[tabi] Re: from today's Democrat: Seniors, people with disabilities anxious about new routes

  • From: "carl mccoy" <cmcoy09@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:06:51 -0400

good job Lynn. Stay involved you are an effective  advocate. It takes a lot of 
patience and persistence and you seem to have it. Carl
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chip Orange 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:12 AM
  Subject: [tabi] from today's Democrat: Seniors, people with disabilities 
anxious about new routes

  October 20, 2009
  StarMetro changes may strand some

  By TaMaryn Waters

  Lynn Evans has never driven a car.
  He is legally blind. Anything beyond 20 feet from him is a blur. Armed with a 
  and white cane and a thirst for independence, Evans depends on the city's bus 
  StarMetro, to get where he needs to be.
  He has doubts, though, about how well a planned overhaul of the operation, 
  as Nova 2010, will adequately serve people with disabilities. And many others 
  the system will be a disservice to senior citizens.
  In 2008, 52,949 trips were taken by people with disabilities, and 89,078 
trips were
  taken by seniors. About 4.2 million total trips were taken the same year, 
  to StarMetro.
  People are mainly concerned about the longer distance riders will have to 
walk to
  get to a bus stop and being forced to wait for buses at congested 
  Many see it as an attempt to attract new riders while diminishing service to 
  who need it most.
  Gripping the blue hand rail on a bus last week as it rumbled toward its next 
  Evans wondered how his life will change with the new plan.
  "I don't have a good idea of the plan because they keep showing me maps," 
said Evans,
  who's attended three information sessions. "And I can't see the maps."
  He lives in Miccosukee Hills, a subsidized housing community off of 
Miccosukee Road.
  And it will no longer get direct bus service under the new plan. Instead, a 
bus will
  stop at the entrance of the subdivision.
  Miccosukee Hills residents, many of whom are seniors citizens, will have to 
  uphill to access the bus.
  Last week, they pleaded with planners to reconsider the change in their 
  They said Miccosukee Road, a canopy road with no sidewalks, is not an ideal 
  for a bus stop.
  "That lets us know you don't care," Luetta Thompson, 64, said during the 
  Ron Garrison, executive director for StarMetro, said his staff is trying to 
  this system work for residents. At the same time, planners insist the plan is 
a viable
  step toward improving an outdated system.
  The plan proposes the creation of several transfer spots instead of all 
routes funneling
  to C.K. Steele Plaza. It also increases the number of buses coming to a stop 
  peak hours.
  The plan would whittle the current 26 routes to 11 or 12 routes, completely 
  some areas currently being served. And riders will have to walk half a mile 
  of a quarter of a mile to a stop. Garrison said, "I'm not trying to be a bad 
  to a couple of people, but I'm trying to make it better for the greater 
  That could be more difficult than it appears.
  "We have mixed feelings," said Dan Moore, director of programs for Ability 
  He said the plan may be ideal for people who don't have a tough time walking. 
  it may be a nightmare for others.
  If the City Commission approves the plan in March, riders will have to decide 
  use it or find other means of transportation. And that raises a new set of 
  Riders like Evans say Dial-a-Ride, the city's federally mandated attempt to 
  service to people with disabilities, is not an automatic option.
  Dial-a-Ride is available to eligible residents, and it costs $2.50 one way, 
  to StarMetro's $1.25 fare. A lower price is given based on income. The city 
  contracts with another company to provide transportation for people with 
  But because of budget cuts, that service is forced to handle priority calls 
  like medical appointments. A ride to the mall or to the Senior Center might 
  a longer wait or no service at all.
  Donna Peacock, who supervises these alternative services for StarMetro, said 
  doesn't have a clear idea if Dial-a-Ride will see an influx in riders as a 
  of Nova 2010.
  "Is it going to put a strain us?" Peacock said. "To be honest, I can't really 
  Additional Facts
  Here are routes affected by Nova 2010:
  d Centerville Road from Betton to Woodgate
  d Woodgate subdivision
  d Lonnbladh from Hermitage to Raymond Diehl - Instead, service is on Capital 
  d Miccosukee Hills - Service will be on Miccosukee Road
  d Bermuda Road - Instead, Service will be on Henderson
  d John Knox Road from Meridian Road to Monroe Street - Instead, Service on 
  and Monroe
  d Allen Road from Monroe to Fulton - Instead, Service on Fulton/Sharer/Monroe
  d Hartsfield from Atlas to High Road
  d High Road from Hartsfield to Tharpe
  d Roberts from Eisenhower to Rankin - Instead, Service on Eisenhower
  d Rankin from Roberts to Tallahassee Museum
  d Meridian from Perkins to Paul Russell - Instead, Service on Monroe and 
  d Lake Munson and Lake Palm - Instead, Service on Orange Avenue
  d Gaile From Woodville to Tram
  d Zillah from Tram to Paul Russell
  d Shelfer from Ross to Capital Circle
  d Capital Circle from Shelfer to Crawfordville Road
  d Crawfordville Road from Capital Circle to Shelfer
  d Victory Garden Area - Instead, Service begin on Park Ave. to Apalachee 
  d Blair Stone from Park to Orange - Instead, Service will begin on Park 
Avenue to Apalachee
  d Old St. Augustine from Blair Stone Road to Midyette
  d Sutor from Apalachee Parkway to Trojan Trail - Instead, Service on 
Apalachee Parkway
  d Trojan Trail from Sutor to Conner Boulevard - Instead, Service will begin 
at Conner

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