During a climate of budget cuts and state reductions in programs, without the economic growth to warrant those programs unnecessary, it can be difficult to find “positive” news to read. As someone in the social work field, I try to pay attention to policy changes, both locally and nationally. As state and federal governments work on their budgets, there are many proposed cuts that affect those with lower income and the elderly.
It was uplifting to read “Biddeford supermarket offering a free ride” (Jan. 31 Sun Chronicle). Hannaford has partnered with ShuttleBus-Zoom to give two bus tokens to any patron who spends $10 (when requested from the cashier). Hannaford is a large business in our community, which many people rely on for both affordable grocery and pharmacy services. ShuttleBus-Zoom is an affordable, environmentally friendly transportation alternative willing to find ways to meet the community’s needs. It is very impressive that in addition to discounting the fare for Hannaford to purchase bus tokens, that the bus route has been modified to accommodate frequent scheduled stops at Hannaford’s doors, rather than on the street.
It is refreshing to know that there are local companies that are paying attention to the needs of their consumers and finding solutions that support the local community. This type of partnership was created to boost business and sales, yet the focus is on helping those with transportation barriers meet their daily living needs. For someone without a car, shopping for one or two weeks’ worth of groceries can take a lot of time and resources, whether they are borrowing a car, getting a ride from a friend, or taking a taxi. This program helps make it possible to make a couple of smaller trips during the week using the bus.
I would like to thank Biddeford Hannaford and ShuttleBus-Zoom for providing this opportunity and wish them success with their partnership as they meet the needs of our community.
Old Orchard Beach