Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More work needs to be done with the transportation system.

Something has to be done about the transportation situation in Wichita Falls, TX. I'm reduced to using cab service because the city bus is still elusive after four years, due to my shoulder injury. I've lived here at the same location for almost ten years and don't have the network of people to call on Most of my encounters are the "Over 60 and Unable" or "Under 50 and Too Busy'

In May of 2009, I injured my shoulders while opening my living room windows. Since that time, rolling on the grass whether wet or dry and getting to the bus stop around the corner is impossible without a sidewalk of some sort. More work is needed in making the transportation system more efficient. I don't have a car, and the small network of people I usually call on for help has thinned out.

I don't mean to categorize or bash anyone for their age or medical conditions because I'm in a wheelchair, disabled, and under 60. During the hours of 8-5 p.m. at Sikes Senter Mall., one runs into the "Over 60 and Unable". Remember, I'm only guessing about their ages. Because of their medical situation, they are unable to lift a wheelchair and put it in a car(assuming they drive a car I could get into in the first place). Lots of people are on a cane or a walker. I don't expect them to do that.

Then one runs into the "Under 50 and Too Busy". These are the people that work, volunteer and have families. This doesn't mean that the "Over 60 and Unable" don't have families and don't work or volunteer. Climbing into a big 4 X 4 truck SUV, or its hybrid equivalent is impossible because the step is three inches off the ground. It seemed more like three feet. Unfortunately, most of the people at my church drive cars like that, old and young. My Sunday School class is defined as a "working class." They either have a job or volunteer. A lot of people that come for church service on Sunday don't come on Wednesday night. My options are limited there too. I refuse to intrude on someone with a family, now that the Wednesday van only picks up Awana members.

 Last Wednesday night, I found out that it would cost anywhere from $9-$12 one way going six miles to Lamar Baptist Church, depending on the time of day and the cab driver. Luckily, the driver gave me a flat rate of $9. Going from my apartment on Maplewood Avenue to my doctor's office on Indiana Avenue is the same distance But, the Wichita Falls Public Library is 6.1 miles. That extra one-tenth of a mile would add to the price, and they are two blocks away from each other. During Spring Break, one of my Sunday School Class members were hosting a party in a house by Memorial Stadium. The dispatcher at Skylark Taxi quoted a price of around $15 just to get there. Had I said it was 5.1 miles away from the house, I probably would have been given a reduced rate somehow. Unfortunately, this was found out after I hung up. It pays to map things out on Google.

The meter started at $2.50 for the first mile and 33 cents each additional mile. The ironic thing, this is the same price of a deviation fee on the local City Transit System. Deviation fees add up just like cab fare. In order for this to work, I'd have to be dropped off or picked up on the other end. The bus stops running at 7:30 p,m. during the week and does not go near the church on Harrison Street. After four years, that hasn't changed.

More work needs to be done with the transportation system.

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