To the editor:
I was able to buy a car precisely because I could take the Lawrence transit system to work. Three years ago my wife and I moved to Lawrence for her schooling. We had no car, I had no job contacts and not even $100 required to open up a bank account. Over the next six months we both used the T, her to get to school and me to get to a variety of low-wage temporary jobs throughout Lawrence. Taking cabs at $10 one way to go to class or to go to a $6 an hour job was not an option. Eventually I worked my way up the job ladder to be able to afford a car; then my wife and I stopped using the T.
The T is not designed to replace the convenience of a car, but the T is designed to be a viable choice for people who can't drive for temporary or permanent financial or health reasons, and it provides a realistic option for people to get to jobs, go shopping and get to medical appointments. Kansas cities as small as Garden City (Finney County Transit) and Hutchinson (RCAT) have realized that providing regular bus service is a better use of taxpayer dollars than relying solely on paratransit service.
Lawrence residents will be asked to vote on funding transit in November.
I urge them to vote "yes" on Questions 2 and 3.