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Expanded public transportation would be good for the city

Dec 10, 2013 - Rouven Hoelzein, Riverton

Editor:

Riverton needs some more public transportation. I think that increased public transportation in the form of a larger bus line with more service would greatly increase the ability of many people to get around in town, including teens who cannot drive yet, or afford a car.

In Germany, where I am from, we have a very good public transportation system that allows for many people to get to work, shop, and travel between cities and towns. In Germany, I live in a suburb 3 miles away from the city of 80,000 people. There are only 2,000 people living in this suburb, but we are able to get a bus every half hour, which allows people from all walks of life access to shopping, dining, entertainment and education.

An expanded, dedicated bus line that connects the most important places of Riverton, including CWC, downtown, and the edge of town shopping on North Federal, would allow many more people to access these places regularly.

I know Riverton does have some public transportation available, including the senior citizen bus, WRTA shuttle to and from Lander, and some taxi service. However, these are limited in service areas and times that they run. Public transportation is statistically proven to be efficient and safe. Furthermore, as Riverton continues to develop, it would allow a growing population access to all that the city has to offer.

I understand that financing a bus line has the potential to be very costly initially and that the public might be reluctant to put money in a project like this. Long-term, though, a public transportation system has the potential of saving the people of Riverton money on gasoline, less congested streets and parking, and less associated repair on streets. It could create jobs, and it could make Riverton more enticing for newcomers and visitors alike.

Also, it actually might boost the local economy, as more people might have more regular access to shopping. It might even be possible to use the existing school buses toward this end. I would be interested in knowing where the citizens of Riverton stand on this issue.

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