I am the Tisbury representative on the VTA advisory board. A few years ago as a new member I had a large learning curve to catch up to the intricacies of an organization that is governed by Island selectmen and state regulators who are monitored on the federal level. I learned that the transportation needs of our Island takes someone with a determined presence, knowledge and credibility to compete at the state level for funding against large transit systems like Boston, Springfield, Brockton and others. I came to appreciate that a handful of efficient people are running a tight ship.

The op-ed in the Gazette last week written by VTA administrator Angie Grant helped highlight the fact that the VTA and its commitment to the community has been a well-kept secret. There are many positive directions being taken within the organization that should be shared.

Surviving Covid with a severe drop in ridership and funding needed to be negotiated. An alternative service was put in place to provide transportation to those whose routes had to be altered because of lack of use. It has been a challenging chess game that changes weekly while conforming to state and federal requirements. The men and women with the boots on the ground, the drivers, are the direct contact to all the riders many of whom they know personally as they politely service them. As I drive by those buses at all times of the day and night and see the drivers with their masks on, I bid them a great thank you for their important part in keeping the Island moving. Kudos!

The concept of the new Love the VTA program has always been in place in some form, but is now a public campaign. This additional awareness is made possible thanks to the efforts of a handful of volunteers for whom we are very grateful.

The many people to thank include my fellow board members, who work hard to keep a viable transit system working for the benefit of all of us.

Elaine Miller

Vineyard Haven