It may seem a bit unusual that a non-profit focused solely on educational issues has an interest in regional transportation needs, but transit is, in fact, an education issue.
That’s why WakeEd supports the transit referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot and urges our supporters to vote Yes to approve the Transit Plan.
Improving transit options, modes, and corridors affects education in two ways. First, by removing more cars from the roadways on a daily basis it will make it easier for families and school buses to get to and from school. Fewer cars on the road reduce bus route times which means students may not have to leave so early for or come home so late from school.
Second, a robust transit system is an equalizer for older students who would be able to use public transit as an option when personal or school transportation isn’t available. An example of this would be in the case of a student who would like to attend a magnet high school with a particular program, but is ineligible for school transportation. A student would be able to use public transit to reach the high school of choice.
In addition, there are plenty of students who are old enough to ride transit who wish to participate in after-school activities but cannot because they have no way of efficiently getting home afterwards. Improved bus routes and Bus Rapid Transit would become viable options for these students.
Transit provides equity. Students who are limited by geography, family availability, or other reasons from fully participating in their educational experience lack equity. That lack of equity may result in reduced opportunity for capable students for no reason they can control.
Wake County Public School System does an adequate job to reduce inequities through its transportation department, but it can’t provide all of the transportation options that families want or need. A strong public transit system can fill in the gaps, and that is why we recommend a Yes vote on Nov. 8.
Together, let\’s Move Wake County Forward.