Valley Transit services are essential to our community

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As I consider my blessings at the beginning of a new year, I realize that one of the greatest is living in a community where people really care about each other and work together to solve our problems.

An essential service locally is our public transportation system, which allows people to get to jobs, schools, doctors and other services, local businesses, markets, community events, volunteer work, family, friends -- all the places every one of us needs be able to go every day.

Many of you know that Valley Transit is facing disastrous cuts and that a Feb. 9 special election will determine whether it will be able to continue its present services.

What you may not know is that our transit system provides 800,000 rides a year, or 2,600 a day. With numbers like that, it's clear that whether or not we personally ride the trolley or Dial-A-Ride, every one of us depends on Valley Transit to keep our local economy, our community and our lives healthy.

This is a problem we can solve right here -- no act of Congress required. A "yes" vote will allow us to preserve all existing transit services at a cost of three cents on a $10 purchase. There is no sales tax on food or medicine.

As co-chair of the campaign to save Valley Transit, I urge you to recognize how important our trolleys, buses and Dial-A-Ride are to our community and local economy, and to so many of us who live here.

I encourage you to visit our Website at www.transitcampaign.org to learn more about the campaign and to vote "yes" for transit.

Jack Barga
Walla Walla

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