« The Energy of A Community | Main | Home is Where the Heart is »

Ignoring the Masses

When I was told to find a social design issue I immeidately thought of the lack of mass transportation in Minneapolis and it's surrounding areas. Mass transportation can mean anything from buses to taxis to above ground trains to subways, but in Minneapolis it means the light rail and the bus system. Even though we have these two systems they are more than inadequate and greatly need to be improved. What happens to people who choose or can't afford to own a car? How do they get around or city as fast and efficiently as possible? The answer is they don't.
I have experienced this as a student at the University of Minnesota and not having a car here. I bought a bus pass and enjoy taking the bus and light rail places. It is way less expensive than what I would pay for three weeks worth of gas. However, on a weekend (Saturday or Sunday) day it would take me about an hour to get from the University of Minnesota to the University of St Thomas. The University of St Thomas is about three to four miles away from the U, so why does it take that long?? Because there aren't enough buses running multiple routes. This means that I have to ride all the way into downtown St. Paul and then loop back towards the campus. This is so inconvenient!!! Something that should be so revolutionary in the way we get around is so time consuming.
If we could change this and get a better and more elaborate mass transportation system than there would be less car traffic and emissions. This would benefit everyone, no matter if you were riding the bus or driving a car.
We can change this. In November we will have the oppurtunity to vote on whether parts of our tax money will go to expanding mass transportation. However, what many people don't know is that this money is already being taken out of our taxes. Right now it is being used to balance our general state budget, they took it away from mass transportation. This fall we will vote on whether or not the money will get swapped back into the right place. A lot of people don't know that this is the case and this needs to be changed. This proposition requires a 60/40 vote and if one doesn't vote than it is an automatic nay. We must make sure that the general public knows about this and votes yes because this is the time to change it.
We must not think that the mass transportation system affects only lower class people who can't afford a car. This is something that affects everyone within this city who needs to get around. This something that will benefit the lives of everyone and needs to be fixed.
Talk to legislators, fellow citizens, talk to them about the issue. Ask them if they have ever tried to use the bus or the lightrail after 7 or on the weekends and if it was convenient. My guess is that most of them will say no.