The challenge of getting from A to B | SierraSun.com

The challenge of getting from A to B

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/ Sierra SunDial-A-Ride driver Chace Paradise raiases Bridgette Weiszhaar into a bus outside the Sierra Mountain Community Education Center Tuesday afternoon. Weiszhaar attended a meetinig at the center on the availability of transportation for those with disabilities in Truckee.
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Getting around a mountain town can be a challenge for anyone, but for Truckee’s disabled it requires even more.

Working with LSC Transportation Consultants, the Town of Truckee is creating a Paratransit Plan to comply with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. At a meeting Tuesday with members of Truckee’s senior and disabled community, the consultants and town officials discussed what Truckee is doing right ” and what it needs to do better.

Currently, disabled people living in Truckee are reliant on Truckee Transit’s Dial-a-Ride system, and while many attending the meeting liked the service, they also said there is room for improvement.

“I really like Dial-a-Ride, but they’ve been constantly broken down, the lifts don’t work,” said Bridgette Weiszhaar, who uses a wheelchair and lives at the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments. “[Dial-a-Ride] is a really good thing, and maybe with new buses it will be a lot better.”

Alex Terrazas, assistant town manager, said the town has ordered two buses to replace the current Dial-a-Ride vehicles within the next few months.

Truckee resident Denny Dickinson said he thinks Dial-a-Ride is a good system, but what happens after getting off the bus needs to be addressed.

“Dial-a-ride may be the greatest thing in our community for seniors,” Dickinson said.

Weiszhaar said she would be working with Dickinson to create a map of areas in town that are difficult or impossible to access with a wheelchair.

“There are areas they need to fix the sidewalk; right now you have to go out in the street,” she said.

Weiszhaar, who said she uses Dial-a-Ride on a daily basis, also suggested extending the service hours later into the evening and on Sundays.

“It would be nice to get out more on the weekends,” Weiszhaar said.

Currently, the 16-passenger Dial-a-Ride shuttles operate on the same schedule as the rest of Truckee’s transit Monday through Saturday.

Genevieve Evans of LSC Transport-ation said the Americans with Disabili-ties Act requirement for this type of service is to provide those with disabilities comparable transportation to what is available to those without disabilities.

That means access to anywhere within a three-quarter mile radius of the normal route, she said, but the town already goes beyond that by going into Glenshire and other areas off the standard route.

Jesse Griffin, another resident of the senior center, said she also wants to see more connections throughout the Truckee-Tahoe area.

“What about coordinating with Placer County’s bus system so we could go to Tahoe City or Kings Beach?” Griffin asked. “It’s very important we have access to that area.”

Once LSC compiles comments, Evans said they hope to complete the plan by the end of May. Terrazas said the plan will go before town council at some point for approval, but a date for that meeting has not yet been set.