Friday, July 22, 2005

The catch for using KAT

Today I am going to talk about a subject that I know is unusual for many conservatives to discuss and is a subject where I take a position that may put me at odds with some of my conservative compatriots. For people with disabilities, however, this is an issue they can’t ignore and one that confronts them every day.

Affordable, reliable, accessible, and frequent public transit is something that many people with disabilities need to survive. Many of us do not want to sit at home and collect from the public dole, we’d rather work hard and be productive members of society. In order to accomplish that goal, accessible transit must exist in the cities where we live, especially for those unable to drive.

I’m not saying that Knoxville Area Transit is a bad transit system. The good news is that there is a bus that comes right up to the building where I live. That bus will take me downtown, and it will take me to transfer points where I can catch other busses that go to various places throughout the city. In this sense, KAT has managed to fulfill their requirements under the Americans With Disabilities Act with room to spare. The flip side is that the first bus that I can catch doesn’t come by here until 7:15. That creates a problem if I happen to have a job that isn’t directly downtown where I might need to be to work by 8AM. If I need to transfer busses, there is a great possibility that I will be late for work through no fault of my own.

KAT and other systems like it could do better, and it wouldn’t take much. In the case of KAT, it would merely take running the busses an hour earlier every day, this would insure that folks who needed to be to work before 9AM could all get there, and no one gets sacked for something they can’t control.


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