Disabled riders confront Cap Metro Board about proposed service cuts

Disabled community responds to bus stop cuts

AUSTIN - A packed Capital Metro Board Meeting on Wednesday heard from several in the community, who said they did not like the proposed changes the Board was considering.

The proposals are outlined in Cap Metro's Connections 2025 study, which includes eliminating five bus stops in the current Route 30. One of the stops is at Walsh Tarlton Lane near Bee Caves Road.

It's the one Andrew Clanton, 18, and his friends use. It's across the street from the Adult Transition Services facility they attend. That's why the group of ATS students wanted to address Cap Metro Board Members. All of them wore red t-shirts that read, "Save the 30, Walsh Tarlton," leaving no doubt which bus stop they were trying to save.

"I hope they understand people with disabilities, some of the kids need ATS," said David Martinez.

Both Martinez, 20, and Alex Staley, 19, attend ATS and have a condition called Cortical Visual Impairment, or CVI. 

"There's also other people without disabilities that don't go to ATS that also use the bus," said Staley.

The proposal also includes cutting Metro Access, a transportation service for the disabled.

The Board  heard from a blind man who said if members approved the changes, he would have no way to get around at all.

A Randall's employee told board members that if they get rid of the bus stops, 20 of her disabled employees won't be able to work at the Randalls at on Bee Caves Road because they would have no way of getting to work. She also said they like to hire disabled employees and locate them at that Randall's location because the customers are nicer there.

Todd Hemingson, the Vice President of Planning and Development for Cap Metro, said this won't be an  easy decision.

"Any time you talk about reducing or eliminating services, it's one of the most difficult decisions but the fundamental question we had to ask ourselves is what makes the most sense for the greater good?" Hemingson said.

Board members are now waiting for more information before making a decision. They were originally supposed to make a decision Dec. 14th. But after listening to public comments, now they're waiting until January.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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