Aug 17 2017
Think about what it means to you or to someone you love to be able to independently get to where you need to go.
Now consider what would happen if you were to lose that independence…This is the reality for many millions of Americans across the nation.
Public transportation is a lifeline for millions of people who can’t drive or who cannot afford a car because of age, disability, or financial circumstances. Others may choose to forego their vehicle because of the environment or to give themselves greater financial freedom or freedom of choice in other aspects of their lives.
The right to movement — or mobility — is protected under the U.S. Constitution, similar to our freedom of speech and religion, and being able to move independently is crucial to the exercise of many of our other freedoms and many of the opportunities Americans often take for granted. In this blog post, we’re sharing stories from riders who are able to exercise their right to be mobile thanks to public transit.
My [approximately hour-long] commute from Manson (WA) to Wenatchee Valley College could cost over $10/day. That’s over $50/week in fuel on a student income. The Link Transit Service is a critical resource for me and many other students that live in my rural community, not to mention those that commute for employment that sustains their families. Link Transit is indispensable!
— Washington Transit Rider
Public transportation is my sole source for mobility. One of my college degrees was made possible by the availability and accessibility of public transportation.
— Tennessee Transit Rider
[Reducing transit services] would take my independence away. I do not like to ask anybody to take me anywhere unless I absolutely have to. I would not be able to go to the grocery store or other shopping on a limited income.
— Ohio Transit Rider
In a county like Erie, PA, it [reducing or eliminating transit] would be devastating. There would be people who would have to find other homes or other work because public transportation connects them. Thirty-three percent of people in Erie use public transit.
— Pennsylvania Supporter
These stories show how public transit improves individual lives, as well as underscore some of the devastating consequences if public transportation funding were to be cut significantly. But mobility is considered a key freedom not just because it’s important to individuals, but also because it’s vital to the functioning of our society and economy as a whole.
At its core, mobility improves people’s lives and communities, and public transit improves mobility both for those who ride and those who don’t. Every American — including every member of Congress — should recognize that public transit funding is essential to our quality of life, especially as our population continues to grow and the need for a more mobile workforce expands.
Voices for Public Transit needs to hear and share more great stories that demonstrate the importance of public transit. Every American’s right to mobility should be supported by federal funding for public transportation. Please share your story today.