Earthplace Adds Own Transportation

Earthplace‘s after-school enrichment program will continue as usual this fall. Thanks to an agreement with a private transportation provider, students will travel directly from all 5 Westport elementary schools, to the sanctuary and museum.

Public transportation has ended. The Federal Transit Administration ruled that Westport’s after-school shuttle bus was an unauthorized public transit service route.

Earthplace worked with the Westport Transit District and Sandy Evangelista, transportation coordinator for the Westport public schools, to secure the alternate service.

“The loss of this public service puts the financial burden for transportation on Earthplace,” the organization says. “However, we recognize that this program is vital to working parents who need to know that their child will have a seamless transition from school to an afternoon of fun and learning.”


13 responses to “Earthplace Adds Own Transportation

  1. Nancy W Hunter

    “Public transportation has ended”. Write that in the History book.

  2. Bart Shuldman

    How great it this. MARPE back off and stop thinking we need to spend any money. Now all we need are the religious schools to get together and arrange their own transportation and the problem solved. EARTHPLACE did and they can too. It should be part of the cost for those that need it. the fed government needs to do more of this and get their financial house in order. Westport under MARPE is doing the same. When some need a special service they should pay for it. thank you EARTHPLACE for taking care of YOUR problem.

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      While I respect your views, it has to be said that it advocates a myopic perspective that falls prey to the “penny wise, pound foolish” mantra. Our town (and it’s property values) remain strong because it is seen as being a great community with a close knit spirit and support for families. Frequently, they choose Westport for the schools and youth programs. The houses being sold here are big, and they pay BIG taxes. For the same reason we have publicly financed schools, instead of charging families directly for the cost of educating each child, providing this service which may seem to be beneficial for a small subset, brings the town greater benefit overall. We might not have the luxury of financing all the wonderful programs and extras that we all hold dear, whether it be activities for our seniors, Wakeman Town Farm, maintaining open spaces such as the dog park, or even those that are still being proposed, like improving the flood protections for the Saugatuck Fire Station.
      Taxes are the price we pay for living in civilized society, and while we might not agree with every single item they pay towards, I think by and large, the local leaders do their best to advocate for the needs of those who are least able to do so for themselves.

  3. Dick Lowenstein

    This is not a religious or special-interest issue. It is a public transportation issue. And simply because a scheduled bus route services certain riders who need it does not make it a special interest. Let he who has ridden on the Westport Transit service buses cast the first stone!

    • Typically users of public transportation figure out how to use routes, transfers, etc to accomplish their goals. You’re suggesting the reverse?

      • Dick Lowenstein

        Public transit seeks customers and customers seek public transit. Each adjusts to the other….sort of a symbiotic relationship

        • Why don’t the customers pay enough to cover the cost of the service?

          • Dick Lowenstein

            For the same reason that MetroNorth customers don’t pay enough to cover their service costs. Nationwide (and if there are exceptions, tell me) public transit is subsidized by government funding.

            • And what is that reason? We can’t all be subsidized. The math does not work.

            • Bart Shuldman

              Metro North is a service everyone can use and is there for everyone if needed. A bus taking a student from a public venue to a private venue, directly, is not. Dick, in all respect, I don’t believe these are the same.

              And as we found out with Earthplace, this situation can easily be resolved by the private venues teaming up and providing their own service. They can probably do a better job and not burden everyone, including senior citizens.

              I hope we learn soon that the private venues were able to resolve the issue.

  4. Nancy W Hunter

    “It’s your problem.” Write that in the History books.

  5. I agree with FTA’s logic. It’s a big stretch to extend public transportation subsidies to include point-to-point transportation, e.g. after-school activities. Real public transit — to and from work — is starved for funding and giving a break to rich homemakers and their nannies diverts funds from where they’re needed.

  6. Nancy W Hunter

    “Rich homemakers and nannies divert funds”. Write that in the History books.