This year, Access Paratransit riders won a major victory when King County Metro signed a new contract promising higher standards of service for disabled riders who can’t easily use the fixed-route bus service.
For years, TRU has been organizing with disabled riders & allies including Washington ADAPT West and Stop Veolia Seattle, and working with elected officials like King County Councilmember Larry Gossett. Together we fought for and won an audit of Access service that highlighted severe problems, and a new contract that includes improvements such as: definitions and enforcement of excessively long trips; improved standards for drop-offs; higher penalties for the contractor; and better oversight of complaints. Drivers also have a strong contract, and irresponsible contractor Veolia/Transdev is out!
At the same time, we know our work isn’t done. The new contract still falls short of what’s needed to hold MV Transportation accountable and to enforce the standards for acceptable transit service mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ultimately, we believe this vital service should be brought in-house and operated as a truly public service, rather than contracted out to a private corporation. TRU and allies will be continuing to organize with Access riders to push for better transit service for disabled riders!