Community Gathers To Voice Transit Needs At TransForum

Public transportation in Fresno needs improvement, and The Know Youth Media has been working to bring awareness to this issue. Their most recent effort was TransForum, an event held at The Revue Cafe for the community to voice their transit needs, on June 16. Around 100 people attended the event, including bus riders, youth, and community members.

At the event, representatives from the Fresno Area Express bus system, or FAX, presented FAX’s new cart and baggage policy. Dean Huss, Operations Manager at FAX, said the policy was enacted to keep large baggage off the bus.

A live polling session of 16 questions assessed opinions of the bus system and unmet transit needs. The poll used text message technology to collect responses from attendees, which will be presented to the Fresno Council of Governments public hearing on transportation on June 30.

The Know reported on the progress of BusTracker, their tool to report incidents on Fresno’s bus system. According to Jaleesa Vickers, a youth member of The Know, BusTracker has collected over 100 reports from FAX riders. Out of these reports, BusTracker is most frequently used to report buses that are off schedule, Vickers said.

Media produced by youth in The Know, including videos and a multimedia photo SoundSlide, informed TransForum attendees about issues facing bus riders.

One media piece featured a youth from The Know and her mother talking about how FAX has changed over the years. The mother, a bus rider of 33 years, said the worst recent change to FAX is the cut in operational hours. “You’re sitting at a bus stop, possibly with groceries or children, for an hour, waiting for a bus.”

TransForum attendees were encouraged to take action for public transportation by riding the bus, using BusTracker, and going to the Fresno Council of Governments public hearing on June 30.

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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