Not Supporting Public Transit Would Be a Tragedy

by Reporter / Sep 02, 2018 / 0 comments

Not Supporting Public Transit Would Be a Tragedy
By: Scott Flury, Chama Village Councilman

This November, voters will have the opportunity to decide the future of the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), which is commonly known in our communities as The Blue Bus. This ballot question deserves attention from all voters.

First and foremost, I want to stress that you are not voting to increase taxes; you are simply voting to reauthorize the existing tax. Additionally, by voting “yes,” you are voting to continue a service that is vital to many in our communities.

While some do not think about public transit and its benefits often, there are many in our community who have no choice. Public transit is a way of life and a necessity to many.

As a Chama Village Councilman, the Vice Chairman of the Board of La Clinica Medical Center, and an active member of the community, I have seen the need for transit firsthand. I have also utilized public transit in my daily life. When I worked in Dulce, I opted to take The Blue Bus, instead of commuting daily. In taking the bus for my 30 mile commute, I saved over 1,200 miles on my car per month, as well as a great deal of money that I would have spent on gas and vehicle maintenance. Throughout the winter months, public transit saved me the headache of shoveling the driveway, waiting for my car to warm up, and provided me with a safe, reliable way to get to and from work, without having to worry about my safety or the wellbeing of my vehicle in winter weather.

In addition to my personal experiences of saving money and enjoying the convenience, my time riding public transit afforded me invaluable friendships with members of our community. One of the friends I made is completely blind and rides the bus every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to go to dialysis in Dulce. For him and others like him who rely upon public transit to get them to and from dialysis, public transit is a lifesaver. Many rely upon transit to take them to and from medical appointments in Farmington. These stories, and many just like them, are the basis of the need for public transit, and through NCRTD, we can see incredible public transit at work. 

In Chama, we are in a remote area. There are not many options available to people, and we need The Blue Bus. In addition to the services they provide for those who need transit, NCRTD has been a strong community partner, providing public transit for special events and helping our community when needed.

However, public transit isn’t just for those who have no choice but to rely upon their services; it is for anyone interested in saving money. From an economic standpoint, transit riders can save a great deal of money, since our community is in a remote location. Their schedules are incredibly convenient, drivers are courteous and helpful, and with plenty of options for connecting routes, transit is a positive choice for all. As ridership is increasing monthly, this is a truth many have realized.

This November, we as a community must vote “yes” to renew the gross receipts tax that funds The Blue Bus to support public transit and the necessary services it provides. For this ballot measure to fail would be a tragedy. Just as there is no other option for those who need public transit, there is no other option for the betterment of our community than to vote “yes.”