Disabled students fight Cap Metro's plan to cut bus stop

Students fight to keep bus stop

WESTLAKE HILLS - Andrew Clanton is one of nearly 50 students who uses Adult Transition Services, an Eanes Independent School District program. It teaches life skills to young adults with disabilities and is located on Walsh Tarleton Lane, near Bee Caves Road in Westlake.

"I want to be as independent as I can once I leave the house and am ready to be on my own," said Clanton.

The autistic 18-year-old is learning independence by learning how to take the bus to and from ACC for classes. He wants to be a video game developer.

But Capital Metro wants to get rid of five bus stops along Route 30, including the one Clanton and his fellow ATS students use. They are not happy about the proposal.

"It's going to make things more difficult for me to get to ACC," said Clanton.

Molly May is the Executive Director of the ATS program.

"To have to depend on someone to take them somewhere really limits their independence and our program is all about fostering independence in students with disabilities," said May.

She said her students may stop going to work or classes if the bus stop is removed. She also said the school district chose this location to build the ATS facility because of the bus route.

"Where we put our building where we did is for this specific route," said May.

A Cap Metro spokeswoman said if they want to improve services, the bus stop in question likely needs to go. 

For more than a year, Cap Metro surveyed riders to see what was most important to them. According to the Connections 2025 Transit Study, riders said they wanted the frequency of stops to increase.

Cap Metro's study showed that it costs them $20.93 per boarding on Route 30 while the average for other routes is $4.23.

The Cap Metro spokesperson also said Westlake and Rollingwood don't pay the 1 percent sales tax other cities do to use public transportation service.

Still, Andrew and a group of students plan to address the Cap Metro Board on Wednesday. They hope to change their minds so they don't have to change their lives.

The board meeting is set for noon at Cap Metro's headquarters on 5th Street.
 

(© 2016 KVUE)


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