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Letter: Public transit necessary for those with disabilities

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

Lise Pace

Public Policy Advocate

Bosma Enterprises and National Industries for the Blind

To the editor:

As you may know, public transportation has been brought to the forefront of debate in central Indiana.

The debate has primarily centered on the economic impact of a public transit system. It is true the economic impact of public transit can be great, but one must also consider the human impact of an inadequate, regional public transportation system.

Access to public transportation in central Indiana is essential for people with disabilities to remain independent.

We at Bosma Enterprises are dedicated to empowering people throughout Indiana who are blind or visually impaired to live independently and confidently — a difficult task to accomplish when there are very real challenges with the current transportation systems inside and outside of Marion County.

Many of our employees are dependent on public transportation to not only get to and from work but to conduct the daily business of life, such as going to the doctor or grocery store, attending church or interacting with people socially.

IndyGo and other county transit organizations currently have a system for people who have disabilities to attempt to fill the gap, but those are not adequate to meet life’s daily tasks.

A ride with these systems must be scheduled days in advance to have the best opportunity to reserve a trip time that correlates with your desired schedule. The transportation typically has a half-hour window to arrive, so scheduling something as simple as a trip to the grocery store can be a half-day affair. The service can be expensive, with costs mounting to thousands of dollars a year.

We hope as legislators consider their agenda for this session, they keep public transit as a top priority. The economic effects of public transit are very great, but so is the human impact.

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