Adequate transit a symbol of city’s commitment to all citizens

Owning and maintaining a vehicle became a financial burden for me, so I sold my car in January 2014 and started riding the bus. At the time, I lived near 34th Street and Lafayette Road, close to the bus line. It was an adequate alternative to owning a car.

Access to transit is critical for a city like Indianapolis. The last two cities I’ve lived in, Louisville and Indianapolis, both have strong bus systems. But I grew up in northwest Indiana, near Chicago’s strong rail system. When you don’t have that rail system, you’ve got to be able to do more with the bus.

If a city wants to be a major urban area, public transportation is one of those foundational things that has to be in place. If we want to help the unemployed and the homeless transition back into being productive members of society, this is the way we have to do it. A better bus system won’t just help one person, it will help a whole lot of folks.

I see lot of disabled folk riding the bus, and I have to say Indianapolis does a pretty amazing job of handling accessibility issues for what could be a left-out population. That’s a powerful symbol of a city that wants to take care of the entire population, not just those who have power and privilege. I became homeless in January, so I’ve been in both of those worlds. And I can tell you there’s something to be said for a city that cares for its population that’s trying to do better.