I have been watching the argument over the Phase II development of the Silver Line for a while now, and while all of the political name calling, buffoonery and otherwise playground bullying is to be expected, it's leaving out one important aspect - how the Rail will benefit people who aren't working for the government, or who aren't employed by the numerous government contractors in the area.
I am a consultant for several local and national businesses. I love my work. I am also a single mom with special needs kids who benefit greatly from the Loudoun Schools' dedication to serving their various quirks and disabilities. I was also, at one point, one of the stay-at-home-moms with a husband I never saw because of the commute to DC.
When it came time for me to find a job to support myself and my children, I was faced with some tough realities - I could jump on the public system and receive financial assistance, or get a job. I chose to get a job. I tried for months to get a job in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, something close enough to home in case my kids needed me. There were no jobs for me in the area. I had to further decide whether to brave the DC commute and put my kids in childcare for up to 12 hours a day, and still barely make ends meet because of childcare costs alone. That was not an option in my situation. I chose to take a risk, invest in my own future and my children’s' futures and believe that by rolling up my own sleeves, I could prosper. I took a gamble, and it paid off. Metro in Loudoun is no different to me.
With more businesses in Loudoun, and better accessibility to those businesses, we all have a better chance at a secure future for ourselves and our children. Building on what we already have, this economic development, from housing costs to more businesses in a closer range, would be one of the greatest things I can imagine for the region. For me, personally, Metro in Loudoun is security, opportunity and the chance to raise my kids in one of the best areas in the nation.
I am not alone in my struggle or in my hope for the future. The countless Loudoun residents who are unemployed or underemployed are having a terrible time finding a job to support themselves and their families, even in such a favored region. Public transportation is a nightmare in Loudoun, especially as it only assists the commuters, and poorly at that. Bringing Metro to Loudoun will encourage business growth, will enhance all forms of public transportation, and make our lives better. Metro to Loudoun is the promise of a better life for people from all walks of life.
We don't all work in DC and encouraging business growth within Loudoun will open doors for everyone. This commitment is not one I take lightly, nor would I expect anyone else in the area to jump on the train, so to speak, and make a decision without understanding all of the implications. However, with the deadline approaching, I implore the Board of Supervisors to take action now and bring Metro to Loudoun.