[tabi] Fw: Free-ride Saturday leaves some Dial-A-Ride users frustrated

  • From: "Sila Miller" <silam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 21:54:37 -0500

Well, I gotta tell ya, if we could just get dependable night service (bus or 
Dial-A-Ride), it'd be wonderful!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 3:01 PM
Subject: [tabi] Free-ride Saturday leaves some Dial-A-Ride users frustrated

> from today's Democrat:
> Free-ride Saturday leaves some Dial-A-Ride users frustrated
> By TaMaryn Waters
> Democrat staff writer
> Tallahassee Mayor John Marks spent part of Thursday passing out fliers to
> bus riders
> at the C.K. Steele Plaza informing them of free rides offered Saturday by
> StarMetro
> for holiday shoppers.
> But Dial-A-Ride users such as Michael Elliott, who is visually impaired, are
> outraged
> since they won't be able to take advantage.
> "If you are trying to increase business to the various shops in Tallahassee
> by offering
> free bus service on Saturday, but not to those who use Dial A Ride, what are
> you
> telling people with disabilities," Elliott said. "Our money isn't good
> enough?"
> Dial-A-Ride operates similarly to a taxi-cab service, but it is provided by
> StarMetro.
> It costs $2.50 per trip.
> StarMetro Executive Director Ron Garrison says his staff was aware
> Dial-A-Ride users
> wouldn't be able to get a free ride using the service, but he said his hands
> are
> tied.
> "We are not allowed to make it free because we would not be able to handle
> the capacity,
> which would not be in compliance with the (federal) Americans with
> Disabilities Act,"
> Garrison said.
> Currently, 8,164 residents are registered for Dial-A-Ride, which is often
> used as
> a way to get to medical appointments. However, every registered rider
> doesn't necessarily
> use the service daily.
> StarMetro has offered free rides on special occasions, most recently for a
> week when
> the new system was launched during the summer.
> "Most of our Dial-A-Ride users are used to this. We have gotten a call or
> two before
> when we have done this," Garrison said.
> He also said Dial-A-Ride is required to provide service within
> three-quarters of
> a mile of bus service, although it often goes beyond that. If Dial-A-Ride
> went over
> capacity in order to provide free rides, Garrison said StarMetro could face
> consequences
> that could include fines or loss of federal funding.
> "I'm not going to take the chance," Garrison said.
> Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI
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