Public transportation is an essential service for many residents in Lewiston-Auburn. On April 12, The Visible Community submitted 499 signed cards asking city councilors from Lewiston and Auburn to support “Option C” of the plan that consultant Tom Crikelair submitted to the Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee.
Option C includes expanded morning and evening service, new services to Little Canada, area elementary schools, and Auburn industrial sites, and Saturday service. These expanded services will help people in our communities get to and from work, go to school, attend parent-teacher conferences, shop at area businesses, and to participate in activities that they may otherwise not be able to attend.
I know that many residents are concerned about the cost of the bus system, but I think it’s important to put into context how all transportation, not just the bus, is a subsidized service. Road construction, snow removal, sanding, the creation of parking lots, and police that enforce traffic and parking laws are all paid for by a variety of funding sources including local and federal tax dollars that we all pay. Unfortunately, we don’t all get to benefit from the roads equally.
The increase in spending needed for Option C is an average of 0.25 percent of the total budget for Lewiston-Auburn. Lewiston alone spent more than $1 million on snow removal in 2008. Option C would cost the city only $222,000. This is just a drop in the bucket considering how many people would benefit from the changes.
I support Option C.
Ari Rosenberg, Lewiston