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Dear Lane Ranger: I want to speak for the commuters who do not use the carpool lanes on Interstate 95 and who sit in rush hour traffic each day of the week.

One of the comments made to Lane Ranger was that we have a very successful HOV system.

The carpool lanes are very successful in producing a class society amongst commuters.

There are three distinct classes:

A. The elite or upper class — Those are the slugs. They pay neither fuel nor upkeep on their cars and laugh at those stuck going 2 to 15 mph in the regular lanes.

B. The middle class — Those who drive the cars in the carpool lanes and shoulder the expense of gas and upkeep and get to work in a reasonable time.

C. The lower class — Those who must get to work every day and cannot pick up slugs because they do not work along the I-95 corridor. They live in Prince William County because they cannot afford to live closer in. They pay the same road taxes but are denied the usage of all of the lanes because of environmental concerns.

Has anyone ever measured the fumes in the area from Dale City to the Occoquan anywhere from 6 to 9 a.m. or in the Springfield bottleneck from 3 to 7 p.m.?

Where are the environmentalists who state that our HOV system is working?

Or is it the slugs who insist that the HOV system is working?

Of course they will fight for it til death since they save both time and money at the expense of the majority.

Sit in the traffic at 5 p.m. going 2 mph and watch the HOV crowd speed by at 75 mph.

Now our supervisors are adding insult to injury by approving massive growth along the U.S. 1 corridor.

These are the same supervisors who refused to fund the Metro to Potomac Mills, and have never pressed for a fourth lane from the Occoquan.

Regarding the HOT lanes. Why should a small segment of the population be subjected to increased taxation by paying extra to get to work because of the ineptness of our politicians and the poor choices they make?

Anyone who rides on I-95 can see that the major log jam in the morning is from Dale City to the Occoquan where the fourth lane begins.

We desperately need another lane in Prince William County. Dale City and Lake Ridge have been around for at least 30 years. We have not been hiding from the politicians, nor did we suddenly appear.

Those who propose to add another lane state that they can do it cheaply by re-painting the stripes in the HOV lanes.

If that is so, why can’t another lane be added without charging anybody to use it? And why can’t it be done with our current tax dollars?

We already pay more than our share of taxes for the services we get. And if re-painting is the answer, why hasn’t it been done before- even in the regular lanes?

The situation is desperate- and yet our supervisors state that since the land is zoned commercial they are improving the situation by zoning it residential. If they really wanted to improve our quality of life, they would rezone it agricultural or add parks and recreational areas.

It is quite obvious that we need politicians who speak for the little guy.

Marge Einsmann, Dumfries

Schools need drivers

Prince William County Public Schools has openings for school bus drivers for full and part-time positions. Applicants must have a good driving and work record, and meet physical, criminal history and drug testing requirements.

The paid training program includes defensive driving, first aid and CPR, and required on-the-road training. The entry-level hourly pay is $14.71 and benefits are available for permanent employees. Contact Emray Poulson in the Department of Transportation at (703) 368-3162 for more details or to apply.

The job is an excellent opportunity for parents to avoid a long commute, work in their local community, and coordinate their schedules around their school-aged children. Bus drivers typically work a six-hour day and receive a full array of benefits, including health, dental, vision and participation in the Virginia State Retirement System.

Parents who have a preschool child who is at least 2 years of age can even have their child accompany them on their bus route.

The county currently has about 25 to 30 bus drivers in training and needs 40 additional drivers to bring them up to the full number required to meet the demands of the school division’s 82 schools and the projected estimate of over 69,000 students this year, according to Ed Bishop, Director of Transportation.

The Prince William County School division does not discriminate in employment or in its educational programs and activities against qualified individuals with disabilities, nor on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religion or national origin.

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