City works to improve public transport for disabled citizens

Amarillo Advisory Commission for People with Disabilities met today at City Hall about making bus stops more accessible to disabled riders. Pronews 7 was at the meeting, and spoke with members of the board about the importance of public transportation for disabled persons.

For disabled people, getting around can be challenge, and this is why the city of Amarillo proactively reviews requests for new stops, installing bus stops, and improving accessibility during these meetings. The city aims to make bus stops usable for all segments of the population.

Doug Hammett, who is a member of the Amarillo Advisory Commission for People with Disabilities, said that one park bench can make all the difference.

â??Some people kind of need that extra bench you know to wait and do things like us,â?? said Doug Hammett.â?? The city goes out and does a good job of evaluating the whole situation.â??

For every stop in the city, whether proposed or existing, there is a great deal of planning and studying of such things as the right of way, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, and distance to businesses, residences, medical centers, and social services agencies. Overall, there are many variables that the city must assess.

â??Whatâ??s the topography of the site, do you have an existing sidewalk, is there curbing and guttering, and are there existing ramps,â?? said Judy Phelps, from the Transit Department at the city of Amarillo.

For Chris White, the Transportation Coordinator for the Panhandle Independent Living Center, making sure that disabled people can get around is about dignity.

â??For people with disabilities, the one thing is that they want to feel included and sometimes whenever they feel separated from the society,â?? said Chris White. â??Itâ??s important to them because it gives them a sense of self-worth. â??