An appeal to paratransit operators

Posted on June 17, 2011 by Nicole Schlosser

This week, the release of the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s report, "Aging in Place, Stuck without Options," which ranks metro areas by the percentage of seniors with poor access to public transportation — now and in the years to come — and presents other data on aging and transportation, shows the pressing need for not only more accessible public transit but paratransit as well.

The report is, of course, very important, but no shock to us here at METRO. We see the ripple effects of paratransit’s struggles almost daily in stories we write and post online. If you subscribe to our Accessibility e-newsletter or saw the stories we shared on Wednesday, you read about demand for disability bus passes increasing in Denver; in Florida, the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District is grappling with the decision to possibly close up to half of its bus stops because it can’t afford to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; and in Northwestern Indiana, the Regional Bus Authority is striving to meet customer needs, which means buying larger vehicles and doing more to address client concerns.

Meanwhile, we are working on our annual paratransit survey. Look for that in our August issue. If you are a paratransit operator — public or private — you likely received an email from METRO Magazine, asking you to take a brief online survey. I hope that you will take just a few quick minutes to fill it out, and if you have more information to share about your experiences in this exceptionally critical aspect of transportation and public service, please feel free to email me. We want to get the most accurate picture of all that you do, and that means hearing from you.

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Either 'Dump the Pump' or make your voice heard" here.

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