Op-ed | The importance of Paratransit Access-A-Ride – Carib Vibe Radio

Op-ed | The importance of Paratransit Access-A-Ride

New York City Transit’s fastest-growing ridership base isn’t the subway or bus system — it’s our Paratransit Access-A-Ride service. Now carrying almost 90% of its pre-COVID base, Paratransit is second only to MTA Bridges and Tunnels in terms of ridership recovery.

That the City’s highest need population is resuming its regular travel patterns is a hugely positive sign. Generally speaking, those returning riders don’t have as many travel options as other MTA customers, so they need strong paratransit service to get around. I’m thrilled to say they’re getting it.

To some, these might just seem like numbers. But they make a world of difference for the 28,000+ New Yorkers who ride with us daily. People like Dr Marcella Maxwell, a Paratransit user, who joined MTA leaders for an event last week celebrating the system’s recent success.

“I had a fall in my home in April and came out of my rehab in June,” said Dr. Maxwell, a retired educator. “Access-A-Ride has been one of the most important components of my recovery. I am 95 years old, I’m able to go out every day, I’m able to participate in my physical therapy. I am thrilled because Access-A-Ride comes on time and because the employees and the staff that are driving the cars are polite, they are courteous, and they are helpful.

“I was amazed to find out that Access-A-Ride was established in 1990, when George H.W. Bush was our president. He focused on three aspects of civil rights legislation: housing, employment, and transportation. This makes the difference in my recovery and the belief that our City is an age-friendly place.”

Dr Maxwell’s words remind us of the power of public transportation. Mass transit opens the door to opportunity and makes our world bigger. Everyone should be able to enjoy all the great things New York has to offer and with strong and improved Paratransit service, they can.

Richard Davey is president of New York City Transit.

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