Tuesday, February 12, 2013

CARTA ends Paratransit Service for Many Living with Disabilities

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) will be ending its specialized transportation Paratransit service for many people living with disabilities in the Mount Pleasant area who do not live within 3/4 of a mile of CARTA's current Route 40. Paratransit service, Tel-A-Ride will be available on the Isle of Palms and on Sullivan's Island, two areas that will no longer have a fixed route. The Federal Transit Administration's ADA policy requires coverage to areas within its core area that are not within a corridor. FTA ADA 49 CFR 37.131 - Service criteria for complementary paratransit. (ii) Within the core service area, the entity also shall provide service to small areas not inside any of the corridors but which are surrounded by corridors. Many residents have received notice that their transportation will end in ten days. For many that will be an end to their employment and independence. CARTA's current Fixed-Route service is not accessible to many people with disabilities who use wheelchairs and to those living with other types of disabilities that prevent them from traveling independently.

Although my neighborhood is within 3/4 mile of CARTA's route to the schools, I will also no longer have the opportunity to utilize Tel-A-Ride. I will be working diligently to have this issue resolved. I, like many others, moved to my neighborhood and have remained in my current home because of the availability of public transportation. Without public transportation, I will have to move. I will no longer have the opportunity to age in place. People living within East Cooper should be outraged by this pitiful reduction in service. In my neighborhood alone an elderly widow, a young man living with Down Syndrome and myself, a quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair, will be affected by this horrendous decision to cut services. The community as a whole should stand up for what is right. There is an appropriate saying that comes to my mind, You can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens, our seniors and people with disabilities deserve more respect. This is wrong.


1 comment:

  1. Always happy to support a rider trying to help maintain a strong paratransit component to our area's public transit system. www.busec.org