Thank you MR. A. I just want things to get better for us all! Warm regards, Mycell Armington (Cellie) Mycell Armington Contact Representative DO 659 Social Security Administration 2002 Old St. Augustine Rd Suite B-12 Tallahassee, FL 32301 (850) 942-9514 x 3012 Mycell.Armington@xxxxxxx Social Security Benefits America CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This message and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information that is exempt from public disclosure. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you have received this message in error please contact the sender (by phone or reply electronic mail) and then destroy all copies of the original message. -----Original Message----- From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Charles Atkins Sent: Monday, June 08, 2009 12:40 PM To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [tabi] Re: from today's Democrat: article on Dial-a-Ride Ms. Mycell! Ms. I applaud you, your courage and, your leadership! Charles Atkins ----- Original Message ----- From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx> To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Monday, June 08, 2009 8:19 AM Subject: [tabi] from today's Democrat: article on Dial-a-Ride > June 8, 2009 > Some Dial-A-Ride users left waiting > With a funding decrease, service has had to prioritize rides > By Doug Blackburn > DEMOCRAT SENIOR WRITER > Mycell Armington leads a busy life. > She works at the Social Security Administration as a contact > representative, > a job > she's held for the past 31 years. She's a worship leader in her church, > and > in her > spare time she visits correctional facilities to preach to inmates. > But Armington is finding Leon County considerably more difficult to > navigate > in the > past two months. > Armington, who is legally blind, lives just north of the city limits. She > relies > on Dial-A-Ride's community transportation program for almost all of her > trips. > But due to a decrease in state funding - compounded by an increase in > ridership - > Dial-A-Ride has been forced for the first time to institute a priority > system for > providing rides. Medical trips are the No. 1 priority, followed by > employment-education > and grocery shopping. > "It's gotten much worse," Armington said. "It's totally bumped people off > of > any > going to church. It's considered a social activity, instead of spiritual > or > mental-health > enrichment. > "It's taken away my freedoms," she added. "It's a major issue." > Armington isn't the only one who's struggling to cope with the new > priority > system > at Dial-A-Ride, which she has taken to calling "Dial-A-Wait." The priority > system > went into effect at the end of March. > Dorothy Martin, who lives just east of the city limits, is frustrated that > she can > no longer get rides for classes at the Senior Center. > "I can't even go to the grocery store when I want to now," Martin said. "I > don't > have a life now that they've cut the service back so much. I can't go > anywhere anymore." > Ronald Garrison, executive director at StarMetro, said he empathizes with > riders > who consider the new priority system an inconvenience. Almost all > recreational trips > have been eliminated, he said, because of the decrease in funding from the > Commission > for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD), the state agency housed within > the Department > of Transportation. > "People need to be talking to their legislators to look at different ways > to > provide > the funding," Garrison said. > Leon County's CTD funding for the current fiscal year was decreased by > about > $19,000, > from $446,373 to $427,768, according to Donna Peacock, StarMetro's > superintendent > of paratransit operations. > Meanwhile, ridership is up significantly. For the first six months of the > fiscal > year, which started Oct. 1, there were 109,836 riders, compared to 96,329 > the previous > year, Peacock said. This includes the bus-pass program. > "We've run this (paratransit) program five years, and never had to put a > priority > policy in place," Peacock said. "It's sort of come to a head now. > "Some of that may be due to the economy and more folks needing > transportation. I > don't know what else to do. If there's no money, there's no money." > Bobby Jerningan, executive director of CDT, the state agency, acknowledges > that the > "system is spread a little thin right now." > "We've had to dial back on our expenditures for next year," Jernigan said. > "It is > a hardship on those individuals who have grown to depend on this > transportation service. > It's a major deal." > It's certainly a major deal for Armington, Martin and others. Armington > said > she > can't afford to pay $35 to $40 for a cab, when Dial-A-Ride costs her > $2.50. > "I lead a very active and normal life and I intend to do so for the rest > of > my life," > Armington said. "But this has made it really difficult. > "I'm also afraid of speaking out, because I may be a candidate for > retaliation." > > Check out the TABI resource web page at > http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI > > to unsubscribe send a message, containing a subject line of the word > unsubscribe, to tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx > > > > if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web > interface, or by sending an email to the address > tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject. > Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI to unsubscribe send a message, containing a subject line of the word unsubscribe, to tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject. Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI to unsubscribe send a message, containing a subject line of the word unsubscribe, to tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.