To the Editor:
It may be helpful to have the VTA, MVCS, and groups like the SUD coalition work together to find ways to restore some bus lines for the winter. Loneliness is a significant mental health issue that other countries are addressing because of its devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities. An op-ed piece in the New York Times on Nov. 19 suggests that loneliness can even be deadly. The MV Times published an article about addiction in June 2019, stating, “The opposite of addiction is connection.” Isolation and loneliness will increase on the Island this winter due to a lack of public transportation. The dramatic cut to VTA bus routes will have a significant mental health toll. Let’s work together and be proactive, so all residents get through the winter in a supportive, connected way. This is not just about economics or labor/management issues. It is a mental health issue that with communication, collaboration, and care can be solved before it becomes a mental health crisis.