Advocating for a New EMTA Charter

Categories:  Community    News & Politics    Events
Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 7:31 PM
Advocating for a New EMTA Charter by Angie Jeffery

Not long ago, Erie Reader managing editor Katie Chriest wrote about a few benfits of public transportation. If there ever was a time to take that into consideration, it's now.

Over one-third of Erie residents could lose bus service in September if a new EMTA charter is not adopted. This includes children needing to get to school, college students, employees of universities and hospitals who want to save on parking fees, and business owners whose customers travel by bus into town, just to name a few.

You may be thinking, "How sad, but it doesn't really affect me. I've never even been on the bus." However, if you have ever felt called to be a voice for the voiceless, then this is your chance. There is research aplenty to show that the deck is stacked against low income families, and this would be yet another blow to area families living at or below the poverty line. Imagine a bus is the only way to get your children to school, and suddenly there is no bus. Or if the bus was your only way to an actual grocery store. How else are you going to get nutritional food at a decent price?

This is a serious issue, and the best thing we can do as a community is to come together and show the councils that this matters to all of us.

In the current issue of the Reader, Charles Buki writes, "Erie seldom includes real efforts to engage the community ... this is a missed opportunity. But it also constitutes a troubling norm. When a neighborhood’s residents are not part of the conversation, they can easily lose confidence that their voice matters, and our team observed this to very much be the case throughout many city neighborhoods, especially lower income minority areas."

When we are offered the opportunity to engage, we must take it, in order to make the city a better place for all of its inhabitants, not just for a few.

At the City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m., All Aboard Erie is asking supporters to come to the meeting wearing green to support the Go! initiative, and to keep accessible transportation for all residents.

After the April 20 City Council meeting, an effort to approach County Council will also be coordinated. For more information, please contact Julie Minich at Come out and be a part of a sea of green at the council meeting and stand with the community.


Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 21
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