About six years ago, I left the bustling metropolis of St. George, Utah and moved to Ivins. It is only nine miles from downtown St. George, four miles from my kids' schools and where I needed to be for grocery shopping, doctors, dentists and other amenities. Four Miles doesn't sound like a big deal I know, but at the time I was also on kidney dialysis three times a week and that four miles was a marathon with my four year old in tow and a broken body. The bus ran from my dialysis center to Sand Hollow aquatic center...but that was it. I needed public transportation.
A few years later, after begging rides, walking in rain storms, and getting lost between Ivins and Santa Clara, I presented The City of Ivins with a proposal to bring a bus to town. I had to have a reason more than "'cause I need it", though. So, I did what I always do when I have to figure out my problems...I researched it.
I found out-
16 percent of all handicap people in Washington County live in Ivins. People with blindness, like me. People who have heart/lung conditions. veterans with amputated limbs and paralyzation. Children with both physical and mental handicaps. The list goes on and on.
As I talked to people and handed out flyers for the city council meeting about the buses, I met so many wonderful people. Those who live here for the dry air, the constant warmth and the good neighbors. Individuals who only need transportation.
Another fact I learned was-Southern Utah has the cleanest air quality in the state. Ivins particularly. Even with tourist attractions like Tuacahn, The Biggest Loser Resort, and The Jacob Hamblin Home, the health benefits of this area are without comparison in the state. A public transportation system adds to our air quality every time as few as 5 people ride instead of drive.
The most significant fact I learned was personal. As I rode public transportation with my kids, it opened up a whole different world for them. They weren't afraid of other people, they became aware and vigilant about those they could help and we spent hours together, talking, laughing, walking and just being together.
We don't ride the bus much anymore as we don't have one...until NOW!
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 is the ribbon cutting ceremony for the first Ivins City Bus. Thanks to the city and Sun Tran our little city along with Bloomington Hills will have access to the bus. Other places around are also looking into a bus system because Ivins has taken the steps to get one of their own, opening up the way for public transportation in our area.
At 3:30, tomorrow afternoon, I will be cutting the ribbon for the official kick-off. I know the time is not convenient for many of you and I don't ask much but...I could sure use the support if you could come. It will show support for our little fledgling bus, for the city and for our citizenry. Find out whatever you can about when, where, and how to ride the bus and come support us. Do it for the handicap, the single parents, the one-car families. Do it in gratitude for the beautiful country and area we've been blessed with. Do it for the chance to slow down, and to spend real time with those you love.
If none of that matters to you...just come because you don't want to miss what happens when they give a blind lady a pair of giant scissors!