All Aboard Erie Goes Green for a New Bus Charter

Category:  Community
Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 1:40 PM
All Aboard Erie Goes Green for a New Bus Charter by Julie Minich
Contributed Photo

Bus riders may or may not be able to ride the bus after September 15th. If a new EMTA Charter is not negotiated, 33 percent of the community’s population will be in flux. That’s 20 percent who depend solely on the bus, and 13 percent more who have a car, but use the bus for convenience and savings (car ownership commonly costs up to $10,000 per year).

Buses are the unsung heroes of the community. They run from dawn to dusk and beyond, transporting students to school and college, people to work, appointments, meetings and to great festivals throughout Erie. The drivers have a stake in this too. They work hard to make service as smooth and dependable as possible.

No one knows what will happen in September. Some say the buses will stop. Some say they will continue. We have heard rumors of a third-party takeover. We are not sure what to expect. The simplest solution is to pass a new charter, and put all this to rest.

Why does the bus matter? The parents of school students depend on the bus being there every day. Bus service is also paid for by contracts with schools and colleges, and major businesses such as Hamot and Erie Insurance. College students using the bus save thousands of dollars, allowing them to reduce their college costs (car expenses and campus parking fees). Do you own a store? Some of your customers use the bus to get there. This affects people of all incomes, all classes, and all neighborhoods. This charter issue threatens property values, wealth and safe traffic routes.

What is going to happen with all the contracts EMTA already has, with colleges, schools and businesses? Will the contracts be honored if there is no charter passed? What happens to the people? Many are concerned and have questions.

While remaining neutral, All Aboard Erie is asking all sides to come together and negotiate.

Show your support for Charter negotiations. All Aboard Erie is asking for your support in the form of time, to show that there are many people interested in, and concerned about this issue. We need everyone, city and county employees, EMTA board members, EMTA employees, students, senior citizens, and everyone in between.

Wear green to the next County Council meeting, Tuesday, May 17th

Wear green (as in “go") and come to the next County Council meeting, Tuesday, May 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 117 in the Erie County Courthouse. We will be coordinating attendance at more City and County Council meetings, until a charter is passed. Feel free to speak on your own behalf, so our leaders know we want action on this issue. Even if you are simply sitting in a chair and wearing green, you are showing that you care about bus service, but more importantly you care about the community.

We need a sea of green at County Council!

- Julie Minich - Assistant Executive Director, All Aboard Erie for more info, email



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