Letters to the Editor

Paratransit service is key in election decision

The community should be made aware of how important the Island Transit sales tax increase is to our community. Every route in Island County has another very important factor that I have not heard mentioned: Paratransit. If you live within three-fourths of a mile from a route, you can apply for paratransit services. If you qualify as a person of disability you can use paratransit.

Paratransit will provide transportation to the doctor, work, grocery store, senior centers, physical therapy, lunch with a friend, a visit to a spouse in an adult-care facility, to the ferry and Mt. Vernon for special appointments such as patients to dialysis six days a week. The list goes on and on.

It's completely free of charge. We can provide this much needed service for a few cents every time we make a purchase. Small change we will never miss. If the route is eliminated, the paratransit riders will nolonger live within the three quarters of a mile. Do we, as responsible community members, really want to deny these people a small everyday necessities that most of us take for granted.

A power scooter can weigh 300 pounds or more. Paratransit and regular busses are equiped with special lifts and tie-downs to accomadate these scooters and wheelchairs. How could a family afford such a vehicle?

We can easily afford to provide this service for pennies, six days a week. A paratransit rider is also allowed a guest. I know a couple who took their grandson to M Bar C ranch for a barbecue.

If we lose just one route, how many paratransit riders will be denied some of lifes basic needs? Many of the paratransit riders are ederly citizens that have worked and supported our community all their lives. Our neighbors, family, and friends are paratransit riders. Please be responsible and vote yes for Island Transit.

Therese Varney

Save Our System committee member

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