Merkley pushes to improve transportation

PORTLAND, Ore. — If you ride public transportation, your trip might involve a lot of stops just to get to one location. One of Oregon’s top democrats wants to make it easier for you.

Senator Jeff Merkley introduced the Transportation, Access and Opportunities Act. His goal is to fund 10 Metropolitan Planning Organizations in big cities across the nation. Then, get the public involved, and figure out which neighborhoods need more public transportation.

He said more people are moving into the suburbs, out of the city. Yet the jobs are in the city. Especially for low-income families, he says, this can make going to and from work very difficult.

Cazmine Bonnot is a single mother of four. She uses public transportation every day to get to work. It often takes her longer than two hours for a one-way trip. She says, having public transportation closer to home would benefit her, and her children.

Merkley also wants to create a national standard regarding public transportation and needs. It would measure exactly what areas could use the most help.