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Dial Buses 'make Working Lot Nicer'

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A 2.5-mill levy on the April 2 elecüon ballot to support an expanded mass transportation system could be decided by the "haves" and "have-nots." That is, those who own cars will be opposed and those without a means of private transportation will be in favor of the 2.5-mill levy. That's the opinión of some of the 15 Dial-A-Ride patrons The News talked to last week during a four-hour tour on a Dial-A-Ride minibus. As could be expected, the riders were generally pleased with the Dial-A-Ride system operating in the southwest section of Ann Arbor. A yellow and purple minibus picks patrons up at their door an drops them off at the desired destination - all for 60 cents. Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's (AATA) proposed expanded mass transportation system would combine the Dial-A-Ride system and the regular route expressbuses. Under the proposal, the minibuses would piek up customers at their door and either take them to their destmation or transfer them to a larger bus. The system is being designed t.o avoid waitI ing time at the transfer points. I The 2.5 milis would initially bring in I about $1.5 million for the system, with I the remainder of the $2 million estimated I yearly operating cost coming f rom state I aid and a 25-cent fare. The system would I opérate seven days a week, f rom 6:30 I a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday I and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Will voters buy the proposed expanded I transportation system? Rólf Deininger, 1264 Crosby Crescent, Iwho rode Dial-A-Ride for the first I time last week, said he believes property I owners probably will vote against the I 2.5-mill levy because they don't want to I pay higher taxes. Deininger added the 2.5 milis should I be levied against income instead. The first-time patrón said normally he I rides his bicycle in good' weather or I drives his car to his office in the School I of Public Health building. His wife uses I the Dial-A-Ride about once a week for I shopping. ■ - One reason the mss transport ation idea isn't catching on in the United States is because of a "cowboy economy;" Deininger said. In Europe, persons enjoy public transportation, but in the United States, he said, everyone likes to stay to himself. "The public hasn't learned to share public facilities yet," Deininger added. A university student, who rides DialA-Ride twice a week to see his clinical psychologist, said he thinks the AATA proposal is a plan for the future. Until more persons find it too inconvenient to drive their own cars, the student said, millages for mass transportation won't pass. Doris Taylor, 809 Mt. Pleasant, was. using Dial-A-Ride last Tuesday to attend an informational meeting being held at the Ann Arbor Public Library about the upcoming millage election. A strong supporter of Dial-A-Ride and the millage proposal, Mrs. Taylor said, "Riding Dial-A-Ride is cheaper than owning a car. I've driven so long.I prefer not to own a car any longer. It's too expensive." The greatest handicap of Dial-A-Ride is that it doesn't cross Huron Street to areas in the northern part of the city, Mrs. Taylor added. Mrs. H. S. Kuip, 1573 Greenview, uses Dial-A-Ride once or twice a week to go to business appointments or shopping. The white-haired woman said if it is necessary to be on time, she uses a cab, but for economy, she prefers Dial-ARide. Younger passengers include students, persons going to work and young mothers with toddlers. Michele Johnson, a ninth grader at Pioneer, rides Dial-A-Ride twice a week to school and uses the regular bus the other days. Miss Johnson prefers the ' regular bus because, she says, it arrivés at the destination quicker. George Summerfield, another Pioneer High ninth grader, said he likes Dial-ARide because it takes the passenger right to the door. The only disadvantage is that using Dial-A-Ride costs too much money, Summerfield said. When the Dial-A-Ride pulled up to the YM-YWCA Tuesday morning, waiting patrons included three mothers and four toddlers. One of the mothers, Mrs. James Eey-J worth, 1506 Dicken, said she and her 18month oíd daughter, Jennifer use I A-Ride twice a week for their trip home from the YM-YWCA. Her husband drives them to the Y. Mrs. Keyworth's husband uses the family's one car, so Mrs. Keyworth said there really is no alternative. They live about six blocks from a main bus line. This summer when Mrs. Keyworth took classes at the University, she said she used A-Ride for convenience, not because it was the only way to get to class. When asked if she thought taxpayers would be subsidizing an unfair share of the mass transportation system if the 2.5 milis passed, Mrs. Keyworth said, the comrnunity should benefit if service is expanded because many persons use Dial-A-Ride to go shopping. Theoretically increased use of Dial-A-Ride would cut down on the number of cars driving into the city, Mrs. Keyworth added. Part of the attraction of Dial-A-Ride for Pioneer student Riek Dekeon is that it is smaller than regular buses and 1 ally has a friendlier atmosphere. That's one of the attractions for using Dial-A-Ride too for Chris Ferm. When asked why he prefers riding Dial-A-Ride rather than a larger bus, Fern said: "It sounds like I'm making it up for the paper, but I like Dial-A-Ride bacause I like getting into the people. It makes working a lot nicer."