Your Opinion: Reconsider hiatus in public transit

Dear Editor:

According to the information from credible sources the mayor and City Council are planning to stop all JeffTran buses, including Handi Wheels, from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

What are they thinking? Or are they? So a person who rides Handi Wheels goes to his/her destination and is ready to return home at any time between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. A call to JeffTran to request a ride home informs this person that no transportation will be available until after 2:30 p.m. which means a wait of up to three hours or more, depending on how many people are already waiting to be taken home.

Of course, the mayor and the members of the City Council do not depend on JeffTran for transportation and certainly do not depend on Handi Wheels. So why should they worry about inconveniencing a few elderly and disabled, some of whom really don’t feel very well.

These elderly and disabled are able to vote, able to spread the word about this latest effort by the powers-that-be to save money, probably for the new convention center. They needn’t count on the vote from this substantial group of citizens.

And how are they to explain to the people attending the new convention center why mid-day public transportation does not exist?

Handi Wheels is not a taxi service. Requests for transportation must be called in at least a day in advance. Drivers begin each day with a list of requested pick-ups which includes needs for transportation during the mid-day hours.

Any requests to be taken home that are called in after 11 a.m. can mean a wait of up to an hour or more. Drivers are still picking up people on their lists or are responding to requests from others to be taken home or to another destination.

The mayor and City Council members have determined Handi Wheels can stop providing transportation during these very busy hours between 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Of course they don’t need this very busy service. Why be concerned about those who depend on Handi Wheels throughout the day for their only transportation.

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