Public transportation would benefit Troy

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The “Mayor for the Day Contest” is a great idea. It lets students have a voice in the city government. Hopefully, it will also help create some new and different ideas that city leadership can use to promote and help our city. It would be neat to hear Troy’s history and get to tour historic Troy, Alabama. It would also give me an idea of what being a public servant is all about. If I were ‘Mayor for a Day,” there is one thing I think Troy could add to make it the best it can be. Public Transportation! I believe public transportation improves the appeal of Troy while providing a greatly needed service that will bring in more tax revenues. If public transportation could stop at key locations, such as the hospital, stores, downtown, the senior center, points of recreation, the library, and key employers, it would give many people without the ability to drive or own a car, a way to get to and from work and provide them with access to important services.

With a well planned and well run public transportation system, new and old employers would thrive with a larger work force being made available by adding all those people who had no way to get to work. This would in turn generate more tax revenues that would allow the city to renovate and repair some of the older historic buildings in the downtown Troy area. It would also allow Troy to expand existing services and create new ones for its residents. A good start would be for the city to purchase two twenty-five person buses to run two separate routes in the city. One route could cover Troy University to handle students and support staff. This same bus would also be used to cover large key employers in the city and transport seasonal agricultural workers. The second bus would be used to pick up the elderly, people in need of health care, and people who need to buy groceries or shop. The use of the second bus to assist the elderly and people in need of health care is especially important as these people are the most at need in any community. This is also true in a small town like Troy with no mass transit and where many of the elderly may not have any friends or family to help them get to the doctor or to the grocery store. As a side benefit, having a city employee check in on the elderly for a regular bus pick up insures that if something has gone wrong in their home, there is someone there to check in on that person and get them help if they need it.

The bus that provides transportation for shoppers and health care would generate new sales tax revenues by expanding the customer base of local businesses. The bus that covered the University and key employers would generate additional tax revenue and help expand opportunities for new employers. If either of the busses have excess time during the day, that time could be devoted to taking people on city and University tours. The city could also use the busses to raise money by renting them out to churches and private schools for field trips at a discounted rate. During University football games the city could use the busses to alleviate parking problems around the stadium by picking people up downtown, at Walmart, or other businesses with large parking areas. The city could charge each passenger a $2.00 shuttle fee each way to help offset the cost of the bus. The buses could also be used during Troy Fest to bring people into the downtown area. A rural route could also be set up to run every couple of weeks where people could be brought in to shop from Goshen, Banks, and Brundidge.

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It is time for the City to take the next big step and provide this much needed service. The investment of purchasing the buses and paying the drivers should be covered by the increase in sales tax revenue to the city. Also a motto could be created that would be put on the buses such as, ‘Troy, Serving It’s Own!’ or, ‘Troy Cares!’ With the addition of this service, the appeal of Troy increases to the outside public looking at Troy as a possible home town in the future.

Jackson Thomas

Pike Liberal Arts School


Editor’s note: This is Jackson’s winning entry into the Mayor for a Day Essay Contest.