Jul 20 2017
For the July 4 holiday, we looked at how public transit broadly supports the freedom of movement — a right protected under the Constitution — and mobility independence.
Today, Voices for Public Transit advocates are sharing their own stories of how a comprehensive public transportation system supports their personal mobility. The fact is, public transportation supports independent living for many Americans who can’t drive or don’t have access to a car.
Many public transit advocates or their family members use public transportation to overcome challenges and lead fuller lives. Here are just a few examples from our recent World Without Transit survey:
Due to a visual impairment, I cannot drive a car. Therefore, I’d be unemployed with no income if it weren’t for public transit to get me back and forth to my two part-time jobs.
— Darrel F., Illinois
I have severe anxiety, ADHD, and Asperger’s and therefore take a lot of medication for those conditions. As a result, I cannot drive, because it would be too dangerous for both me as well as people around me…. Using public transportation helps me with my independence and my life as a whole.
— Christopher C., Texas
I’m a female disabled vet. I have no working car. Without public transit I would not be able to get to medical care, or to my part-time work, or to see my friends. Public transit is my lifeline.
— Karen D., California
My son is blind and uses public transportation to get to work, church, entertainment, and shopping. This is important for so many reasons.
— Marcia M., Texas
I’m a single mom on disability going to college on my own and supporting a teenage girl on my own so I need the bus to get to school and home. If I didn’t have the bus, I couldn’t go back to school.
— Jennifer S., California
I don’t have a car and can’t afford one; I use the bus to get to work, grocery shop, and run my other errands. I moved to Colorado because I was told that you could get anywhere on the bus or light rail, and it’s true.
— Clarice D., Colorado
I’m on a fixed income, and I cannot afford the expense of a personal vehicle, as much as I’d love to have an economical car again. So, I rely on my local bus system. I’m thankful to have public transportation in my area.
— Dawn F., Pennsylvania
As you can see, public transit not only provides mobility for those who can’t drive, but is also essential for many individuals and families confronting financial challenges. We’re hearing from advocates who are able to attend school, reach work, and connect with their communities because of public transportation. Our nation should be proud that we’ve established the foundation of a public transportation network that supports mobility and independent living for millions of people, including seniors, people with disabilities, vets, and lower-income Americans — but we still have a long way to go before public transportation will be accessible to everyone who needs it.
Unfortunately, public transportation is now threatened by substantial federal budget cuts, which could set our nation back decades in the progress we should be making toward a truly integrated, multimodal transportation network. Voices for Public Transit will continue working to ensure our congressional champions know they have the support of voters around the country.
Do you have a story you would like to share about why public transportation is important to you? Are you able to live more independently, pursue employment or educational opportunities, or connect with your community because of public transit? We’d like to hear about it. Please share your story at this link.