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$5.5 Million Sale; Waterford’s Public Transportation System Questioned

The Week In Review

This week seemed to be dominated by one entity, Southeastern Area Transit (SEAT), and its bristles with the Town of Waterford.

SEAT provides public transportation to the people of Waterford, along with eight other towns. Most of the destinations in Waterford are to the , other retail outlets and to medical complexes.

This week though asked Waterford to pay a $5,812 bill. , saying the request was a “bully” move.

The next night, SEAT’s budget came up before the Board of Finance. No SEAT representative came to defend the budget, and several board members were concerned about a lack of information provided by the company, particularly regarding ridership. With their questions unanswered, the board voted to

While all this might seem like political back-and-forth, the real effect it has on Waterford is tangible. If Waterford decides to get rid of SEAT, the town will have to find some other way to provide public transportation to the people in town, or not have public transportation at all.

Speaking of bully moves, Clark Lane Middle School is focusing on just that. On Monday, to turn students from bystanders into “upstanders.” The message is for students to stop other students from bullying, instead of just allowing it to happen.

On Friday, to build an stone processing facility at 28 Industrial Drive. Kobyluck submitted the , and it has since drawn concerns from Environmental Planner Maureen Fitzgerald and a third-party engineering firm. Kobyluck has changed its application in response, making the footprint smaller and changing the way the site handles storm water.

On Thursday, thanks to some good cooperation by the East Lyme and Waterford Police Departments, a Niantic man . It was also a busy week for Board of Finance member and Package Store Association President Alan Wilensky, who one day and the next

In other news, from the state, a Republican candidate for congress outlined her energy plan, a and we ran a recipe for the

Dave Lersch March 11, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I think the SEAT topic is really more complex than meets the eye. Buses run established routes and segments of those routes experience higher ridership density. Some runs will have higher ridership during different times of the day - the morning and afternoon commute, for instance. Throughout the day, is it reasonable to run back and forth to the SEAT garage to shift from one size bus to another? That means that SEAT would need to maintain a larger fleet of buses to accommodate the swap outs. Can we agree that the bigger question for the town is, as someone above mentioned, "What is the "value" of this service to the community? Providing a "number" of riders really doesn't speak to issues like how Town businesses might react if minimum wage employees can't get to work, the contribution of added buying power, the quality of life for someone who can't have a vehicle due to a vision or other health issue, or a person coming from a family with one vehicle who must rely on an alternate affordable means to get to school, the dentist, or to take care of an ill family member. It is equally important for the town(s) to dig deep into the soul of the community to understand what values the citizens place on public transportation...not just the economic value. My point is, making a decision solely on the number of riders getting on or off a stop may not be the metric that tells us what we really need to know.
Sarah orr March 11, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Well said!!! That's the best comment I've heard so far. Well done!

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