By Elena Moreno
Pierce County voters, I beg you: Please approve Pierce Transit’s Proposition 1. Why? I wish there was another way or more money in the budget, but there just isn’t. Right now, we need to sustain and reinstate our limited bus service.
As a regular Pierce Transit rider who has chosen to be carless for economic and environmental reasons for over 18 years in King and Pierce counties, I am here to say that in Pierce County, I am a near-daily witness to the true dependence that so many of our less-advantaged citizens have on buses, seven days a week, morning and night. I am an anomaly because I am not one who is absolutely dependent on it, though with these cuts, I will be forced to buy a car just to get to work and school.
Bus riding eliminates car expenses and takes another car off the road (which lightens your traffic and helps the environment). We, the riders of Pierce Transit buses, are your neighbors, your teenagers, your elderly, your mobility-impaired citizens, and your fellow commuters, trying to get to our jobs, doctor appointments, and schools and back home again, safely – to survive, without adding cars on the road or expenses to our stretched budgets.
Many jobs have shifts during nights and weekends. (Think of hospital, road, and grocery storeworkers.) Many schools have libraries and other services offered then, too. (Think of evening students and library goers.) And many medical services are needed and provided for 24/7. (Think of urgent-care centers and ERs.)
Without Proposition 1 approval, service reductions will leave too many people stranded on evenings and weekends when life still goes on.
You may think you will not be impacted by these service cuts, but surely you will, at least indirectly – and surely someone you know and care about will be affected immensely.
I don’t have kids, but I have supported school levies for your children because they are my fellow citizens, too, and part of my “village.” Nobody wants higher taxes, but in times like these, citizens and legislators alike must weigh the priorities of our community. We must ask ourselves what we need to be willing to tolerate to help each other survive and carry on. All of us, bus riders included, will be affected by the small tax – but so much more negatively than we would without it. Thank you for thoughtfully considering a yes vote on Proposition 1.
Elena Moreno is a
University of Washington-Tacoma student. She lives in Pierce County.