"State of the Region" report released

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Meet the future of East Tennessee. Young twenty-somethings who want to work, but find themselves locked out of employment because of limited public transit.

"There's nothing here but taxi service and it usually takes 10 minutes just to get to your house," said Joshua Pereyo.

"In order for me to get a job I would need transportation, so it's very difficult for me to have one since I don't," said Elizabeth Evans.

Concerns on the radars of local leaders who reached a similar conclusion in the first ever State of the Region Report. It found less than one percent of commutes involve public transportation.

"Getting to be able to use public transportation is critical," said Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan. He says planners are focusing on multiple solutions to the transportation shortage. "We need to not only have transportation available, but we need to move the housing close to the transportation." One more possible transit solution named in the report, in-town housing close to your job.

Thousands drive to Oak Ridge daily for jobs at Y-12 and ORNL. That means your trip from point A to B takes longer. Planners hope public transit will relieve congestion and more. "That addresses air quality, but also quality of life."

As for Evans, she wants the focus to remain on viable public transit. "I think there should be more options for public transportation."

You can view the entire State of the Region Report at www.planeasttn.org.

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