Last Friday the Daily Record reported results of a recent survey on public transportation needs in Wayne County. About 80% of residents surveyed feel that we need more public transportation services.
What kinds of community needs are served by public transport? According to this study:
Out of the people who took the survey, 78.85 percent of residents used transportation assistance in Wayne County for medical reasons; 36.54 percent needed transportation assistance to get to work. More than 57 percent of responders typically used transportation services or assistance one-five times per month.
People who are unable to drive — or unable to afford the cost of fueling, maintaining, and insuring their own automobile — desperately need options. These include many senior citizens and disabled people, teens not yet licensed, lower-income families, and some previously incarcerated persons.
And even those of us who can drive benefit hugely from safe and affordable public transportation. At least some of the time, wouldn’t it be nice to leave the driving to the professional driver, enjoy the scenery, and not have to worry about traffic or parking?
Oh, and need we add that increased use of mass transit can improve our area’s air quality and reduce our carbon footprint?
So it’s worth everyone’s while to support efforts to improve our access to public transportation:
Wayne County Mobility Manager Leslie Baus is heading up the project to update Wayne County’s locally-coordinated transportation plan, which not only shows there is a need for reliable transportation systems, but could also help many agencies when applying for grants.
Baus said there is a big push throughout the state to update the plans in order to be a contender for funding. ‘If we get this plan in and updated, anybody who applies for a grant has a foot up,’ she said.
The next public transportation meeting will be Sept. 18, 1-4 p.m., at the Wayne County Public Library. The meeting will be to discuss goals to be set for providing transportation and how to better update the locally-coordinated transportation plan.