MMPCDC Adopts Resolution to Preserve PRTC’s Manassas Omnilink Bus Service

Written on:April 5, 2017
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Whereas half of all Manassas Omnilink trips, according to PRTC data, are commutes to work; whereas bus transit benefits and attracts the businesses that employ these bus commuters by helping to ensure a stable, reliable work force; whereas the Omnilink service brings more customers to our local businesses; and whereas many jobs in our area–and especially in greater Manassas–are not accessible by VRE;

Whereas it is honorable and desirable to promote the dignity and full participation of individuals and families throughout our community who because of special needs, disability or advanced years require assistance in mobility, considering that the cost of paratransit is a much more expensive option for those populations;

Whereas it is necessary and desirable that the Manassas-area residents who utilize the bus to attend college or technical school be supported in pursuing gainful employment, further education, and skill development to strengthen their self sufficiency, and standard of living;

Whereas the City of Manassas has allocated some of the PRTC funds for city improvements and used some of the gas tax revenue to afford the debt service for the parking garage and surface lots in addition to VRE and bus service;

Whereas prioritizing the VRE over the bus system would be disproportionately harmful to those of limited means, including senior citizens and veterans;

Whereas Omnilink riders utilize the bus service for medical visits, including hospital lab procedures, pediatric care, immunizations, substance abuse treatment, mental health and counseling appointments required for health, safety and well-being;

Whereas one of the four Manassas Omnilink buses was eliminated in July 2016 to cut costs, leading to reduced ridership, partly because of the infrequency of buses throughout an unchanged geographical area;

Whereas two-thirds of these affected bus riders have no driver’s license for myriad reasons, and face ongoing challenges in attending to the business of their lives, including employment, schooling, shopping, education and social activities in order to be productive, motivated, and contributing citizens; and

Whereas further reductions in the availability of bus transit would have adverse unintended consequences by reducing workforce stability, discouraging college and technical school attendance, reducing physical and mental health care and treatment compliance;

Now therefore be it RESOLVED that the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee:

1.     calls upon the City Councils of Manassas and Manassas Park to not approve any further cuts in the Manassas Omnilink bus service; and

2.     urges the City Councils of Manassas and Manassas Park to aggressively seek additional funds to support increased operating and capital expenditures for public transportation from our state and federal governments.

Adopted unanimously by the Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee on April 3, 2017