Charleston, SC- On March 19,2013 Hungryneck Straphangers was happy to see Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who took a CARTA public transit ride with us on March 14 aboard the new 41 Coleman Blvd. Route with several other transit advocates receive the Democratic Nomination for SC's First Congressional district. Colbert Busch has indicated a clear support for public transit in person and online. Her opponent Ben Frasier did not ride.
Unfortunately none of the five Republicans who rode CARTA with us made the run off. Teddy Turner, Elizabeth Moffley, Ric Bryant, Johnathan Hoffman & Tim Larkin. We would like to thank all of them for taking the time to ride and talk with transit riders. Every one of them said it was a rewarding experience for them. We felt so too.
Colbert Busch's bi partisan transit discussion with Republican Linda Page while roaring over the breathtaking Ravenel Bridge on a bright spring day was an example of democracy at work, reaching across the aisle on the bus. The ride in the freezing rain which began the effort exposed three candidates to US Congress to transit at it's worst and the wait for the return trip on the bus in the driving rain at an unsheltered, bench-less stop was fiercely educational.
For those of us who ride transit regularly, it was frightening to realize that some of thes candidates had never been on a public transit bus. They didn't understand how to work the farebox or pull the stop cord. We're proud that they overcame their qualms and got on board, sitting down to talk to sometimes wet and surly people with real problems. I remember clearly Republican Mathew Hoffman's attempts to connect with the cold wet riders on the 40. He felt it was hopeless, but I encouraged him to stick at it pointing out that the country was falling apart because people aren't talking across their differences. He went back to the rear of the bus, sat down with a group of African Americans and bravely asked, "What pisses you off?" Unsurprisingly, a lot of things did.After a little hesitation, a conversation started.
Please join our effort to get the surviving two Republicans to take a ride on the bus with us before the runoff. Just ask them to ride the bus with us. If they prefer, we can arrange for a Republican involved with public transit to be their companion and rides can be scheduled any day, Monday through Saturday between 6 am and 7 pm. We'll try to accommodate their needs and goals, meeting voters, a good time for them, learning about how the system works or whatever their priorities are.
We're now preparing an April effort which will empower informed transit rider voting by thousands of riders on systems in the Lowcounty by distributing thousands of transit voter information cards in an effort we're calling Farebox to Ballot Box. You can follow the effort through our Hungryneck Straphangers Website at www.busec.org.