My husband and I have had a different experience with the bus than what Diane Gibbs has had ["Urban Rough Riders," Close to Home, March 2]. As seniors, we determined that neither of us was able to drive safely anymore, so we sold our car and began taking the bus last August.
We ride the N2, N3, N4, N6 and N8 and the 30, 32, 34, 35 and 36 routes. We have seen the best in people. The drivers are wonderfully courteous and helpful. The children bring their energy and life with their laughter. Yes, they are noisy, but they are never menacing. We enjoy seeing them. The young people we have seen always give up their seat for an elderly person.
We do agree with Ms. Gibbs about cell phones. Let the children come on, but ban the cell phones.
I also have experienced the rudeness and discomfort that Diane Gibbs wrote about, and I avoid the bus whenever possible. The teenagers on the bus seem to try to shock their fellow passengers by using profanity, while other riders avoid eye contact with them. When I sit in the back of the bus, it is as though I am traveling in a separate vehicle. I feel my only defense against the distasteful people who often sit there is to move forward.
Metro trains serve all kinds of people with little of the bad behavior that is so prevalent on the buses. Could Metro change the environment of buses by installing intercoms midway and in the rear to enable passengers to notify the driver of inappropriate behavior, as one can do on Metro trains? Could Metro security occasionally monitor bus rides? Should bus drivers receive extra pay to encourage them to resolve problems? Or is a pleasant ride for people who must depend on buses supposed to be the responsibility of the passengers?