The breaking point came when she was stuck waiting for the bus in 10 degree weather. “January. 2nd, I waited for the bus 45 minutes it happened on Carew, and I suffer from a bad arthritis,” she recalled.
So she got involved with Neighbor to Neighbor, an organization designed to improve the city’s quality of life.
The group, along with Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy surveyed 362 low income and Latino residents in Springfield, Worchester, Lynn, and East Boston.
It found that transportation makes a huge impact on their lives, trying to decide between shelling out money for cars or using public transportation, which isn’t always dependable.
Nearly 1 in 4 in Springfield, including people like Ana, sometimes having to cough up money to family members or friends for rides. “I used to pay gasoline all the time, to go to the grocery store, to get to the pharmacy, for medication,” added Sanoguel.
According to the schedule, the G3 bus on Liberty St. was more than 10 minutes late this afternoon. It’s a problem the PVTA is well aware of, and blames on funding. “What’s horrible is our level of service. our frequencies are horrible, our span of service is horrible in order to fix that, you need funding. For the past few years, we’ve been level funded or worse,” said Mary MacInnes, PTVA Administrator.
In other words, as costs go up, the funding they’ve received from the government has remained the same.
In fact, If Governor Patrick’s transportation bill goes through, it’ll include an additional funding for regional transit authorities. The PVTA would see $1.5 million dollars of it, which would alleviate a proposed fare hike. In the meantime, Sanoguel won’t stop fighting. “We pay taxes like everybody. So you have to. A lot of people don’t like it, but that’s why I get involved with Neighbor to Neighbor because we get involved and we win,” she smiled.
The study suggests that in order to alleviate these problems, public transportation must remain affordable and when planning new routes, officials should connect with community-based organizations.