To the editor:
The recent loss of our senior transportation
program and the overwhelming concern about our local taxi service --
we are now down to one -- I believe puts Lincoln in a very crucial
situation, to the point that it is now urgent that we explore the
possibility of public transportation!
Several years ago I was very concerned about this and brought my
idea to several officials. Some laughed at my suggestions. The most
common response was that it won't work here, it was tried in the
past -- the last time being a trolley, back in, I believe, 1988.
I suggested we re-evaluate our opinions since almost 20 years
have passed and much has changed since then. Among the changes are
continued growth on the west side and an increase in students at our
My reasons for concern that I pointed out were several, with one
due to the growth of not only the west side, but other areas, such
as Brainard Landings, several new subdivisions, etc.
2. The aging population of Lincoln, many who are dependent on
some form of transportation or flatly cannot afford the gasoline
cost to travel anywhere.
3. The increased growth at Lincoln College and Lincoln Christian
College. I have talked firsthand to many students who attend our
schools to get a tremendous education. I ask for their opinion of
what Lincoln needs, and the No. 1 concern was public transportation.
It seems the misconception by some is all students have vehicles.
Well, many don't, and some that do, have budget restrictions that
would prohibit them making too many trips across town. It is also a
really long walk from both campuses to Wal-Mart or Steak n Shake!
4. Budget cuts in services provided for not only our senior
citizens, but all people in general. I was concerned five years ago
about this happening more and more, yet no one seemed to take this
foreseen problem seriously.
5. The impact or potential impact on economic growth in the
future is also a concern. Many companies, when looking at a
community, come to explore all avenues, including public
transportation. Students looking to come to a school also check into
how they will be able to get around in that community. Believe me,
not many students can afford to pay $7 to $8 each way going to
Wal-Mart and Kroger's. Heaven forbid, should they also have to make
an extra stop on the way.
We need to do something now, before we're left with nothing!
[to top of second column in this letter]
I was approached once in October of 2006 and again in March by an
interested party wanting to provide service to Lincoln by renting
buses at an affordable fee for riders. They requested that I put
them in contact with who to talk to so they could make their
proposals. They showed me their planned routes and price range of $1
to $1.50 a ride one way. I brought this to the attention of those
that are in power to explore this possibility, again meeting with
strong resistance and references to past failures. I went back and
relayed my results, to be informed by one that we're never going to
achieve growth if we're not willing to try something new, for this
would be a tremendous opportunity for this community.
I strongly believed at that time that this could work and would
not cost the community a large sum of money, as they would be
leasers and responsible for the three buses, sort of like a contract
as the taxi has with the city. But old memories are hard to ease,
and bleak budget projections put dampers on many ideas that come
Yes, maybe back in 1988 there was nothing to speak of at that
time out on the west side and far less students attending our
schools. It was a big risk at that time, set up to fail, as there
was not much interest.
Today is completely different, and while Logan County Board
Chairman Dick Logan is frantically working to try and restore
funding for our senior transportation program, the rest of you need
to take notice immediately of this serious problem and do something
to address this now, as we're basically one taxi breakdown away from
having no dependable transportation for the citizens of Logan
County and Lincoln in general!
I invite all concerned people to let their local officials know
of your concerns. Voice your opinion on this issue! If I'm wrong, in
your opinion, then tell me, as I strongly believe we need to make
this a top priority in our future development of economic growth!
Keep also in mind that there are a couple of hundred locals that
also depend on some form of transportation to get to and from work
each day. Should we lose this permanently, most may choose not to
keep their jobs, and people not working or able to get to stores to
spend more means much less sales tax revenue and more dependence on
So the time is now to at least explore the possibilities of some
form of affordable public transportation, and now!
Logan County Board member
and concerned local citizen
of this community
(The above is a transcription of a handwritten article.)
related article previously posted in LDN.)
September 19, 2007]
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