Letter to the editor

Letter: In support of the Blue Bus

By Dan Barrone, Town of Taos mayor
Posted 10/24/18

The “Blue Bus” is so much more than a means of transportation to many folks in our community. It means freedom and independence for the elderly and aging population to get to and from …

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Letter to the editor

Letter: In support of the Blue Bus

Posted

The “Blue Bus” is so much more than a means of transportation to many folks in our community. It means freedom and independence for the elderly and aging population to get to and from errands or appointments. It means access and opportunity to the student who is continuing their education in order to further their career. It is a way to lower one’s carbon footprint and protect our environment for generations to come. It is the only option available for so many people who don’t own a car and can’t rely on others for consistent, affordable and safe rides.

The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) is the system behind the Blue Busses. They offer service for four counties and nine pueblos, covering more than 10,000 square miles. The benefit to our region here in Northern New Mexico is that it interconnects our small villages and larger cities and towns and unites us as one thriving region. People are able to get to doctor’s appointments, to work, to the grocery store, and so on because of this vast and connected system. It not only moves our population around and exposes people to differing communities, it gets people out and about to do the things they need to get done on a daily basis.

Public transit reduces our overall carbon footprint, ensuring that we are investing in our environment for future generations. Additionally, by eliminating individual drivers in their individual cars, we can free up space on the roads. Less traffic and congestion is a win-win for everyone, including Mother Nature.

It is a fact that the NCRTD is being used by more and more people and that this service is precious to our region. Overall ridership in 2017 grew by 6.1 percent, and the system continues to expand. However, if we do not gather together to support public transit and vote yes for the reauthorization of funding, this system will simply cease to exist. The door-to-door service that is offered would no longer be. There would be fewer commuters able to get to and from their jobs, less opportunity for students and those without access to vehicles, and of course our carbon footprint would increase. People would have to rely on friends and family for rides and to get to appointments or to do errands, and many would be unnecessarily homebound.

On the other hand, if we do come together and support the NCRTD by voting yes, service will not only continue, but will increase and grow across the region. Almost all of the lines are free of charge, allowing people from all walks of life to have access to this service. Let’s ensure that this free transportation thrives in Northern New Mexico by securing its funding system. Voting yes will not increase taxes and it fortifies the NCRTD’s future, allowing them the opportunity to add more routes and services. Ride the Blue Bus!

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