[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hi folks. I'm back with some more questions regarding ADA paratransit. First off, does anyone happen to know if the powers-that-be keep records of any kind regarding disabilities of paratransit riders in a given locale? This question may seem on the surface to be a bit confidential, but here's why I'm asking. Several weeks ago I was told that my requests for door-to-door assistance are not that common. I took that to mean nobody or hardly anyone in my area needs the drivers to actually get out of their vehicles and assist people to said vehicles, provided passengers aren't standing outside specifically waiting for their ride. A few weeks ago when I booked a round trip, I didn't let the reservationist know that I needed door-to-door assistance until she was about to give me the estimated pick-up time, and she informed me that she was going to have to reschedule my trip. Just for needing door-to-door assistance but not specifying that at the correct time. On a related note, do any of you paratransit riders have the option of scheduling online and creating a profile? This would be so much easier. I'd rather not have to specify my exact needs every single time. I used to not mind doing this, but now I'd really prefer not to repeat myself if at all possible. I'm wondering if this may somehow be confusing the dispatchers? A lot of the paratransit vehicles here nowadays seem to be hybrids, which inandof itself is not a problem with me. However, I have difficulty hearing these hybrids with all the other traffic. This can present quite the dilemma when one only has light perception. Update: The local bus company rolled out an online portal about a year ago. The good news is that it is accessible at least with the 2 screen readers I'm currently using. But the bad news--or perhaps somewhat bad--is that it is not currently possible to book trips online. I read that trips can be cancelled online, but I haven't found a way to do that yet.
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hello everybody. Well, just when my parents and I and other team members thought that the local paratransit service couldn't get any better, the following scenario happened about a week ago. I have started working out again at the local YMCA, but this time with one of the newer staff members here. He is a very good worker, and a good guy too. So on this particular morning I was picked up by paratransit per my request. The bus pulled up right in front of me, and the driver opened the door and guided me on board. I was his only passenger for that trip, so he dropped me off inside the Y like I had requested. Actually I was informed during my workout that the driver had somehow missed the Y and managed to circle the entire block. Then toward the end of the workout, my tutor told me that we had to go downstairs and meet my ride home. Well, we did so and were promptly informed by one of the front-desk people that my bus had left a few moments prior to our arrival downstairs. So my tutor and I thanked them, and he ended up driving me home. When I got back to my apartment and checked my answering machine, there was a message from the local bus company from a few minutes prior to my arrival back at the pad. The message said that my bus was waiting for me. The time of the message was about 10 minutes before my scheduled pick-up time at the Y. Yet I had my cell phone on me all that time, and it was turned on. Absolutely no phone calls.

Fast-forward to a couple days ago. I phoned into the reservation line to try and schedule a round trip for yesterday, which was Tuesday. But they gave me a time which was way before I would've even gotten out of bed, and told me that no other times were available. So I guess our paratransit service is having issues yet again, and that they're back to their old tricks. I was actually talking with another driver a few weeks ago, who admitted to me that the dispatchers suck at their job. This was what I thought all along, since I've had issues with the service before. This same thing happened just today when I tried to schedule a round trip on paratransit for tomorrow. So I am taking a taxicab to the YMCA, and one back and hopefully things will go smoother.
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hi everyone. I haven't posted to this comm for a little bit but I have a question. I recently got my ADA paratransit re-certification notice in the mail, and I've honestly been debating what exactly to do about it. Every other time I've gotten one of these, I just went ahead with the whole re-certification process. I wasn't too happy about that, but I did it anyway. But now that state funding has gotten so out of hand, I'm totally giving up on paratransit. So earlier this afternoon I phoned the local paratransit certification folks, and spoke with somebody who actually seemed at first to know what she was doing. However, when I asked her my question and she kept putting me on hold, it became quite clear to me that she had absolutely no clue. Hence my reason for asking here. Is it absolutely, 100% necessary for one to re-certify for ADA paratransit even if they are going to only ride the fixed-route buses and the trains? I don't have very good independent travel skills anymore, which in part is a discussion for another time. Actually I posted about this over at the Disabled Rage comm, so anyone interested please feel free to go there and have a look. I also posted an earlier entry here regarding this. But anyway, whenever I travel outdoors I need somebody with me who has good eyeballs. There are a couple exceptions, but I generally can no longer travel outdoors independently. My directional navigation isn't that great anymore either, so I don't want to ride paratransit. I have been asked by drivers to give directions to where I was going, and I never felt comfortable doing that unless someone I know well was riding with me. I would carry along maps, but I think that's a whole other can of worms. I have a cell phone and am happy to call somebody if I get lost, but then the problem becomes telling that person where I am at the time I'm lost.
kaberett: (sokka-facepalm)
[personal profile] kaberett
Dear Transport for London,

I'm impressed by your provision of a map and guide to step-free stations on the tube [pdf]. Thank you.

However, it would probably be even more awesome if you'd be willing to consider using symbols that didn't rely on users being able to distinguish between red, orange and green.

You champions.

[personal profile] kaberett
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
Picture of panel inside train bathroom indicating whether door is locked, using lit symbols of locked and unlocked padlocks, about 1.5x1.5in. Print and braille text reading "door locked/unlocked when lit" point at the correct lights.

Bathroom in train from Stratford to London. Can you tell what's missing?
jesse_the_k: My head on foam mat under pine trees (on the disabling wagon)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Inspired by lightgetsin's wonderful post, What I talk about when I talk about inaccessibility,
I thought I'd rant a little about the access irritations I encountered today.

Today I'll complain about inaccessible elements of the environment which nominally increase access. Otherwise known as "access theater," or access done wrong, it's particularly infuriating.

curb ramps Today I traveled around 45 of 'em which a manual wheelchair user, a 3-wheel scooter user, and many 4-wheel scooter or powerchair users couldn't navigate to save their lives. We're talking alpine slopes (up to 45°) *plus* cross slopes, which require the chair wheels to move at different speeds. That's bad, but the street-curb ramp intersection is even worse: imagine the cross section of a 8 inch pipe. Slice out the bottom two-fifths. That's what connects the edge of the street to the bottom of the curb ramp. Unless the chair tires are really big, they're just gonna jam and stick. Happily my new chair is back heavy and has super motors, so I can basically perform a wheelie to goose myself out of these chasms.

railroad tracks six-inch gaps between the pavement and the rail, and a vertical difference of five inches. See above for jam and stick.

bus stop announcements For reasons I can't fathom, our bus company refuses to provide "next stop" announcements. Instead, they attempt to announce the street name as it's crossed. So if the bus is running fast (almost always) then the announcement comes after we've passed the street. If I want to get off at stop B, I must ring the bell when I hear the announcement for stop B minus 1. But when we're running fast, B minus 1 is announced five seconds before it's time to ring for stop B. When I hear "stop B" announced, it's too late to get off at stop B. For experienced riders, it just means paying attention. While originally provided to meet ADA guidelines since human drivers rarely could be counted on to announce stops, thie automatic announcements are great for new riders and sighted riders busy texting or reading or fussing with the baby.

misplaced door openers If you're gonna put in a door opener, please put it where I can reach it before I go through the door! Several times today I had to cross two lanes of traffic to push the opener. At a university library, that's a steady stream of folks who are not really looking where they're going.
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh enjoying sticking her face into a bed of flour a bit too much; captioned 'headdesk'. (headdesk)
[personal profile] codeman38
So my local transit system has decided to cut hours on some of the routes that primarily serve campus and student apartments for Spring Break. That's all well and good; they won't be used as much, so it makes sense to reduce the service somewhat. They even have a note on the front page of the site which reads:

"Reduced Service for UGA Spring Break. March 8-12, 2010. See Service Hours for details"

With a link to the Service Hours page. So I follow that link, and I read this:

"UGA Routes: During all University breaks, "reading days" and holidays, Route 12 and Route 14 run on Reduced Service. Also Route 28 Does not run during University breaks and holidays. Call Athens Transit Information for specific times and schedules at [phone number redacted]."

::headdesks repeatedly::

Seriously, people? Half the reason I got a cell phone that can access the web is so I didn't have to deal with mutually frustrating relay calls for things like this...

Bad news for anyone who, I dunno, lives on one of those routes and needs to get to work or something Monday morning! Not to mention, anyone who needs to know the latest they can get back from the other side of town (which, of course, is different than with the normal schedule).

(Edited to add: And no, the schedules page does not list the spring break schedules. That, of course, would actually make sense.)
ysobel: (fail)
[personal profile] ysobel
The town I live in has a fairly decent public transportation system (which is even accessible, except for the times when they use authentic red London double-decker buses, and you can get a disabled pass that basically gives you free rides) but it's designed around the university, which means that getting from one place to another, when neither of them is near the university, is not always easy.

(this is not the fail. It's annoying, but not fail.)

I have a weekly appointment Fridays at 3pm. Because of the way routes are laid out, I would need to catch a bus at 1:45, ride it for about ten minutes, wait half an hour to transfer to a connecting route, ride it for about five minutes, and be there over half an hour before my appointment. Seriously, I could walk* there faster; it takes less than an hour. A rather miserable less-than-hour if it's cold and rainy, but it's not like the waiting times would be any better.

(* for definitions of walk that translate to using my wheelchair. I think of traveling by wheelchair (without additional vehicles such as being in a van) as walking, but I often confuse people when I say it.)

Now. The place where I lives has a paratransit service. Their official website says, and I quote:

Who May Use This Service?

* Customers who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
* Disabled customers may be accompanied by a personal attendant at no extra charge when required.
* One unregistered companion may accompany a registered customer, and must pay the 1-way fare.

They are a curb-to-curb service, with the usual fun about how you have to give a 20-minute window (i.e. be available 10 minutes before and after the scheduled time) but the bus will only wait 3 minutes, etc. But basically, it looks like a thing where you can use it if you're disabled, right?

...sort of.

It turns out that you can use it if a) you are disabled, and b) the nature of the disability means that you cannot use any other public transportation service, including the aforementioned bus system.


(and even more annoyingly: the fare for the bus service is free with a disabled pass, and otherwise $1 per trip; the paratransit is $2.)

ETA: I just realized that they do all communication by phone, which means that an otherwise-independent person with hearing or speech problems is basically screwed. Even better!


accessibility_fail: Universal "person in wheelchair" symbol, with wheelchair user holding a cutlass (Default)
You Fail At Accessibility

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