Longtime bus rider recommends service improvements

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Each Monday, the Sun-Gazette asks somebody in the area, “What’s on your mind?” If you have a topic you would like to share, contact us at news@sungazette.com.)

Sandy Coffey has rode local buses for 40-plus years.

She has a few ideas about how River Valley Transit can improve its service.

“We in Williamsport, we work. You still need buses on Sunday. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, they have buses run on Sunday,” Coffey said. “They tried buses on Sunday here before and they said it didn’t work because they didn’t get enough people … They were starting running buses at 10 in the morning what did they expect? People start work at 6, 7, 8 in the morning.”

On winter Sunday mornings, walks from Coffey’s home on Third Street to work at the Holiday Inn, 100 Pine St., get plenty cold, she said.

“They should have bus passes right in these places where the buses stop,” Coffey said. “All the buses run outside Giant, Weis, all the grocery stores. Instead of running in to get change to buy a pass, you should be able to buy a pass there.”

Coffey is eligible for a senior citizen’s bus pass book, yet does not have one because of the inconvenience involved in picking it up.

“You’re supposed to go to the STEP office to pick up more passes. A lot of people just can’t get there. I’m lucky that I stay in shape at my age, but a lot of older people can’t make that trip, with the stairs. They should be able to send the passes to your home.

“Sometimes if you’re on the bus and don’t have correct change, if they don’t know you, I’ve seen it where they really wouldn’t let someone on the bus,” she continued. “Most (of the drivers) are very, very friendly, though. Mark is one of the best drivers, and Dawn, she’s the sweetest.”