OP ED Public Transit Cuts

Despite public transit being a vital service for many and providing an environmentally friendly alternative to individual transportation, budgets have failed to reflect the critical nature of the service.

Lower or modest income individuals, students (who often fall into the previous category as well), disabled, or those who don’t have access to a car are the ones who depend on this service, and are the ones the government should be championing. The word depend is not used lightly- for instance as seen this season Manitoba winters often and quickly fall into freezing temperatures making traveling by foot simply dangerous. Other times Manitoba’s weather seemingly attempts to have all four seasons within a week resulting with the rapid melting and refreezing of water creating patches of ice that are inches thick at times, again creating dangerous conditions and making it inaccessible for individuals with mobility difficulties. Public transit isn’t simply a cheaper taxi service, with routes spanning the city it’s a means to work and life. One simply can’t offer a service that becomes utilized by people on a daily rate then take it away. It shows inconsideration and incompetence at providing for the people they are supposed to serve and interests represent.

It could be assumed that common sense would not only dissuade anyone from decreasing funding to public transit, but with increasing environmental concerns the service would become more critical in the province’s efforts to decrease carbon dioxide emissions from cars. With the increasing knowledge of the endangered state of our environment the necessity for green initiatives and friendlier alternatives as opposed to the current callous consumption of natural resources continues to be evident.

This decreased funding introduces a feeling of unreliability- if rates continue to rise and hours are further limited it begs the question when it will stop, or if public transit will continue to be under attack with each new year, making a supposedly accessible service inaccessible. These actions are nothing more than counter-productive. Those who depend on the service and the environment are most vulnerable to the whims of the city, yet the government continues to disregard for the responsibility they hold.