Friday, June 27, 2008

Guest Blog: Free VTA Buses EVERYDAY

This is a letter that my friend, Alexandra Wilson, wrote to the San Jose Mercury News. They chose not to print it, but I think it should be heard so I'm posting it here so others may see it.


It is time for us to publicly finance our public transit system. The VTA needs to greatly increase bus routes, number of buses, and their frequencies in Santa Clara County, and with no fare for riders for any of the buses. That's right-- free of charge. This is how we will get people out of their cars, lowering our demand on oil-- foreign or domestic. Spare the Air Day and Earth Day are not enough dedication on our part to make a difference in the quality of our environment, although with Spare the Air day last Thursday the ridership was at least doubled according to three VTA bus drivers I spoke with.

For people not willing to use public transit even if there were "free" and highly efficient, they would still benefit from the dramatic reduction in traffic, which leads to safer, less congested roads and cleaner air. This will also set a positive trend for surrounding counties to invest in their mass transit systems as well. Investing in our transit system via sales tax is truly a tangible, inarguable way for every person to offset their own carbon use. Also, with efficient, convenient, and free transit near your house, the value of your property will increase, making this a smart investment - not just a waste of our hard-earned money

Lastly, reducing our demand on natural resources is what will prevent acts of terrorism from happening in the future. It is a clear step that we as Americans are taking toward being active participants in the global community, as world leaders not merely through economics, but by setting a positive example for developing nations.

It is a good time to remind each other of our constitutional preamble:

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People need to help each other out of this crisis or there will not be a people. It is scary to see this "to each his own" attitude that has struck our society. It is our duty as Americans to defend our nation, which is more than a collection of businesses and properties; it is also the delicate beauty of nature that we have inherited and our strong unity that makes us more than a people and a land, but a nation.

Alexandra Wilson

I wrote a shorter version, hoping they might print something less wordy, but alas,


Second Harvest Food Bank is the solution for many who are seeking relief from the impacts of rising oil prices, VTA is also a remedy - but won't be the same level of relief needed until ALL rides are free. The free bus ride day needs to be every day - not just because every day is Earth Day, but because the end of oil is upon us and we need to change our behavior NOW!

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