I-976 Impacts: “I take Access Transit everywhere”

Access Bus

Gina was a proud rider of the #158 bus from Kent to her job at The Lighthouse for the Blind in Seattle. She is blind as well, and says, “Transit brings me the freedom to travel anywhere I need to travel. It brings me independence. I don’t depend on someone to drive me.”

Since retirement, she has had some health problems and is no longer able to access the regular bus service. Instead,  she rides Access Transit, King County Metro’s paratransit program that serves people who are unable to access regular bus service. The goal of the program is to provide the same level of transit service to truly all people.

“I take Access Ttransit everywhere: to church, my doctor’s office, I take it everywhere I go. It’s not perfect, but it gets me there,” Gina said. “If Tim Eyman’s initiative passes, it will totally ruin how I get around. It would have a bad impact on Access Transit, and I need that to get around. I’m not able to walk, I can’t stand for long periods of time. I’m fully reliant on Access Transit.”

If I-976 passes, King County Metro’s Access Transit would lose $12.2 million between the years 2020 and 2025. $240 million are also at risk for transit programs for special needs transportation grants. Thirty transit agencies across the state rely on Formula Grants to keep their accessible  transit programs running. These life-giving services ensure people living with disabilities have access to doctor’s appointments, schools, jobs and connections to family and friends.

I-976 threatens up to a quarter billion dollars over 10 years of this critical funding. Vote NO on I-976 to ensure transit access to people who need it most.

Keiko Budech is the communications manager at Transportation Choices Coalition, a policy and advocacy nonprofit working to bring Washingtonians more and better transportation choices. TCC is dedicated to making mobility accessible for all.