It was with great interest that I read your editorial concerning transportation in rural Maine (“Our View: Rural Maine needs more public transit,” Dec. 17).

The lack of public transportation is especially critical for older adults, no matter where they live in Maine. For example, in Kennebunk, which has a land area nearly the size of San Francisco, there is virtually no public transportation. If someone without a car needs emergency transport for any reason, they are forced to call the fire department. This puts a strain on local service providers.

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport have aging populations, with 35 percent being 65 years of age and older. As residents age, they lose the ability to drive and are entirely dependent on scarce services from senior centers or volunteers. These problems are more critical in sparsely populated areas of the state.

We have proposed establishing, through various funding mechanisms, a fleet of vans and small buses, with established schedules and routes, to service not just older adults but the entire community, too. This must be a federal, state and local effort. It may also be possible to find generous private funding in many communities.

Lastly, this is a question of social justice. People have a right to be able to live comfortably as they age, and they should not be penalized for choosing to live in rural settings. Our state cannot afford to discourage people, of all ages, from moving here because we lack basic services such as transportation.

Bevan Davies

chairman, Kennebunk Committee on Aging