Last Thursday, HSC participated in a Transportation Town Hall sponsored by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the Better Bus Coalition to urge investment in public transit. In addition to HSC, a variety of community stakeholders and elected officials expressed their support, including: leaders of the Better Bus Coalition, the Business Chamber and SORTA; Mayor Cranley, Council Member PG Sittenfeld, and State Rep. Bill Seitz. In addition to emphasizing the urgent and critical need for investment in public transit, HSC advocated that the Transportation Empowerment Fund and Access service improvements be part of the plan. “As Executive Director of the Human Services Chamber, I have had the opportunity to talk to people all over Hamilton County who rely on the bus as their sole means of transportation,” said Gina Marsh, Executive Director of HSC. “For these people, the bus is literally a lifeline, their only means of getting to work, to medical appointments and the grocery store….we need to get to the point where we know that even though we don’t ride the bus personally, we are all connected in this.”
While the Human Services Chamber is working with the Better Bus Coalition, the Business Chamber and others to advocate for more public transit investment, it has not endorsed a particular funding plan. Given the high stakes and the uphill battle that will be required for this levy to pass next year, it is important that our elected leaders and primary stakeholders, including both the City and County, unify behind a plan. HSC will continue to hold out hope for compromise.