There is a group of our fellow Montanans who are missing out on some basic privileges. I’m not sure if people understand or are aware of what is going on in this state.
We have recently lost over 90% of our city-to-city bus service. Many Montanans who don’t drive cannot get to our major cities for important services such as medical care, job opportunities, higher education, and visiting family members. This greatly affects their ability to better their lives. The lack of bus service also impacts our state economy because so many people who used to travel to other cities no longer have the ability to do so. They have lost the opportunity to stay at a hotel, eat in a restaurant, or shop in the local stores.
We should make some decisions in this state to enhance people’s access to efficient, affordable, convenient transportation. This lack of bus service affects so many facets of what we have always stood for in this state.
I grew up here where people cared about their neighbors and assisted people who needed it. I am a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Montana. Our group promotes independence for blind Montanans and the recent developments in our transportation system have greatly devastated our ability to be self-dependent. This is true not only for those of us who are blind. It also impacts the ability of many other Montanans to travel independently around our state such as the elderly, handicapped, and those who cannot afford to drive.
There are companies in negotiation to supplement this issue. Unfortunately, there are hesitations and minimal commitments occurring. If we lose the remainder of our already depleted mobility, how shall we get there?