Monday, April 26, 2010

Public Transportation in Asheville

I normally do not rant in public but recently a decision was made in our fair city of Asheville, N.C. that I find just bad policy. Commencing in July 2010, voted on by our city council, the cost public transportation in Asheville will be increased. It is not that there is no understanding of the fiscal woes present in the city of Asheville. We share the fate of many cities across the United States in that our bills exceed our current resources. It is also becoming clear to me and many others that this economy has wreaked havoc on most citizens. It would seem evident that the less fiscal ease one had before the economy plummeted the less of a drop one has to the abyss of real poverty.

Asheville has public transportation available for those who chose to use it. Reasons for the use of public transportation by the general population vary but some of those would include.
1. Economics 2. A greener way to live 3. Provides community jobs
4. Allows access to areas of the city not within walking distance for those not having the availability of POV's. 4. May provide elders with driving issues who remain ambulatory more autonomy for both their daily activities and social interactions.

The use of this form of transportation benefits everyone users and non-users alike. The roads are less used and hence require fewer repairs, fuel is more economically utilized & the air is cleaner for everyone. It is an activity that should be encouraged, facilitated and rewarded.

This is a time of significant financial hardships for everyone. Rampant job loss and unemployment along with concurrent health insurance loss bring about a downward spiral that can seem endless. A choice to land the burden of our budget shortage on the backs of those who can least afford to bear it is just reckless. I have a private car. I do not at this time in my life rely on public transportation so I do not have a dog in this fight but truly it seems wrong to raise rates on folks that are choosing this option for whatever reason it was chosen. Public transportation is something that is a "better choice." To chose this segment of the population to shoulder the burden of coming up with more money for this city is wrong. Perhaps the taxing of a more luxurious pursuit than getting to work, grocery shopping in the absence of a car, taking a child to the Dr. or just choosing to be more mindful of our planet should be rewarded and the costs of getting more money into the city of Asheville might be more fairly distributed to other less worthy pursuits.

Many of the employees we have hired through the years here at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast, did not have cars and wanted to work. Despite not having a car, they sought employment and arrived on time for work with our city system. I applaud them.





Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn
Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

2 comments:

  1. I'm one of those people who doesn't drive due to vision problems. I can afford a rate increase now but worry about all those who can't. However, if it means public transportation gets more efficient because of the rate changes I could support it. A sliding rate scale might be something to consider. Those of us who can could pay, those who can't get a break.

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  2. I think that an admirable if unworkable idea. Unfortunately, most of those who could would rather say they can't to get a break.

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