“The world isn’t very accessible for people like me,” Sarah, 23, said. “That’s why I’m an advocate for access.”
Sarah was born with low vision and is on the autism spectrum. She said that navigating bus systems and scheduling is overwhelming, especially since her low vision means she can’t read schedules and signage. But after her introduction to Via Mobility Services at age 14, she’s become an expert on the many transportation options that can help people through these challenges.
Sarah works for Mobility for All, a Boulder County program that promotes accessible, affordable, and equitable transportation for residents of all ages and abilities. An essential part of her job is teaching courses about these options. “I share all the transportation options available to residents. It’s important to have backups,” she explained.
One thing that distinguishes Via drivers, she said, is that they come to your door to pick you up. “I’ve become buddies with Via drivers,” Sarah said. “They really value the people they drive.”
Sarah also takes advantage of Via’s Family and Friends Mileage Reimbursement Program. It allows her to contribute to gas and mileage expenses incurred by family, friends, and neighbors who provide her rides when Via cannot.
Sarah is extraordinarily creative – expressing herself through drawing, writing, and poetry slams. She’s excited to be publishing a collection of short stories called A Mess of Milque. “It’s for anyone who likes to play and has a colorful imagination,” she says.
Her playful creativity shines through the way she names every Via bus she rides. “Bus #132 is Perry the Reliable, #140 is Jaspurr the Butler, and I call #131 Buxstarr because it reminds me of a rodeo.”
“Riding the bus grounds me,” she adds. “I call it bus therapy.”
Learn about Via’s Family and Friends Mileage Reimbursement Program