Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting from A to B...

Let's jump right on in, shall we?

A lot happened during the election last November.

The nation elected our first black President.

Missouri elected a Democrat to Governor.

And St. Louis County voters narrowly defeated a sales tax increase that was to help fund public transportation routes through Metro.

Starting today, thousands of St. Louisans will no longer be able to get from A to B and many of them will lose their jobs because of an inability to find alternative transportation.

Now, there are many who will argue that Metro is mismanaged and that voters where right to defeat the increase and not reward that mismanagement with additional funding.

And there are others who simply won’t give a shit because they don’t rely on public transportation and can’t think beyond themselves and their life.

But a bitch is disturbed.

For the record, I don’t rely on public transportation…but I live here and these cuts are sure to have a negative impact on the region.

I am blessed to have Miss Sister Girl Cabrio to take me to the market, to work, to doctor visits and to visit my brother, who lives in St. Louis County.

But many of the young women I volunteer with rely on public transportation to get to work. They must travel hours away from their community because Lawd knows there aren’t any jobs in the ‘hood. And many of them use Metro to get to school, to the market and to doctor visits too. As a matter of fact, budgeting for transportation is part of my basic budgeting curriculum and now…

Now, I must sit down with them and try to find alternative transportation that is also affordable and reliable and…Gawd, life was already complicated enough.

Ugh.

But here we are…all of us. These cuts will impact all of us, even those who don’t give a shit because they don’t use public transportation and can’t think beyond themselves and their life.

If Metro is a mess then someone needs to address that shit. The solution is not to let it go to shit and hope for the best.

A bitch sees this as a teachable moment. In many ways, it mirrors the challenges faced by many organizations and companies providing necessary services to communities.

Need ain’t going anywhere…and the ramifications of cuts are everyone’s orphans.

5 comments:

D. said...

Mess of people in St. Louis who think their cars will never break down, get totalled, get towed for infractions, run out of gas? Forgotten $4/gal gas already?

Gee.

(They're having to make cuts in New York's transit systems, too, but New Yorkers are acutely aware of how much transit is needed, and parking is murder.)

Deb said...

I couldn't agree more, Shark Fu! I can walk to work most of the time, but the longer wait between buses is definitely going to impact me somewhat, and will definitely harm many of my coworkers who use metro buses and metrolink multiple times throughout the workday.

Hahn at Home said...

Our city has bus service that has been slashed, slashed, slashed. Rates have gone up and service levels down.

I live in the burbs - because it's where I can afford. My kid can't get a job because he has no transport. Can't get a car without a job. Can't ride the bus to work because it only runs 6-5 M-F. One line.

I live in an area with a high density of affordable housing. Many need the bus to get to work. Many of them work in the service sector that doesn't allow for that 9-5 kind of gig. What do they do?

Infrastructure madness I say.

Anonymous said...

We never get to breathe. We are conctantly have to fight for things that seem like no brainers. I am tired of voters not getting it. Our problems stem from people not being able to look beyond themselves.

Bald Outing said...

I don't now, but I have in the past, relied on public transportation to get me to and from work or school, and at those times if the transportation was cancelled I would not have been able to afford a car (or parking/garage space/bridge tolls/etc. - I was in NYC at the time). It would have ruined my life.