Public transportation for some is the only option for getting around. For others, it is more efficient than using a vehicle, especially considering factors like commute time, distance, parking and cost. For others, it is an alternative method that benefits everyone because it is available to the public, is reliable and generally a safe and affordable method of transportation throughout this region. For me, as a completely blind individual, it gives me independence, which is very precious as a young adult.
Using the Blue Bus, also known as the NCRTD, keeps me connected to the people and places I like to and need to be, independently. Without this service, I have to depend on others for transportation, which can be highly inconvenient to them, me, or both. Public transportation, in conjunction with my long white cane, allows me to travel where and when I want to go, just like anyone else. It levels the playing field and allows me to continue my studies, visit family and friends, and connect to destinations in other regions, in conjunction with other forms of transportation.
The more public transportation is available, the more it benefits not only me, but also everyone around…regardless of disability. Everyone has somewhere to go and something to do. The availability of more frequent public transportation would encourage even more residents to take advantage of it to get around and accomplish everyday tasks.
Both the NCRTD’s Santa Fe to Taos and Española to Los Alamos routes are my most frequented runs, and I am so thankful to have these options. If the services were taken away due to NCRTD not having their tax reauthorized, it would greatly reduce the transportation options available to everyone. Not only that, but it would also be extremely detrimental to residents of Northern New Mexico who are unable or unwilling to use private vehicles. NCRTD serves communities like Taos and Española in their entirety, so those communities might see the greatest impact with having no local transportation available for around-town, or regional trips.
I cannot urge individuals enough to vote YES to reauthorize funding for the NCRTD this coming Election Day. Voting yes will not increase taxes, and it safeguards the future of this vital public service. The more ridership and public support, the more options will be available to community members and traveling individuals. Public transportation is a must in our rapidly changing environment, and everyone needs options in order to gain equal access and maintain independence. I also strongly urge everyone to continue, or start using, as much public transportation as possible. It is healthier for the environment and allows for flexibility of most schedules. Give it a try today!