On Saturday, June 1, NEWCC joined other Detroit activists at the Detroit Peoples Platform conference held at Marygrove College. It was inspiring to hear what other groups are doing to save our city, and sobering to realize that the lack of reliable transportation hinders many of their efforts. Good jobs, healthy food, health care and affordable housing, all require that those in need be able to get around in a safe and timely manner. As public transportation deteriorates, it becomes harder to get to jobs, to food, to health care, and to find safe, affordable housing.
NEWCC spoke to what we have been doing to push back, and listened to stories from those hit hardest by lack of maintenance, lack of security, and lack of reliable scheduling. Stories of people losing their leisure time and family time as they leave home hours earlier to get to work on time, then lose more time they will never get back, waiting hours for a bus to bring them home.
Bus rider Yvette, told of a co-worker who was robbed, leaving her home at 4 am in the dark, trying hard to hold on to her maintenance level salary.
She addressed the hardship to working parents paying late charges for child care. The loss of important family and leisure time.
People who take the bus to work are not the dregs of society, They are heroes, in a Promethean struggle against a system designed to keep the poor poor, while using taxes on the wages they sweat and bleed to earn, to make it easier for the more prosperous to play.