Christopher Bates' Transit Story

Making the jobs case for transit

Christopher Bates had an interesting and wide-ranging career, traveling across the U.S. and abroad for work. But due to complications from diabetes, he had to give up driving in 2004 and has depended on Metro Mobility and Metro Transit ever since.

He’s a resident of Excelsior, where the only regular bus service is express service in the morning and evening peak periods. “I have to use Metro Mobility to get to doctor’s appointments in Minneapolis,” he said. Once he is there, he can ride buses or light rail to get other places, if he gets back in time to catch a Metro Mobility ride and get home by 7 p.m., when service ends.

Chris is very sociable, and talks to a lot of people while using public transit.

“If service gets cut, there’s a lot of people who ride the bus, ride light rail, and ride Metro Mobility who are going to lose their jobs if they can’t get to them,” he said.

In addition, where Chris lives, there’s no nighttime service.

“The people I live with, we’re all on fixed incomes,” Chris said. “They can’t drive anymore. You’re discriminating against people who’ve paid their dues; they’ve paid their taxes. They should be able to get the benefits of all those years of paying into taxes.”

From Chris’s perspective, we should be investing more in transit, not cutting service.

“Look at the Southwest line. Businesses are lining up to buy land along where the tracks are going to be,” he said. “That brings jobs to that area.” A good transit system will generate more jobs which means more tax revenue, he said.