How much support is given to non-car forms of transportation in our state?
Before NCDOT’s current financial woes, in 2018-2019, North Carolina’s Department of Transportation had a budget of $5 billion dollars.
From NCDOT’s $5 billion budget, public transit’s share was only $124.5 million for the entire state, which has 90 transit systems. (Note: many of the budget decisions for how NCDOT can spend money come not from NCDOT but from the General Assembly.) This lack of serious financial support makes it impossible to have the type of transit systems that communities ask for.
People often say they don’t take the bus because of the amount of time it takes over driving. Would it be different if buses had more funding, dedicated lanes, and more input from those who depend on them most? And what does the amount of money given to transit say about how our state values those who cannot drive or don’t have access to a car?
The Summit will have a panel discussion that will address several issues related to mobility as it impacts people who are blind or visually impaired or otherwise disabled. With advances in technology, changes in the ways people get around and aging Baby Boomers, increasing numbers of people with disabilities are out and about and engaging in society on all levels. The need for transit and transportation services and infrastructure which will allow for safe and effective travel for school, work, healthcare, social and cultural interactions and engagement has never been more important to the growing community of people with disabilities.
This session will spotlight the needs of those for whom transit is not just an alternative to driving, but a main part of their independence and mobility.
UPDATE: You can watch the discussion below: