Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

Voices For Transit

We All Benefit

Whether you ride or not, public transportation benefits all of us. It reduces pollution, eases traffic congestion, and helps our communities thrive. In cities, suburbs, and rural America, public transit provides vital connections to jobs, education, medical care, and our larger communities. Help us keep America moving.

  • A Right to an Independent Life

    Think about what it means to you or to someone you love to be able to independently get to where you need to go.

    Now consider what would happen if you were to lose that independence...This is the reality for many millions of Americans across the nation.

    Public transportation is a lifeline for millions of people who can’t drive or who cannot afford a car because of age, disability, or financial circumstances. Others may choose to forego their vehicle because of the environment or to give themselves greater financial freedom or freedom of choice in other aspects of their lives.

    A Basic Individual Right

    The right to movement — or mobility — is protected under the U.S. Constitution, similar to our freedom of speech and religion, and being able to move independently is crucial to the exercise of many of our other freedoms and many of the opportunities Americans often take for granted. In this blog post, we’re sharing stories from riders who are able to exercise their right to be mobile thanks to public transit.

    My [approximately hour-long] commute from Manson (WA) to Wenatchee Valley College could cost over $10/day. That's over $50/week in fuel on a student income. The Link Transit Service is a critical resource for me and many other students that live in my rural community, not to mention those that commute for employment that sustains their families. Link Transit is indispensable!

    — Washington Transit Rider

    Public transportation is my sole source for mobility. One of my college degrees was made possible by the availability and accessibility of public transportation.

    — Tennessee Transit Rider

    [Reducing transit services] would take my independence away. I do not like to ask anybody to take me anywhere unless I absolutely have to. I would not be able to go to the grocery store or other shopping on a limited income.

    — Ohio Transit Rider

    In a county like Erie, PA, it [reducing or eliminating transit] would be devastating. There would be people who would have to find other homes or other work because public transportation connects them. Thirty-three percent of people in Erie use public transit.

    — Pennsylvania Supporter

    These stories show how public transit improves individual lives, as well as underscore some of the devastating consequences if public transportation funding were to be cut significantly. But mobility is considered a key freedom not just because it’s important to individuals, but also because it’s vital to the functioning of our society and economy as a whole.

    The Bottom Line when it Comes to Mobility

    At its core, mobility improves people’s lives and communities, and public transit improves mobility both for those who ride and those who don’t. Every American — including every member of Congress — should recognize that public transit funding is essential to our quality of life, especially as our population continues to grow and the need for a more mobile workforce expands.

    Share Your Mobility Story with Us

    Voices for Public Transit needs to hear and share more great stories that demonstrate the importance of public transit. Every American’s right to mobility should be supported by federal funding for public transportation. Please share your story today.

  • What Does Mobility Mean to You?

    What makes members of Congress sit up and take notice? Real stories…personal stories…authentic experiences that demonstrate the impact of public transportation in giving more people crucial mobility and greater independence.

    Stories from individuals like you are key to motivating lawmakers to take a stand and take action. We need Congress to stand up and support public transit funding when they finalize the federal budget this fall — and your stories are going to help us win the day.

    What Makes a Great Mobility Story?

    Ultimately, the personal details are what make a story compelling. Here are just a few suggestions for things you can share that will help us demonstrate the importance of independent mobility for individuals and communities across the nation:

    • Has public transit helped you access work or education?
      For some people, public transportation has opened up educational and employment opportunities. We’ve heard amazing stories from public transit supporters who were able to attend school or reach work because of public transportation.

    • Do you use public transit to volunteer in your community or connect with friends and family?
      Public transit enables many people to make connections—not just from one place to another, but with other people. Tell us how riding public transit helps you connect with others and make a difference in your community.

    • Does public transit connect you or people you know to events, shopping, or cultural attractions?
      Public transit improves the flow of commerce in many communities by connecting people to shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and more.

    • Do mobility choices provided by public transit improve your quality of life?
      Public transportation gives millions of people choices for how they get around. That’s important both for those who can’t drive and for those who prefer not to.

    Every story counts — tell us why mobility independence matters to you today.

  • Public Transit Supports Personal Independence

    For the July 4 holiday, we looked at how public transit broadly supports the freedom of movement — a right protected under the Constitution — and mobility independence.

    Today, Voices for Public Transit advocates are sharing their own stories of how a comprehensive public transportation system supports their personal mobility. The fact is, public transportation supports independent living for many Americans who can’t drive or don’t have access to a car.

    Public Transportation Keeps Us Moving

    Many public transit advocates or their family members use public transportation to overcome challenges and lead fuller lives. Here are just a few examples from our recent World Without Transit survey:

    Due to a visual impairment, I cannot drive a car. Therefore, I'd be unemployed with no income if it weren't for public transit to get me back and forth to my two part-time jobs.

    — Darrel F., Illinois

    I have severe anxiety, ADHD, and Asperger’s and therefore take a lot of medication for those conditions. As a result, I cannot drive, because it would be too dangerous for both me as well as people around me…. Using public transportation helps me with my independence and my life as a whole.

    — Christopher C., Texas

    I'm a female disabled vet. I have no working car. Without public transit I would not be able to get to medical care, or to my part-time work, or to see my friends. Public transit is my lifeline.

    — Karen D., California

    My son is blind and uses public transportation to get to work, church, entertainment, and shopping. This is important for so many reasons.

    — Marcia M., Texas

    I'm a single mom on disability going to college on my own and supporting a teenage girl on my own so I need the bus to get to school and home. If I didn't have the bus, I couldn't go back to school.

    — Jennifer S., California

    I don't have a car and can’t afford one; I use the bus to get to work, grocery shop, and run my other errands. I moved to Colorado because I was told that you could get anywhere on the bus or light rail, and it’s true.

    — Clarice D., Colorado

    I'm on a fixed income, and I cannot afford the expense of a personal vehicle, as much as I'd love to have an economical car again. So, I rely on my local bus system. I'm thankful to have public transportation in my area.

    — Dawn F., Pennsylvania

    As you can see, public transit not only provides mobility for those who can’t drive, but is also essential for many individuals and families confronting financial challenges. We’re hearing from advocates who are able to attend school, reach work, and connect with their communities because of public transportation. Our nation should be proud that we’ve established the foundation of a public transportation network that supports mobility and independent living for millions of people, including seniors, people with disabilities, vets, and lower-income Americans — but we still have a long way to go before public transportation will be accessible to everyone who needs it.

    Unfortunately, public transportation is now threatened by substantial federal budget cuts, which could set our nation back decades in the progress we should be making toward a truly integrated, multi-modal transportation network. Voices for Public Transit will continue working to ensure our congressional champions know they have the support of voters around the country.

    Do you have a story you would like to share about why public transportation is important to you? Are you able to live more independently, pursue employment or educational opportunities, or connect with your community because of public transit? We’d like to hear about it. Please share your story at this link.

  • Public Transit Matters to Local Businesses

    Several of America’s largest employers made significant moves over the past few years:

    • In January 2016, GE announced its headquarters would leave Fairfield, Conn., and relocate to Boston.
    • Timber and wood products giant Weyerhaeuser moved its headquarters to downtown Seattle in 2016 after 45 years in the suburban town of Federal Way, Wash.
    • McDonald’s announced it would move its corporate offices from suburban Oak Brook, Ill., to Chicago by spring 2018.
    • Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, has plans to relocate its headquarters to Bethesda, Md.

    What do all of these moves have in common? Proximity to public transportation.

    • Weyerhaeuser spokesman Jack Evans called access to transit "a big deal" for employees.
    • Marriott CEO Arne Sorensen specifically praised public transit as a lure for hiring, saying, “I think it’s essential we be accessible to Metro… I think, as with many other things, our younger folks are more inclined to be Metro-accessible and more urban.”

    These companies not only want to improve commutes for employees, but also be located where new, young talent wants to work. In our previous blog, we highlighted how access to public transportation is a key factor for Millennials when they decide where to live and work. In a recent Voices for Public Transit survey, business owners said public transit is critical to having the best workforce possible: “Providing [transit] access to all employees is critical to attracting quality talent.”

    Insurance giant State Farm has gone a step further. In three locations, the company is making investments in local public transit hubs. The company’s goal is to improve the quality of life for their employees and lay the foundation for future growth. According to Chief Operating Officer Michael Tipsord, “We’re designing these workplaces to be the future of State Farm. We’re creating a live-work-play environment that will give employees easy access to their work from the neighboring communities.”

    Corporate relocations or moves near public transportation can bring bountiful commercial, cultural, and retail benefits to the surrounding communities. In many areas, developers are investing in new housing in conjunction with public transit expansions. State Farm itself is anchoring a $600 million investment in Tempe, Ariz., and public transit access was a big reason for the company’s decision to move forward with this investment.

    Ever more frequently, the presence of public transportation is a primary factor in business decisions. It’s obvious public transportation infrastructure warrants public investment not just for the benefit of the people who ride it but also for their larger communities, so they may reap the benefits of increased economic activity, improved traffic congestion, and greater safety for everyone.

  • Multi-modal Transportation = Freedom to Choose

    Some Americans believe public transportation is only for people who can’t drive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Today, millions of Americans choose to ride public transit, often combining it with other forms of transportation, such as cars and bikes, to get where they need to go as comfortably and cost-effectively as possible.

    Notably, surveys show Millennials favor cities with public transportation because it gives them the freedom to live without a car. In one survey of Millennials, 80 percent said access to public transportation was “very important” when they considered where to live, while 78 percent ranked access to public transportation as more important than other workplace amenities, such as access to a gym, cafeteria, or coffee bar.

    Why Americans Choose Public Transit

    According to a 2015 survey, top reasons people choose to ride public transit include:

    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Productivity or relaxation
    • Convenience
    • Reduced carbon footprint
    • Faster that driving
    • Safety

    Public transit also supports an active lifestyle. Many people today are multimodal travelers, combining walking, bicycling, rideshare services, and public transportation to get to their destinations. Even those who drive are more frequently choosing also to use public transportation, leaving their cars at park & rides and letting the bus or train get them through the worst of the traffic in their area.

    Research also shows a great many Americans — 80 percent — would choose to ride buses and rail more often if service were more frequent or more accessible in their area. While many systems around the country have added new lines and services in recent years, there also is a nearly $90 billion backlog of needed maintenance and upgrades.

    As much as anything, public transportation gives Americans more freedom to choose — how they travel, where they live and work, to remain independent when they can’t drive, to reduce their individual impact on the environment or their living expenses, and much more. Investing in public transportation as part of a comprehensive, multi-modal transportation system just makes sense for Americans from all walks of life.

  • Advocate spotlight

    David R.

    I am a regular rider of SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Agency), Philadelphia's transit agency.

    Read More

  • Share Your Experience

    Tell us why you support investments in public transportation for your community.

    Make your story available for use?