Let your voice be heard on how inadequate public transportation in Vermont affects you!
SEVCA’s recent Community Assessment found that that lower-income residents face enormous hurdles in getting to where they need to go in Southeastern Vermont, and this has a big impact on their ability to get and keep a job. Findings from our recent survey of over 350 lower-income households found that:
- 71% say that public transportation does not go where they need to go at the times they need it.
- The costs of car ownership are considerable, and unaffordable to many; 25% of those surveyed say they need a car but can’t afford one.
- For those low income households that do own a car, car payments, insurance, maintenance, fuel costs, etc., put a large dent in their budgets, making it more difficult for them to meet their other basic needs. A high proportion of those who have cars--almost 70%--say they have a hard time maintaining their cars, making car maintenance the most common concern cited. 23% say they don’t have car insurance because they can’t afford it.
- 43% cited problems with transportation as a reason they had trouble getting or keeping a job.
The state Transportation Board is holding public hearings to hear from residents about transportation needs, and we need to be sure they take the concerns of households with lower incomes into account. The only opportunity to participate in all of Southern Vermont will be in Bellows Falls on Wednesday, October 14 at 6 p.m. at the Rockingham Town Hall, Lower Theatre. So this is our one chance this year to have our voices heard and make an impact on the thorny issue of transportation, which everyone agrees is critically important but which has proven difficult to effectively address.
Topics the Board plans to discuss include:
- Both nationally and in Vermont, people are driving less and seeking to use alternative modes of transportation. What does this mean for the State’s future?
- What transportation options do people consider when choosing a place to live and work?
- How important are motor-vehicle alternatives such as rideshare, bicycle infrastructure, public transit, commuter rail, and vehicle-sharing such as Carshare Vermont and Zipcar?
- What urban transportation solutions can be adapted to rural areas?
- What should Vermont’s future passenger train service look like?
- What can Vermont do to make both walking and riding a bicycle safer?
- If the State legalizes the use of marijuana, what should be done to help keep roadways safe?