The RTM vote on May 7 — on whether to restore $60,000 to the Transit District budget, thus funding the entire $248,000 originally proposed — is generating greater debate than most cuts of far greater amounts.
On one side are Westporters citing the benefits of commuter buses: higher property values, less road congestion and pollution, personal savings on cars and gas and insurance, even the camaraderie that comes with riding to the train station with neighbors and friends.
On the other side are Westporters upset about low ridership, the subsidy of mass transit by taxpayers, and the inefficiency of the current system.
I come down strongly on the side of full funding. To me, it’s an important statement about town priorities: We support mass transit because it’s important environmentally. In addition, we want to solve the long-time traffic and parking woes at the station. Plus, it attracts people to town, and raises everyone’s standard of living.
Will that view prevail on May 7? Stay tuned.