Part I – Is public transportation right for you?
It’s important for all people to be able to go to the places that are important to them: a friend’s house, the movies, a job, the store, a recreation center or park. Besides family members and friends providing rides, many individuals with disabilities and older adults use paratransit or on-demand transportation services available in their community.
Another affordable, convenient and reliable transportation option that is sometimes overlooked is public transportation. Using public transit doesn’t mean that a person has to give up the other forms of transportation they use.
In the RTD service area there are a number of free services available to individuals with disabilities to assist them in first assessing whether public transportation is a good option for them; and then if it is…assisting them in learning how to safely and confidently use the RTD system.
Many people don’t realize that RTD’s training department will bring an out-of-service bus to a person’s home so the person with a disability can practice using the lift and become more familiar with the bus. Practicing getting on and off the bus without the stress associated with being at a bus stop with people waiting makes it easier for people to master the skills needed to use the bus.
All RTD bus operators are trained regarding transportation rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and are ready to provide accommodations to riders to make the trip more comfortable.
All buses and light rail trains have security cameras. And, at the front of the bus (right behind the driver) there is a designated seating area for people using mobility devices and individuals with other types of disabilities.
Even though you can’t see the lift, all public transit vehicles, including light rail, are accessible for individuals using mobility devices. Learn more about RTD’s services for individuals with disabilities on the accessibility page of RTD’s website or contact Don Merritt at 303-299-2525.
In Part II, learn how travel training can make public transportation easier to navigate.
Susan Unger, Travel Training Coordinator
UPDATE: Via has discontinued its Travel Training program. Visit our Travel Training page to learn about other Travel Training options in the Denver Metro region.