A matter of priorities

Most of us would agree that the state of public transportation in Massachusetts is a disgrace. The options are limited, the subways and trolleys and commuter trains are inadequate, and as a result, highways and feeder roads are clogged with traffic. It’s a big problem and it’s getting worse.

Here in Harvard, the story is the same on a much smaller scale. It wasn’t always necessary to have a car in Harvard to go to the grocery store, the post office, a pharmacy, the train station, or a medical office for treatment. But it is now, and a growing number of town residents have no choice but to rely on public transportation of some kind.

In this week’s issue, the Press looks into the limited options available to older residents who need a ride and can’t or shouldn’t drive. It’s a familiar story in many ways: a sharp increase in demand for rides in the Council on Aging van, a shrinking number of volunteer drivers for Harvard Help, and a possible solution that costs more money than many town officials appear willing to spend. As always, the spending part is a matter of priorities.

We would like to think that providing a necessary service to a growing number of town residents would be a high priority. The whole town should have a vested interest in giving seniors more transportation options. People who are aware that they really shouldn’t be driving for one reason or another need to know that the town will provide transportation so they can maintain their quality of life and keep themselves and others safe.

We can’t imagine what could be more important than that.

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