From a news release issued by Make It Work Milwaukee! Coalition:
The Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition supports the preservation of public
transportation funding. Transit and paratransit services are critical to maintaining the independence of older adults and people with disabilities as many do not drive or own a vehicle because of their disability, aging, and/or limited income.
When transportation is cut, not only are people with disabilities and older adults unable to work or get out in their community, but a caregiver may no longer be able to provide care when it is needed. Some people with disabilities need supports at all hours of the day. Transit lowers government costs by helping people with disabilities live independently and be employed.
Our agencies urge legislators to restore transit operating aids to help preserve public transportation. Over the past decade, we have seen harmful reductions in transit services, as local government struggles to maintain essential services with declining resources and increasing fuel costs. The resulting cutbacks have already taken a heavy toll on the ability of people with disabilities and seniors to work and be contributing members of the community, and also made it very difficult for the caregivers they rely on to get to work.
Nearly half of transit use is for work related purposes. Further cuts in transit will cut off people with disabilities and seniors from jobs and education, and lead to higher unemployment. Transit is vital to Wisconsin’s economy, businesses and families, and lowers government costs by keeping people employed and living independently.
In addition, proposed reductions in transit aids are expected to result in significant reduction of paratransit services which are a lifeline for many people with disabilities and older adults. In Milwaukee County along it is expected that a minimum of 2000 people with disabilities and older adults will completely lose access to transportation, leaving them prisoners in their own homes unable to travel to work, to school, to medical appointments, or to buy food. The majority of those expected to lose
service live in suburban areas including Bay Side, Glendale, Franklin, Oak Creek and Greendale. Thousands more will be impacted by the reduction of the service area and may be unable to get to work, to the doctor, or to visit family.