From today's Democrat:
Take survey to help improve StarMetro's routes and times
Jane Johnson and Roxanne Hughes, My View
1:11 p.m. EDT May 11, 2015
If you are lucky enough to own a car, imagine yourself without it. Now go
through your daily and weekly routines and solve for your transportation
dilemma. The obvious answer for most is, "I would take the bus." Many
residents in our community do just that, though they might tell you that it
can be challenging.
During the course of several community conversations last fall, the
Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CSWG)
gained insight about the challenges women and girls often face in trying to
achieve or maintain economic security. One was the critical role that
reliable and safe public transportation plays as a bridge to employment,
higher education and personal well-being. We heard from women who rely on
StarMetro as their primary method of transportation and women who would rely
on public transportation if it met their needs that:
There are areas of Tallahassee and Leon County, such as Woodville, which are
not served by the current bus routes.
Parents who have to take a bus to work must make multiple stops to drop kids
off and get to work - and many day care centers are not on bus routes -
leading to early wake-up times and long commutes.
Students who live far from campus may feel unsafe using public
transportation when trying to get home from campus at night.
Grocery shopping for older adults who no longer drive is difficult on the
bus and so they must rely on friends and family to either take them to the
grocery store or do their grocery shopping for them.
The costs of owning and maintaining a car may exceed the cost of using
public transportation, but the time and convenience tradeoffs you have to
make to ride the bus can actually be more expensive in the long run.
Based on the feedback that we heard during our community conversations, it
seems that StarMetro has done a good job of making public transportation
affordable, but being able to afford the bus is only one piece of the puzzle
- it also has to be able to get you where you need to go, when you need to
The CSWG has collaborated with StarMetro to assess how service options for
buses can be improved to meet the needs of women, girls and all residents
working to build economic security for themselves and their families.
Together with Brian Waterman, StarMetro's transit planning manager, we have
developed a short survey - now we need
We urge all members of our community to participate in the Star Metro survey
at: www.starmetrosurvey.com by May 23 to provide important data which will
inform StarMetro's decisions about routes, times and other service issues
next year and in the future.
Jane Johnson and Roxanne Hughes are Commissioners on the Tallahassee/Leon
County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
Take the survey at StarMetroSurvey.com by May 23.
You can also fill out a hard copy survey at The Oasis Center for Women &
Girls, 317 E. Call St.