid-career, suddenly constantly asking favors, finally told I wouldn’t drive again. The bus allows me to save my favors for out-of-town medical trips and off-hours. My husband works and is not always available. Many friends and family also work, have driving issues, or live some distance away.

Brann’s thinking is shortsighted. Busing in Franklin County needs support as the population ages and driving safety becomes a barrier to aging in place. The bus gives people without a vehicle a boost to employment opportunities. Better for everyone. That is true whether people think with their hearts or wallets.

Nancy Walters, Wilton

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