La Queta Worley-Bell
My name is La Queta Worley-Bell. I live in Cleveland, Ohio and I have been taking public transit all my life.
It takes me an hour to get from my house to downtown, which is where I do my shopping, pay my bills, and pick up my medication.
When train service was cut during the pandemic, made worse by lack of infrastructure maintenance, it made clear to me how much more support public transit needs to keep operating into the future. If public transit was cut any further, I would have to walk at least 6 to 8 blocks to catch the #11 bus to get downtown. This could add at least an hour to my commute given my severe mobility issues. I do not drive, and I depend on transit to live my daily life.
My partner takes transit to his factory job in the suburbs. He has to wake up at 3:00 am so that he can leave the house at 5:00 am, because his commute to Independence, Ohio takes at least two hours. When we talk about creating jobs in America, we also need to make sure people can access them through fast and reliable public transit, so their new paycheck does not get eaten up by car expenses. Getting a car is not an option for us, he would need to quit his well-paying manufacturing job and find another one closer to the city.
Lastly, the lack of public transit affects us all, whether you take it or not, because the pollution and congestion from increasing car traffic affect all of our health and well-being.
More transit service can improve our lives, and the lives of everyone in our community, connecting us to more places and more opportunities.
“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, email@example.com.