Transit supporters march on Mass. St.

Transit supporters organize downtown march

From left in the cardboard buses, Bonnie Cherry, Dave Loewenstein and Clarate Heckler, 12, all of Lawrence, show their appreciation for the Lawrence Transit System, or The T, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008 during a demonstration and march on Mass. St. The march was held to raise awareness about how The T's future depends on an upcoming vote.

With the election around the corner, Lawrence Public Transit system supporters marched Saturday down Massachusetts Street in a final appeal for voter support.

“There’s a growing number of the population that do or are going to very shortly depend on the T as their primary means of getting to shopping, to church, to the hospital and to cultural events,” said C.J. Brune, a rally organizer. “It’s important not only for people who desperately need it to get to their jobs, but I think it’s going to cut across every strata of society in Lawrence.”

Two sales tax measures on the ballot this election season will decide the fate of the city’s bus system.

If approved, they would provide 10 years worth of funding for the transit system.

At least 50 people participated in Saturday’s rally, which started at South Park and moved down Massachusetts Street to the northwest corner of Ninth and Massachusetts streets.

Participants wore paper tiaras decorated with a T.

Some rode in a bus, with “Save the T” painted on the side. Others marched, wielding signs.

Elizabeth Hein, a daily bus rider, lives in the area of 25th and Louisiana streets and uses the bus to get to work on Haskell Avenue. If she doesn’t ride the bus, she walks.

“That is a walk, but I’ll do it because I can,” she said.

“Other people can’t. That’s not an option for them.”

Hein told the story of some of her acquaintances who, like her, rely on the T. Hein has a co-worker, a single mother of two, who rides the bus because she doesn’t own a car.

Hein said her neighbor also relies on the paratransit system.

“She’s dependent on that to go to doctors visits, the library – anywhere she goes, she has to have that,” Hein said. “If that weren’t there, I don’t know what she’d do.”