Saturday, April 3, 2010

Stranded in Clayton County

A couple of days ago the Clayton County public buses (C-Tran) shut down. The reason, from what I understand, is the lack of a budget to keep it running. More than 5,000 people relied on that public system and, according to interviews done by local media on the last day, a lot of people didn't know what they were going to do. Here's a link to an article that our local newspaper the AJC posted about the situation.

The day of the shut down, and for the past two days, as I've driven the streets of my community I am saddened even more than I was before. It has already bothered me to see so many people waiting for the bus or trudging along with children in inclement weather as I zoom along with the other cars seemingly taking my transportation for granted. Now I see a few people walking - no more than normal it doesn't seem - and I'm reminded of what "they" say: The more affluent, northern communities shuttled the po' folk to this southern county and have been trying for years to keep us here. That's the reason "they" give for why MARTA (the main public transport system) doesn't venture pass certain areas in all directions.

Whether it's true or not is still up for debate and it's relatively unimportant given the very real and current C-Tran situation. I am saddened that an entire county of people has been left to fend for themselves. Personally, I don't know anyone who was relying on the bus, but I wish that I did because I feel like I should be doing something to help.

What is the solution to this problem and how can we make it right?