Cap Metro Board Stabs Blind in the Back!
After a long, frustrating struggle, the Cap metro Board stabbed the blind and disabled community in the back by adopting new policies that will create a second rate paratransit system in Austin. Numerous complaints have been filed by Metro Access riders with the Federal Transportation Agency which have not been resolved. Consequently, no changes in policy should be implemented until those complaints have been investigated and resolved. Moreover, no public hearings were held to change the ADA mechanism, which is presently known as the Access Advisory Committee. The Cap Metro Board merely accepted recommendations of a State of Texas agency known as the Sunset Commission regarding the restructuring of advisory committees for CMTA.
I feel as though the very soul of Austin has been sullied by the Cap Metro Board's action. Every effort is being made to pump up our commuter rail service nobody wants to ride. At a cost of nearly $140 million bucks, only about 500 boardings are being made on the train each day. All stimulus funds were devoted to Metro Rail, which is at least two years behind schedule and has problems with certain bridges and the type of steel ties used on its tracks. While the Board cut paratransit services and raised fares for the disabled community, they simultaneously lowered fares for commuter rail and spent additional money to bribe employers to encourage their employees to use it. I've been active in the transit movement in Austin since 1978. Without doubt, the actions of the Cap Metro Board on September 24th is the most shameful day in the history of paratransit.
One assumes certain board members plan to advance their political ambitions based on slavishly following the recommendations of the sunset Commission. If so, they will find out that the blind and disabled community will remember their actions at the ballot box. Chairman Martinez must bear total responsibility for his actions. Should he run for Austin mayor, this vote will come back to haunt him.
I will update the peeps next month, although I've met with a further technical difficulty in moving to Microsoft Office 2007. In Office 2003, I could edit blog posts in Word and send them directly to my blog for publication. This option is not available in Office 2007 without customizing an add on requiring me to change from Windows Mail to Outlook. Did I mention that I hate computers?
Power to the Peeps!