Re: “Ferries: Unfair subsidies” [Nov. 4, Northwest Voices]:

This divisive thinking is all too common. We are better served by taking a cooperative approach to problems. Washington is a coastal state, with peninsulas and islands. Ferries are vital to citizens of all economic classes for travel to work, medical care, family needs, etc.

For those of us who live “on the other side of the water,” ferries are like highways. They are not subsidized like highways, however, and if those who ride ferries do indeed have higher incomes, perhaps it is because ferries have grown too expensive for most folks to afford them regularly. This is an argument for more subsidies, not less.

Characterizing all of us who rely on ferries as wealthy is incorrect and not constructive. Public transportation is part of the infrastructure that belongs to us all, and it is the role of government to protect, maintain and, yes, subsidize this infrastructure. If the letter writer supports making sure that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes like every other citizen, I am with him. But let’s not begrudge funding for ferries, which are not only part of our crucial infrastructure but also a unique factor in our state’s identity.

Tina Gianoulis, Indianola