Grays Harbor Transit buses, destined for East Aberdeen, display a destination banner that boldly states they are going to WALMART. Since voters recently decided to tax themselves to buoy G.H. Transit’s flagging bottom line in light of tactics employed by the company to curtail routes and adjust schedules, I decided to ask G.H. Transit if they had thought to charge Walmart for such free advertisement. Or, if perhaps passengers going to Walmart were having their fares paid by Walmart.
Staff at the Transit office, ever so polite, but defensive, dismissed my concern by stating the issue had been settled, weighing in on the side of Walmart, by interpreting WALMART as a neighborhood designation, not a business destination.
What rankles me about Walmart’s free ride on our buses is that they enter and dominate a community by being the lowest common denominator, running mom and pop out of business, while filling outbound Loomis trucks with our money.
It seems to me that given the sacrifice we are making, Walmart, with skin in the game, should pay up as well or not be allowed a free ride on the buses we subsidize. Folks, we pay dearly to save money at Walmart; their cheap prices come at a cost. Our East Aberdeen bound buses should read only GATEWAY MALL or better yet, EAST ABERDEEN.
And to counter G.H. Transit’s other argument, our English challenged population will quickly realize that buses with the new banner will still get them to Walmart.