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Public Transportation: A Blessing or a Curse or Both?

“You don’t know what you got until it’s gone” is a cliché that rings true to me lately.  I never appreciated having a car until I no longer had one. I now rely on public transportation to get around.  There are several positive aspects of public transportation including NOT worrying about finding parking, breaking down, running out of gas, flat tires and the other maintenance issues with cars. Of course, it’ much cheaper, too. A monthly, unlimited bus pass runs from $90 - $120, depending on the fare needed. 

But lately, public transportation feels like a cumbersome way of life for me. Some of the everyday hassles I face include allocating a lot of extra time into my already busy life to be able to catch the bus and stay on schedule, not always having bus fare, or missing buses or the train, leaving me to wait even longer for the next one.

A picture I took of a bus stuck sideways blocking traffic leaving bus riders stranded on foot trying to get home.

This brings to mind the snow storms we’ve had within past month. The buses were hours late, the snow was up to my knees making it hard to walk, plus it was freezing cold, making it hard to wait outside. When everything is running so late, sometimes it’s hard to know if the bus will come at all.  Snow storm days are days that every bus rider hopes they never have to repeat anytime soon.

Here are a few other things that make bus riding difficult: Most of the bus stops do have shelter or heat and many are not shoveled in a timely manner, making boarding the bus a serious fall risk. Cold weather and poor footing make it incredibly difficult to lug 60-80 lbs. of food home from the grocery store, food shelf, etc., not to mention the struggle of trying to find a place to sit with all those groceries.  This is a day-in and day-out way of life for people like me who ride public transportation year around. It’s just much more difficult during the winter months.

But I know I am not alone in this matter. Many of the other job seekers that use the resources at Daily Work rely on public transportation to commute to their meetings, jobs etc. I see them arrive early or late for appointments and also have to turn down potentially good jobs or shifts with better pay because the busses do not run at all the times or places needed.

I want you to know that you, as donors, help Daily Work ease the struggle we face. Your donations help provide bus tokens and passes to the job seekers who need them and can’t always afford monthly bus passes. Donations of hats and gloves are greatly needed for those who are out in cold relying on public transportation to meet their needs.  Winters in Minnesota are tough enough without having to ride the bus, but with your help, we have a little less struggle every day.  


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