Life on the Line: Chronicling the Lives of Public Transit Commuters

Photo by Terence S. Jones.

The Boston Globe has been chronicling the life of commuters on one of Boston’s most important public transit lines, Bus 19. The stories are sobering and humbling, providing context into the lives of those who depend on public transportation to reach work, education and basic necessities.

Bus 19 rides through some of the poorest neighborhoods of Boston, and it serves as a “lifeline,” the Boston Globe explains. Thousands of people ride Bus 19 everyday, each one with similar struggles but a unique story.

Here is the most recent story the Boston Globe published on the struggles of two brothers who rely on Bus 19 to attain an education. You can read the rest of the stories here.

These kinds of personal anecdotes around public transportation remind us of the importance of making mass transit accessible and affordable, which is why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announcement of the third round of TIGER funds are exciting. This federal grant will hopefully help build solutions to local transportation problems around the nation.

Investing these federal grants into public transportation is of utmost importance, especially since the New America Foundation’s “Energy Trap” project showed us the difficulties of owning and maintaining private vehicles. The financial burden of owning private vehicles is unsustainable, not to mention its harmful effects on the environment, congestion and urbanization.

Do you ride public transportation? Has your city received TIGER funds? If so, how was it used? Share with us in the comments section below.

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