Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Justice demands that Salem fund a fully-functional transit system

And realize that once you starve the transit system enough to kill service on weekends, you force people to live in the used car economy where they are easy prey for the sleazy used car dealers who are so abundant in Salem; and once people have to fork out for a used car and insurance, and pay the outrageous used car interest rates, their cheapest choice day to day is to drive.

In fact the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which surveyed Americans about daily commutes and their effects, discovered a virtual horror show. They found the longer the commute, the higher the levels of one's obesity, cholesterol, pain, fatigue and anxiety.

What's more, the costs of commuting disproportionately hit those with modest incomes. For the working poor, commuting gobbles up roughly 6 percent of income - double the percentage of those bringing home higher salaries, says Robert Puentes, a senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program for the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution.

For the working poor who drive alone - instead of in carpools, for instance - that percentage rises to 8 percent to 9 percent of income.