I'm going to put this out here for all ears to hear once, and only once.If you ride the bus, change-- not necessarily good-- is comin' You have opportunities to possibly stop this change, or at least make it less inconvenient and dangerous for you or other riders. See below for details on how you can get your questions answered and make your voice heard.
If you DON'T ride the bus, you may think, "So what?"Here's what: With the current centralized system, virtually all transfers are made downtown IN A SINGLE SAFE, CONTROLLED, PREDICTABLE, COVERED, ACCESSIBLE location. With the newly proposed decentralized system, 90+% of transfers will be made on NUMBEROUS STREET CORNERS WITH OR WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF SIDEWALKS, FLAT TERRAIN, SHELTER, or any form of ASSISTANCE; with (but probably without) the aid of audible crosswalk signals,visible crosswalks, protective medians, and accessible signage. CERTAINLY there will be no "ticket person" or supervisor on hand to aid you, nor will there be law enforcement nearby, should someone other than the bus approach you on the side of the road. You can imagine that it is possible that some folks who feel comfortable riding the bus now will no long feel this way. When these folks stop riding the fixed bus system, where do you think they will turn for transportation?? Dial-a-Ride. So how well is Dial-a-Ride able to meet everyone's needs now? Are there scheduling difficulties? Is there enough money to keep the system going? Can anyone who's accepted ride for any purpose, or is prioritization occurring already? If you think Dial-a-Ride is crowded, stretched, or stressed NOW, imagine how it will fare when even more people come looking for a seat. And, to the best I've been able to discern from the non-answers I've gotten from StarMetro personnel at the listening sessions I've attended, NO, THERE IS NO MONEY SET ASIDE FROM STARMETRO TO BOLSTER Dial-a-Ride. Neither have I been assured that there is money from StarMetro or any other department specifically set aside for the improvements needed to make this a safe system, such as: 1. traffic controlling devices (protective medians, repainted crosswalks, cameras to record or extra law enforcement to ticket red light runners, reworked light signals to include arrows for turners and ample time for pedestrian crossings, etc.) 2. amenities to make the stops and transfer points safe and accessible (culverts over ditches, wide and flat sidewalks with curb cuts, removal/relocation of poles, low branches, etc., adequate lighting and signage-- remember, from November thru March it gets dark well before 6:00pm). Also, any stop that does NOT include a shelter NEED NOT BE A.D.A. accessible; StarMetro has only 30 shelters for this project (and may use some existing ones), but there are AT LEAST 20 intersections one must navigate in order to fully use this network, and, ideally, each intersection would have at least 2 sheltered stops!!! StarMetro has not even hired an A.D.A. consultant yet. That is how concerned they are.
And still, if you are not concerned, think about the proverbial little old ladies coming back from the pharmacy on the bus. Surely you've seen (or at least heard of) them. How will they manage???
HOW TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD: You can attend a listening session:* Tue 10/6 / City Hall in the Tallahassee Room, 300 South Adams Street, 12 noon - 1 pm & 5:30 - 7:00 pm * Wed 10/7 / Leroy Collins Public Library, 200 West Park Avenue, 12 > noon - 1:00 pm * Thur 10/8 / Atkins Building in Koger Office Center, 1320 Executive Center Drive, 7:00 - 8:00 pm * Wed. 10/14 2:00 PM Meeting room, Miccosukee Hills Apartments, 3201 Miccosukee Road, Route 4- first bus stop after interning complex. * Wed. 10/14 / Leroy Collins Public Library, 200 West Park Avenue, 5:30 - 7:00 pm * Thur 10/22 / Northeast Branch Library, 5513 Thomasville Road, 5:30 -
* Tue 10/27 / B.L. Perry Jr. Branch Library, 2817 South Adams Street, 11:30 am - 1 pm & 5:30 - 7:00 pm7:00 pm
or call starmetro at 891-5283 or email them at nova2010project@xxxxxxxxxx Thank you for your consideration on this matter. Erica McCaul Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. 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.