TWIN CITIES, Ill. — The controversy between bus riders and connect transit continues as more bus riders are emerging, saying, the transportation agency is discriminating against disabled riders.
Earlier this year Connect Transit announced it will be cutting a bus route and increasing fares. Leaders say the moves will allow more money for improving current services, but some riders say they aren’t able to use the services.
“When people with disabilities are not able to get to the bus stop, there is something wrong with that,” said Rickie Lee Benecke, Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living.
The new issue, disabled riders are saying they can’t access the bus stops because they are not ADA compliant.
“They try to stand as close as possible to the bus stop or the bus sign but the bus passes them by,” says Benecke.
However, Connect Transit say it’s heard these complaints, and they are working to fix it.
“We knew we needed to improve the bus stop infrastructure at those locations,” said Isaac Thorne, General Manager of Connect Transit. “So we are adding a concrete pad between the sidewalk and the curb, putting in shelters putting in benches.”
Leaders say they will eventually fix all 500 of the bus stops, but they need to do the most used ones first.
“It’s taking time to get all these bus stops improved because there’s a long process on improving a bus stop,” said Thorne. “It’s not just hiring a contractor and pouring a concrete slab.”
Despite the negative comments, leaders say, they have gotten great reviews on the bus stops that have already been improved. They say they want people to know change is on the way, it just takes time.