Weakening public transit weakens our region
A strong, reliable public transportation system is vital to our strength and success as a region. Simply put, we can’t be without it.
Losing bus transportation and ACCESS, the paratransit program serving people under age 65 with disabilities and senior citizens, would be cataclysmic to our shared community. As Tina Calabro’s recent article “ACCESS” (Feb. 20 Health) stated, a loss of transportation is a loss of our independence. When surveyed 74 percent of persons said they use public transportation to get to work. A governor promoting jobs and movement from welfare lines to employment lines needs to act now.
We need the will to find dedicated sources of funding as a long-term solution to the problem and need our elected officials to show leadership and get this done.
I was heartened to read that our ACCESS system was nationally emulated as an effective and successful model — one more reason to celebrate our “most livable city.” Alas, with an almost nonexistent public transportation system and major cutbacks to our once-revered ACCESS system, we’re not close to being the most livable or, as some leaders like to say, “world class.”
The situation with our public transportation system has reached the point where something must be done. We each need to be part of the solution. I think people would be willing to pay a small fare increase rather than have no service.
We don’t want anyone to lose; we want the economy to thrive. This can only happen when we have a reliable, cost-effective, accessible and available public transportation system.