Obies Must Support Public Transit

Jillian Hostetler, College sophomore

To the Editors:

It’s no secret that the millennial generation is recognized as an agent of change. Millennials are already hailed as people who will take the ideas of past generations and make them a reality.

As Oberlin students, this is something many of us realize. In a lot of ways, we have already taken action to benefit the world around us. We are known as a place where people have strong opinions that they stand up and fight for. We know what we want the world around us to look like, so we aim to change whatever holds us back, whether that is a social norm or a public policy.

Earlier this year, Governor of Ohio John Kasich approved a $3 billion transportation plan, with most of the money going towards highway expansion. This is nothing new: Each year, new plans put around 20 percent of the budget towards public transit. However, the money going towards public transit, including bike paths, has been slashed yearly, meaning that our public transportation systems are increasingly lacking funds. This decrease in public transit money (and corresponding increase in highway expansion) is an environmental problem as well; one public bus takes up to 50 cars off the highway.

As Oberlin students, we should take it upon ourselves to encourage the state government to support a new transportation plan — one that makes our public transportation cleaner and more efficient. This alternative plan has the potential to specifically benefit Oberlin as well, especially if you consider the increased budget for bike paths.

It is time for us to start stepping into our role as innovators and leaders and oppose highway expansions at the expense of a public transportation system that could be much cleaner and more effective. This highway expansion plan is unacceptable, and the people of Ohio would largely benefit from a more advanced public transit plan.

– Jillian Hostetler

College sophomore