City News

After federal funding cuts, taking the bus could be more difficult for disabled riders

Those with disabilities could see higher fares for Madison buses, after about $4 million of federal funding cuts hits the city.

After federal funding cuts of almost $4 million, riding public buses in Madison could be more difficult for those with disabilities.

The funding cuts — from the usual $9.4 million paratransit budget — would require the city’s Metro Transit to undergo significant changes to those services, including increased bus fares and less accommodating door to door pickup services.

The transition would lower Metro’s services from what is considered “above and beyond” to a level closer to what is required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Those changes include altering the door-to-door pickup services — a resource that allow passengers with disabilities to be assisted to the bus stop — to curbside services.

Paratransit passengers could also see changes to fares they pay for public bus rides. Instead of using convenience tickets, customers would have to pay cash for each ride and fares would jump from $3.25 to $4 for riders.

“Adjustments need to be made to offset this large anticipated decrease in revenue,” officials at Madison Metro told the State Journal.

A public hearing on the changes to the system will be held Wednesday by Metro Transit officials and The Madison Transit and Parking Commission at 6 p.m. in the third floor conference room of the Madison Central Library.

The fare increase is expected to start Feb. 1 while the proposed changes would be gradual throughout 2018. 

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