I am one of the thousands of people in the state of Massachusetts who depend on public transit. I live in Fall River, where most of the buses stop around 5 p.m. Lack of quality public transportation limits the opportunities of those who depend on it to get around. It serves as a barrier to better job opportunities and further education such as college. It has us shelling out money that we don’t have to take cabs because despite the bus schedule, we still have go to work or school, go to doctor’s appointments, and buy food.
When I was young all the way up through high school and part of college I worked as a nanny. I went to college for human services/social work and the nannywork had dried up due to the bad economy. I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree but couldn’t because the only college in Massachusetts that had the program was Bridgewater State University. I couldn’t go because there were no buses that went there.
So, I started to look for a job so I could save up to buy a car. However, I couldn’t find any work in my area and I couldn’t search farther abroad to get a job because of lack of transportation. It felt like a vicious circle. I needed a job to save up for a car; but needed a car to get a job.
This is a dilemma that a lot of bus riders share. We need public transportation. During the week the buses needs to run later, and buses also need to run on Sunday so those of us who depend on public transit can get where we need to go and have better job opportunities.
With the Fair Share Amendment, we could have better buses that run to more places, more of the time.