ECNV Testifies at WMATA Hearings about MetroAccess Service Cutbacks!!

April 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Ed McEnteeI have been a MetroAcess rider since the beginning of its operation. I have seen the good and the bad sides of the system, but wouldn’t trade it for what existed before MetroAccess. I get picked up at my front door by the paratransit van and dropped off at the front door of ECNV everyday, where I work. I also use MetroAccess for social activities, such as dining out, sporting events, shows with my wife. The service allows me to lead a manageable life, but cutting the service will definitely affect my quality of life.

ECNV staff and friends of the Northern Virginia disabled community and I testified on Wednesday night, March 31st to officials from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Arlington County government urging rejection of proposed reductions to MetroAccess service. Because of its success, the costs of running the service have risen to the point where it is a substantial part of operating the Metro system. Instead of finding ways to fund this increased level of ridership, WMATA is attempting to cut back the ridership and at the same time reduce the operating costs.

They are suggesting:

  • reduction of the service area to reflect actual fixed route bus and rail service areas;
  • charging a premium for services provided to locations and beyond a three quarter-mile perimeter around fixed route services; and
  • aligning the fare structure to the maximum allowed under the ADA (twice fixed route fare).

Ed and a MetroAccess van at the  front door of ECNVThese measures if enacted can be catastrophic to people with disabilities who are living on Social Security benefits, or working at low income jobs.

These proposals will be voted on by the WMATA board on or about April 22nd and go into effect by June 27th. ECNV will be on top of whatever decision is made so we can join as a united community to appeal, if necessary, a less than favorable outcome that would severely impact on our lives.

By Ed McEntee, ECNV Peer Mentor

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Entry filed under: Advocacy. Tags: , , .

Legal Service Center for deaf and hard of hearing Action Alert: Thursday April 15 – Push For HR 3101!

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