TRANSIT STORIES

Transit Stories” is a series of real-life experiences with public transit in the U.S. We feature the first-hand experience of public transit riders. From large cities to small towns, we will document the experiences of the millions of users of busses, trains, ferries, and other forms of public transit in the US.

Public transit is essential to our communities, to cooling the planet, to advancing equity.

Transit is essential to our very lives. This year there is a unique opportunity for the country to make a historic investment in public transit funding to help the country build back better.

Transit Stories: Crystal Harden-Lindsey

Baltimore, MD: Central Maryland Transportation Alliance I’m a Baltimore native and was born and raised in East Baltimore. I’ve always defined myself as a servant-leader. I was a teacher, then a principal, and now I am the Vice President of Community Impact for the Baltimore Community Foundation. My core values are centered on giving and serving.  When I think of transit issues that our community faces, I often recall the challenges that students faced getting to school while I was Principal of Green Street Academy. Green Street Academy served students, grades 6th through 12th who primarily resided in West Baltimore. Green Street Academy is a public charter school. Many public school students in Baltimore rely on public transit to get to school, and students at Green Street Academy are no exception. I was very proud of my tenure there. When we started, we only had 130 students, but grew to 975 by the time I transitioned out. We were one of the first schools in Baltimore that offered classes in the trades, vertical farming, and hydroponics. We also focused on the green economy, especially green design and construction management. Given the school was located on the city and county line,

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Transit Stories: Timothy Cardner

New Orleans, LA: Ride New Orleans My name is Timothy Cardner, and I am a musician, barista, and board member of Ride New Orleans. I moved to New Orleans to study music at the University of New Orleans in 2017, and graduated in 2022.  My first experience with transit was taking the 55 Elysian Fields bus from UNO to my job at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter. My shifts ended between midnight and 1 am, meaning that sometimes I would have to wait until 3 am for a bus. Other times I just waved down a cab. I own a car now, but the cost of parking and gas make it too expensive to drive every day. I save my car for when I’m transporting music equipment or when I’m leaving town. For everything else, I rely on the RTA. I now work at Cafe Beignet on Canal Street, where parking my car for a single shift would cost me over two hours of work. To get to work I catch the crowded 9 Broad bus at 5:50 am and take it to Canal Street, where a handful of riders and I transfer to the streetcar. The buses

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Transit Stories: Marcel Goudeaux-Stanley

Detroit, MI: Detroit People’s Platform I am Marcel Goudeaux-Stanley, and I live just outside of Detroit. My nephews are twelve and fifteen years old and love to hang out with me and listen to music or talk about sports. I went to Berklee College of Music and play keyboards and piano in a local R&B band. When I lived in Boston, I took transit everywhere the buses and trolleys came regularly. I didn’t have to wait to get to where I needed to go. But back here in Detroit, there is a big difference. I have been riding the bus for about twelve years, ever since I was in a car accident. The good part is that it’s inexpensive and convenient. The bad is that I have to wait a lot longer to catch the bus and to get to where I need to go, but at least I can listen to my music as I ride.   When I’m not rehearsing or listening to other musicians, I work in food service. I mostly use the Route 125 bus to go to work. It is only a ten minute drive but the bus stop is about a ten minute walk.

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Transit Stories: Andrea Miranda

District of Columbia: Community Health Manager I am Andrea Miranda, Community Health Outreach Manager at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. I lead our Community Health initiatives and programs and address the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) needs our community faces every day. Transportation is a common barrier our patients face on a daily basis. Our patients rely on various modes of transit to get to their doctors appointments, surgeries, follow ups, screenings as well as community clinics, grocery stores, and recreation centers. Barriers to transportation directly Impact the health outcomes of the community. Our team of Community Health Advocates work with these high need patients to address their social barriers every day and have shared the qualms of the community.  Many patients especially the elderly, must have reliable transportation options available to them. This population is at higher risk of falls, chronic disease and therefore the access to care is pertinent. Our team was working with a patient who was in her 80s who had multiple health issues and was having difficulty getting to and from appointments. Our team was able to set up a ride and helped her apply for Metro access to get to her healthcare appointments, but she

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Transit Stories: Judy Wang

New York, NY: Riders Alliance My name is Judy Wang, and I live in Fresh Meadows, Queens. Investing in good pubilc transit is a cause that is close to my heart, one that has made a significant impact on my family’s life, and one that is essential to millions of New Yorkers who rely every day on buses and subways to get them where they need to go. And that is the need for frequent, reliable, and affordable public transit. I use buses every day to take me to work, to job interviews, and appointments. My neighborhood has very limited subway access and is primarily served by buses. Unfortunately, the buses are slow, unreliable, and don’t come frequently enough. All my jobs were in Manhattan, and I had to rely on the Q64 to get me to the nearest train station, then transfer between multiple subway lines to finally get to my destination. The bus I take is always stuck in morning traffic, so an otherwise 15 minute bus ride could balloon to 30-45 minutes instead. The Q64 is also experiencing a driver shortage, so I often had to wait between 20 – 30 minutes for the next bus to

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Transit Stories: Stevie Pasamonte

Columbus, OH: Move OH My name is Stevie Pasamonte, and my family and I have relied on public transit since we immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1992. Over thirty years later, my mother, my sister, and I all live in Columbus, Ohio. I moved here in 2009 for school, and my family followed me a couple years later so that we could remain close to one another. Let me tell you a little about the three of us:  My mother is a disabled war veteran. She joined the U.S. Military when I was a teenager in an effort to provide for our family, earn college funding for her children, and gain U.S. citizenship. As a result of injuries sustained during her service, she has a lot of difficulty with mobility. She uses the COTA bus to visit my sister and me during the week, often stopping by to make me lunch while I’m busy with work. While she only lives five miles from me, it takes her 45 minutes to get to my home by bus.  My sister lives closer to my mom—only three and a half miles away. But when my mom visits my sister, it

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