Letting Elected Officials Know That Bus Riders Have a Voice!

Since the founding of the Bus Riders' Union in late 2011, many people were skeptical. They thought that bus riders like me don't vote, and that we weren't engaged in politics. Or they didn't think about us at all, ignoring transit issues during election time and ignoring bus terminals as voter engagement sites. We wanted to change that mindset. We started showing up to legislative hearings, to committee meetings, even to meetings with elected officials. And people started to hear our message, but some not loudly enough.

Today, we released a report that shows just how engaged bus riders are. Do bus riders vote? Well, yes. In our new report, called "Bus Riders Vote: A Report on Voter Engagement for Bus Riders", we showed that 55% voted in the past two years, and 58% plan to vote in the November 2013 elections. Not only do we vote, but 69% of us think that public transportation is a "very important" issue to us when we're deciding on a candidate.

Aaron Watkins-Lopez
Bus Rider and Organizer with Long Island Jobs with Justice