07 Aug Member Feature, Julie Bennett: We Need Affordable Transit
By Julie Bennett
9to5 Community Intern
I am a transit activist with 9to5 who enjoys connecting people with help to get on their feet. In making these connections I have found new resources myself. Part of these resources is bus fare to get around town for interviews and job opportunities.
Ten years ago I was able to buy four monthly bus passes for the price of one bus pass today and in a few short months that price will be going up $20. I have been staying in a shelter for about a year and a half. I’ve been looking for full-time work and a place to call home. I am also going to be a first-time grandmother and affordable transit will help me to be able to see my family. My family and their wellbeing is very important to me.
I am currently receiving help with my bus fare while looking for fulltime work and permanent housing, but I don’t know if that assistance will be there come January 2016 when the fares increase. A lot of low income people are saying the same thing. Some of the local organizations that help subsidize bus fare for low income folks are saying the increase will make it difficult for them to help.
I would like to see RTD utilize the grants and other federally funded programs to support an income-based bus fare program to help low income individuals, families, veterans and disabled people across Colorado. Even if it means revising the policies to help implement the income-based fares.