Driver responds to DATA criticism

EDITOR:

I’m writing in response to Craig Taylor’s article regarding the millage vote for expanded coverage by the DATA bus service in Delta County. I will be right up front and tell you that I am a driver for DATA. That being said, Mr. Taylor’s uses one third of his article to divide the City of Escanaba for the standards they have in place for the city-wide cab service. His vast knowledge on this subject could lead one to suspect that there is some connection between the two.

Mr. Taylor himself validates the need for DATA when he cites the need for reliable, economical transportation. He doubles down on that violation when he states that when DATA isn’t running, people with medical appointments, especially those in wheelchairs, are forced to use Rampart. Not a very economical means of transportation for the individual, or the taxpayers. A footnote at the end of Mr. Taylor’s article refers to him as a ‘long-time critic of DATA’. And yet when his mother was at the hospital, Mr. Taylor didn’t call her a cab. Why not? Simply because DATA is the friendliest, most economical, reliable, and well equipped transportation service to handle the needs of Delta County.

I refuse to honor Mr. Taylor’s claim of shoddy, or rude service by DATA employees, because it simply isn’t true. Remember, he is a ‘long-time critic of DATA’.

I simply ask the voters to seek out those that regularly use DATA, for their opinion of our service. They could be families of Lakestate employees, Bay College students, nursing home residents, and those that can no longer drive, or chose not to drive. I have no doubt that they will say that DATA is a valuable life-line for them.

My dad always had a saying for ‘long-time critics’. He would simply say, ‘An empty can makes the most noise.’ Don’t let an ’empty can’ influence your vote. Vote yes on Aug. 5.”

Thank you

Dave Strom

DATA driver