Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario


Serious Para Transpo Concerns Increasing

By Cathereine Gardner

Note: This email was sent out to the Members of the Transportation / Transit Committee and all members of City Council early February 11th, 2008.

Dear Transportation / Transit Committee Members,

Last month I sent in a request asking if a special "Public" Para Transpo meeting could be arranged where Para users could voice their concerns and demonstrate their concerns with a Para bus on site.

Sadly I received a message back from Councillor Cullen saying that he would not arrange for a special meeting as I had already voiced my concerns at the Transit meeting. He also told me that I could report any further complaints to Pat Larkin and or at a review meeting in May. In his response he also stated that he would allow Pat Larkin and or Alain Mercier to respond to operational concerns. To this date I have heard nothing from either Pat Larkin or Alain Mercier regarding any concerns / suggestions placed within the last few months.

Some of the recent "Major" life threatening complaints include but are not limited to:

For the above major reports the buses should not be allowed on the road!

Other concerns include but are not limited to:

Please these buses are less than two months old yet they are falling apart! We need your help!

I am also interested in hearing how the announcement of decreased OC Transpo service is going to affect those of us with disabilities who use a combination of Para and conventional services. The last time I used the bus was on Feb. 1st with my 4 year old granddaughter and we had to wait outside until the third bus came before we could board. The first and second buses told me that they were too full to let me on. (even though the weather was bad)

The first driver told me the second bus would be there in about five minutes. That bus did not come for close to 30 minutes. The third bus arrived about 10 minutes after the second one. With the recent announcement will we be left out in the cold for 20 - 60 minutes or longer before a bus driver makes room for us to board?

I really hope that a meeting where passengers can voice their individual concerns and where Para can let us know what steps they are taking to ensure our safety and improvement of service can be arranged. We cannot wait until May!

Thank you,

Catherine Gardner

Community Advocate / Freelance Photojournalist

(613) 726-3609 (Voice / TTY)

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