Larry Biondi, Progress Center, fights for better paratransit service

Unacceptable service

As a person with a disability, Access Living’s finding that Pace Paratransit service is “unacceptably poor” resonates with me, as mentioned in an Oct. 23 article “Survey: Transit poor for disabled.”

After all, being stranded on a Pace Paratransit vehicle for two and a half to three hours driving around the city is exactly that — unacceptably poor. I am speaking from experience. During this past year, I have filed 95 complaints against Pace’s various carriers for late pickups, poor routing, and being on vehicles for excessive times. The 62 percent on-time performance reflects that there needs to be improvement to ensure top-notch service to its riders.

To add insult to injury, Pace approved a measure to increase the Paratransit fare to $3.25 per ride; $6.50 round-trip. Six dollars and 50 cents is way too much for a person with a disability to pay for a round-trip ride, especially for a transportation system that frustrates us with its incompetency.

Pace’s decision to rises its Paratransit fare to $3.25 will result in financial distress for its riders. And, the sad part is, we will be paying more for an inadequate Paratransit service.

— Larry Biondi, advocacy coordinator, Progress Center for Independent Living, Forest Park