Para Transpo: Efficiencies alone won't solve access challenges

Para Transpo: Efficiencies alone won't solve access challenges
Posted on November 8, 2013 | Nathan Hauch | Written on November 8, 2013
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Letter type:
Op-Ed

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

I am the Coordinator of Public Policy and Government Relations for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. In Ottawa, many of our members and supporters have expressed frustration at how difficult it can be to book short-term rides with Para Transpo. Efficiencies won't solve the problem: as the Transit Commission meets on November 20th regarding the budget for 2014, it is time to ask for substantial investments to Para Transpo's operational budget - this year, and in the years to come.

Imagine if you couldn't get reliable transportation to work, appointments and other obligations. Imagine if your options for participating in the community were greatly limited.

If you use Para Transpo, you know how valuable the service is - and how difficult it can be to get a ride.

Standard transportation has come a long way: there are now accessible buses. But they are also crowded, and the ride can be less than smooth, and in the winter, with limited snow removal at stops, they can be dangerous.

If you are a person with a disability or senior with mobility challenges, chances are you'll need to access Para Transpo services at some point during the year.

Simply put: Para Transpo is essential. But between September 2012 and September 2013, over 80,000 rides could not be fulfilled.

But we can change this: it's budget time at City Hall. On November 20th, the Transit Commission will meet to pass the budget for OC Transpo and Para Transpo.

Para Transpo hasn't seen its operational budget increase to meet demand in recent years. The $383,000 increase to the Operational Budget proposed is welcome - but is not enough.

We need real investments now, and in the years to come.

Do you agree? If so, you can email City Hall directly here:

http://alliance.sciontario.org/node/129

This is not a disability issue - it is a fairness issue.

You can find out more about the campaign here:

http://alliance.sciontario.org/node/130

These actions matter - and make a difference.

Nathan Hauch
Coordinator, Public Policy and Government Relations
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
nathan.hauch (at) sciontario (dot) org

About The Author

Comments

I used to tag along with my mother when she took Para Transpo to work downtown. I got to know some regulars on her route. I know how important a service it is for these people who rely on Para Transpo for their livelihood.

Good luck with this initiative Nathan and thank you for sharing!