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Kansas City Becomes First Major US City to Make Public Transportation Free

Fare-free public transportation has become an increasingly popular idea in recent years.

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Kansas City Public Transportation Free
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(TMU) — Kansas City, Missouri, has just made history by becoming the first major city in the United States to have fare-free public transportation.

The move comes after the city council unanimously voted to endorse the “Zero Fare Transit” proposal to make all city bus routes fare-free, directing the city manager to develop and implement the plan. They city’s streetcar has been free since it first opened.

The free bus service, which is expected to cost the city roughly $8 million, does away with the previous ticket costs of $1.50 per ticket, or $50 for a monthly pass, reports WDAF.

Local officials have been framing the move not as “wasteful expenditures” or a “burden on taxpayers,” but as a good investment into the city.

City Councilman Eric Bunch framed the plan as a means to offer a strong helping hand to the city’s low-income residents, who rely on public transit to commute to work. According to KSHB, Bunch said:

“When we’re talking about improving people’s lives who are our most vulnerable citizens, I don’t think there’s any question that we need to find that money.

That’s not a ton of money and it’s money that we as a city, if we want to prioritize public transportation, it’s something that we can find.”

https://twitter.com/JobsMoveAmerica/status/1202984178465292288

New Mayor Quinton Lucas has also strongly supported the plan, which is being greeted warmly by city residents. Bus rider Loren Miles said:

“I think it would make the bus system stronger, not weaker, and would probably bring in more revenue, not less.” 

Some have criticized the move as short-sighted and expensive to taxpayers. Local resident Teresa Bradshaw questioned the plan, noting:

“If you take it away, then where are our taxes going to go? How high are the taxes? It’s got to come from somewhere.”

The editorial board of the Kansas City Star, which backs the new measure, argued that the money can easily be found elsewhere. In an editorial last month, they argued:

“A good first step would be to stop giving away tax revenue to developers. Other efficiencies, including elimination of fare boxes on buses, could help. So could reclaiming sales tax dollars now subsidizing the streetcar.”

Supporters have also argued that the move has myriad benefits, including strengthening the local economy overall and reducing the environmental impact of private transportation. Climate change protesters and livable city advocates across the world have demanded increased investment in mass transportation amid rising awareness of climate change.

Fare-free public transit has become an increasingly popular idea among cash-strapped urban residents in recent years, with cities including Denver and Salt Lake City openly floating the progressive idea in recent city elections.

Meanwhile, in cities across the U.S. such as Portland, Oregon, and New York City, municipalities have been spending their tax dollars installing cameras and hiring more transit police in order to crack down on and criminalize those evading their often-expensive transit fare.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Good News

Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces

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Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.

And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.

The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.

The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.

At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.

When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.

Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.

The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.

The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.

“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.

“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.

His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.

Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.

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Animals

Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber

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An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.

In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.

“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”

As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.

Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.

“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.

Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.

So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.

“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”

As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.

Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.

“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”

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Animals

Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family

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Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.

“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.

Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.

Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.

“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.

“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”

The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.

The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.

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