Letter: Both sides of mass transit debate should be examined



Your June 14 issue contained an editorial explaining why you support a “no” vote on the Nov. 8 ballot referendum for public mass transit. I don’t know if mass transit is what we need for our community, but it certainly deserves a good examination. Both sides need to address this issue with clarity and to make the case either for or against. I am sorry to say, your column does not benefit the debate.

You asked when did IndyGo last turn a profit. Since when is it the duty of a public service to turn a profit? Can you show me the profit from our public streets or our public schools? These are services paid for by citizens that benefit all citizens. You don’t have to drive a car to realize how our streets can help you. You can thank the police officer or the firefighter (both public servants) if you ever need their services at your residence because they used public streets to help you. So did the landscaper, painter or other private contractor you hired to do your work. You don’t have to have a child in school to know that an educated workforce is an asset we are fortunate to have in our community. How many of us, with or without children, would choose to move to an area with low-performing schools?

You also say that a disadvantage of mass transit includes “… possible threats to our personal safety on the ride and in our community.” Are you alluding to the possibility that people who are not as educated or as affluent as most Carmel residents may find an opportunity to work in our community? What makes you think these people will hurt us? It is to our economic benefit to expand our workforce. They don’t have to look like us. The seat on the bus does not discriminate. It welcomes all riders.

You offer no factual support of your “no” vote. This is a debate that should be based on facts and my vote will go to the side who does that best.

Michael Sweeten