Public Transit Provides Independence and Freedom


Public Transit Provides Independence and Freedom

Liz Garcia, Española Resident

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Imagine being housebound, unable to do simple tasks like go to the gym or the grocery store on your own. Day after day, week after week, alone in your home. As a legally blind individual, this would be my reality if not for public transit.

The NCRTD, or Blue Bus as many of us know them, has been a lifesaver and one of the greatest blessings in my life. After being diagnosed as legally blind and becoming a widow it would be easy for me to become depressed and isolated. This isn’t the case thanks to the access I have due to the Blue Bus.

Most weeks, I use public transit to go to our local gym here in Española. Sometimes I use public transit as much as every day and sometimes just once or twice a week—but it is instrumental in my life and activity level. I am able to maintain my freedom and independence because I can rely on the safe and comfortable rides on the Blue Bus.

Everyone I have interacted with at NCRTD has always been 100% professional, kind and understanding. From the office staff to the everyday drivers, the people behind this system are absolutely excellent. They continue to impress me every time I have an interaction with one of them and I always feel safe and secure on the rides.

The access that NCRTD gives to everyone in the Española area should not be taken for granted. I would say that public transit in this area is absolutely one of the greatest assets in our community. It helps connect people and gives those who don’t drive or have a vehicle the same access to opportunities as everyone else. If the NCRTD was taken away due to the loss of funding, it would be extremely disastrous not just for myself, but for our community as a whole. This is a rural region, and there are many older individuals and disabled individuals who rely on the Blue Bus every single day. So many people use these lines and have integrated public transit into their daily lives.

I cannot stress enough the importance of public transit in the greater Española area. For me personally as a legally blind resident, it has opened up my entire world. When I thought my independence was slipping through my hands, the Blue Bus helped me preserve my schedule and therefore my self sufficiency. I can now get to the gym, go to the store and keep living an autonomous life. I can honestly say I am healthier, more active and a more engaged citizen because of the Blue Bus.

If not for yourself or someone you know personally, I encourage you to vote YES for the reauthorization for NCRTD for people like me. We must think of everyone in our community when going to the polls in November. When we look out for others, we all end up winning in the long run.