January 4, 2010

Mr. Jay Walder
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Metropolitan Transit Authority
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Walder:

I am writing to urge you and the MTA board to forgo cuts to the Access-A-Ride program.  As you know, Access-A-Ride is a vital service to so many New Yorkers and is particularly important to people with a disability. 

This service provides people with a disability access to much needed transportation to and from doctor visits and is a major mode of travel for many of Lighthouse International’s clients.  An Access-A-Ride van outside our door, picking up or dropping passengers, is a common and continuous sight.  The compassionate assistance that many drivers provide when helping a person with visual impairment navigate from inside our building to the awaiting van is both genuine, and much appreciated.  Any alteration that will reduce services and increase fares will have a devastating impact on the health and well being of Access-A-Ride users and must be reconsidered. 

Admittedly times are extremely tough and the need for cost savings has left every organization searching for ways to increase efficiency and reduce non-essential services.  But surely we can agree that cutting services and increasing fares for people with a disability will have a detrimental effect on the independence and health of Access-A-Ride users, and exponentially increase long term costs to the public. 

We welcome the opportunity to work with your organization to improve the efficiency of the Access-A-Ride program, but strongly urge you and the board to reconsider this plan. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Mark Ackermann
President and CEO 

 

 

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Watch us on Youtube   Email   Visit our Flickr