I am a life-long resident of Allegheny County who has used ACCESS para-transit for 26 years to go to school, medical appointments, shop, participate in my community and, for the last 17 years, work. My tax dollars help to support this economy.
ACCESS, which for the past 30 years has run from 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week, is what we who can't drive have built our lives around. Once again, now that our lives have been built and we are living them to the fullest, the threat remains that if adequate funding is not secured, we could lose our jobs and independence.
Clearly there is growing support from the governor, the Legislature and the Port Authority to address the issue of transportation. The outcome must be one that deals with a long-term funding solution for ACCESS and public transit, as well as roads and bridges.
We must find a way to maintain fixed bus routes and keep ACCESS running at current levels. If we fail to do so, many talented, contributing members of our community will be out of work, with no consistent way to participate. The greater community, in turn, will have to support us in the form of welfare. The better option is to see that fixed-route bus service and ACCESS get funded at their current levels of service, and for the long term.