Public is unaware of MTD's value
While objections to increases in property taxes are understandable, too few realize the role that mass transit plays in creating sustainable communities. Socially concerned people choose to supplement walking and biking with mass transit as their primary transportation mode. This decision was made not just to save money, but out of awareness that automobile use is a major source of carbon emissions.
Though some are aware of the environmental benefits, too few realize the public benefits from reliable bus service. One of the greatest is allowing senior citizens to maintain mobility and to age at home and in place while remaining active. Bus service also plays an important role in allowing the disabled to live independently. It can play an essential role in allowing children to participate in extracurricular school activities.
On a deeper level, mass transit plays a critical role in the struggles of the working poor. While a car may fit into a family budget during periods of prosperity, in the event of economic hardship such as occurs due to job loss, death of a wage earner, divorce or temporary disability, the availability of public transportation can play a critical role in helping maintain a stable lifestyle during transitional periods.
Low-cost, reliable bus service is an important resource. I am a firm believer in low taxes and small government, but public transportation is an essential service to a viable and sustainable community and the money spent to support mass transit represent tax dollars well spent.