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PVTA is too expensive

April 9, 2012
Lots of us are pretty upset about the rising price of gasoline for our cars. But those increases are nothing compared to what the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is asking persons with disabilities to pay to get to doctors' appointments, work, or the grocery store.
Today a round trip on a PVTA paratransit van costs between $5 to $7 for people who live more than of a mile off a bus route. That covers a lot of people, because there just isn't much in the way of accessible, affordable housing in the Pioneer Valley: you live wherever you can find a place.
If the PVTA fare increases go into effect, those same folks will be paying $14 for a single round trip. Fourteen dollars! With many folks with disabilities receiving less than $800 a month in benefits, and with most of that going to rent and food, well, how many rides can they afford?
The PVTA is headed off down the wrong road. There are more riders on all the routes than there were two years ago, and those rising gas prices are a guarantee that there will be many more. We need more public transportation, not less, and we sure shouldn't be pricing out the ones who depend on buses and vans the most. Come on, folks. Tell the PVTA and your state legislators to GET ON THE BUS!
Janet Shaw
Director of Independent Living Services at Stavros
Springfield
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