I have watched Helena’s transportation services change dramatically. The bus operators changed to a route system. Uber and Lyft started operating. Private for-hire transportation availability changed from a 24/7 service to pre-booking.
About three years ago, I asked a large group at Hometown Helena how many would be affected if the taxi stopped operating. No one raised their hand. According to a report issued by the Helena Chamber of Commerce a few years ago, nearly 73% of the local population owns a vehicle. So the remaining group that relies on transportation are those unable to own or operate a vehicle due to circumstances out of their ability to change.
Today, the demand for transportation services is high for this small group of individuals. However, the local transportation industry is tripping over its own feet in its attempt to meet the demands. I believe our transportation industry is focused too heavily on serving the non-disabled and upper-income earners rather than the actual people in need. City Commissioner Candidate Emily Dean listened to my concerns. She has a history of working with diverse communities, such as ours. I am asking for you to vote for Dean. We need a strong voice.
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Shawn White Wolf