I’m an avid transit rider. Public transit saves me gas, time, and energy.
I work as a government affairs advisor for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board District 1. Before the pandemic, I took the bus every day. I either caught the bus on my corner to get downtown or would take the Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit.
On the bus, I can be reading, I can be doing my email, I don’t have the stress of sitting in traffic, and I felt I was fresher when I got to work. I am ahead, really, because I read through all my emails before I even got to the office.
I work with many low-income students as part of my job with the school district, and transit is a lifesaver for them. I worry that, especially during and after the pandemic, many students will have to choose between getting something to eat and getting on the bus. Federal support for better bus service and for LA Metro’s fareless transit pilot program for students would mean they wouldn’t have to make that choice anymore.
For me, too, transit is about both service and cost. With a senior pass, it is so much less expensive than driving. I saved a lot of money riding transit because I wasn’t eating in the café or stopping at Starbucks. And with a senior pass, it is so much less expensive than driving.
I prefer transit now for all my trips—to go to work, meet friends, go to dinner, go to the theater, or even go to the Dodgers game. I’ve even convinced some of my friends to do it. And now we ride together!
“Transit Stories” is a series of real-life experiences with public transit in the U.S. Every Tuesday, we will feature the first-hand experience of public transit riders from across the country in this short newsletter. From large cities to small towns, we will document the experiences of the millions of users of buses, 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. This story and all the others will be archived at transitjustice.org. For media inquiries, contact Doug Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org.