Please consult the web site: www.accessibleride.org.
The website illustrates the service model for evenings and weekends/holidays that is currently in place. Unfortunately, despite the past and current wonderful work by the Capital Transit Advisory Council (CTAC), Montana Independent Living Project (mILp), many others from the disability community, and Helena stakeholders, the service is slated to discontinue as of early May because donations are limited. During the 2017 planning and funding process, the CTAC’s recommendation was to fund this service with TransADE resources, but that recommendation was ignored by the Helena Lead Agency (City of Helena) and Montana Department of Transportation (MDOT). Fortunately, our community of Helena and its generous organizations and citizens have enabled operation of the service since September of 2016 through their generous donations, demonstrating its acceptance and value in the Helena Community.
It is alarming to see the CTAC attempting to act in the public’s best interest, only to be met with “silence” from the Helena Lead Agency, comprised, in part, of the mayor, city commissioners, city manager, and Capital Transit.
Since 2014 -- yes, for multiple years -- when providing suggestions for evening and weekend/holiday options, the disability community has been met with the same silence. There are those who have suggested that we, in the disability community, remain quiet and less critical, in exchange for the “hope” it will influence those who could make the needed logical changes. Well, it is time to “call a spade a spade!” This isn’t “rocket science!” It is simple!
It is time for those in positions of leadership to give voice to what has been attempted, asked, offered, demonstrated. Fund the existing evening and weekend service provided by Capitol Taxi with TransADE funds to a level that will sustain the service, certainly the $63,000 or a portion of such, and transcend this “political stonewalling.” Concerted efforts, combined with the most recent changes, including the new mayor and a new commissioner, can move Helena and its transportation options for those of us who are “transportation dependent,” into the 21st century.
Chief Executive Officer
Montana Independent Living Project