Letters to the Editor

You too may need paratransit some day

Today I am asking you for just a moment of your valuable time. Island Transit needs you and that also means paratransit needs you too. Paratransit is another very important service of Island Transit. Paratransit provides coordinated transportation for those with special needs including our elderly and persons with disabilities. Many of these riders lack the means to move about the island as easily as you and I. These riders have daily appointments, reservations and commitments just as we do, but need paratransit to help get them there.

These paratransit riders I consider my friends. I see these riders daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. I know their family, friends, health issues. Who are our riders? Our riders are current and retired military personal dating back to WW II. Our riders are current and retired doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals. Our riders are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers.

Our riders are blind. Our riders endure kidney disease, MS, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration. Our riders are stroke victims. Our riders are people who sometimes just need temporary transportation to physical therapy while they recover from an injury.

Our riders are your neighbors, your co-workers, your relatives, your friends. Our riders are just like you. They all have the same reasons to get out of bed each day and pursue life just as we do; but, they just cannot do it with the same ease and effortlessness that we take for granted.

These riders need, want and rely upon paratransit services. These riders want to maintain independence, integrity, self-reliance, self-worth. Many of our riders either live alone, have no family or their family cannot get them around as well as or as often as we can. Many of our riders simply cannot drive. They need paratransit. They need you to vote yes on Aug. 18. Vote yes for Island Transit because you know and feel in your heart that these riders deserve to participate in the same daily life that you and I take for granted. Vote yes for Island Transit because you are a former or current paratransit rider. Vote yes for Island Transit because you may need paratransit one day and would want complete and uninterrupted services.

Scott Ladymon

Oak Harbor

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