Monday, August 28, 2006

Transit Accessibility Issues in San Francisco

See this interesting article, which begins:

Much has been written recently about the much-vaunted study of the MUNI-oriented Transit Effectiveness Program. Thankfully, this shows people's awareness of MUNI's problems--and therefore indicates also expectations of results from this new approach. But, little thought or critical observation has happened with HOW this transit effectiveness study is set up and functioning, possibly even in violation of ordinance and policy. So, let's take two looks at the TEP: 1] from the perspective of transit-dependent constituencies---seniors and the disabled, rather than from the viewpoint of those who are running it or who dominate its discussions; and 2] from compliance and / or conformity with ordinance, public policy, and precedent. The unfortunate conclusion: the disabled are often the first to be ignored and the last to be consulted.

Why should a disability perspective make such a point about compliance and conformity with laws and regulations? Precisely because the disabled have so many requirements and restrictions on getting necessary services that we have to learn and abide by rules and regulation in order to function, if not to survive--whereas many able-bodied have far less reason to think through how to get things done.

While many MAY-- reluctantly, and often only if pressed--admit that seniors, the disabled, and youth are disproportionately THE groups that absolutely, positively always need transit to function, that disproportionality doesn't show up in the numbers and types of agencies selected to have representatives on the so-called Transit Efficiency Program Citizens' Advisory Committee.


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