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Transit riders experience challenges in Bismarck

April 15, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Efforts to stabilize transit in the Bismarck area have resulted in reduced service that has left some residents with disabilities without a ride.

Some riders have dropped from routes because they live outside city boundaries while others are experiencing long wait times. Some transit users argue that the issues have been ongoing.

The Bis-Man Transit Board and Bismarck City Commission have proposed measures to resolve paratransit issues in the coming months, but some are skeptical of real change, The Bismarck Tribune reported .

“It’s been very — for lack of a better term — discriminating towards people with disabilities, because it really puts huge barriers on them to work,” said Darcy Severson, who runs the community-based vocational department for Pride Inc.

Sheryl Stradinger is the mother of two daughters with disabilities. She said she’s doing her best to transport her daughter, but that it’s a challenge.

“Transportation is something that all of us take for granted except for (people with disabilities), they can’t,” said Stradinger, who said she wasn’t notified of losing service until she tried to book a medical appointment her daughter.

Steve Heydt is the president of the Bis-Man Transit Board. He said the board is continuing to look for solutions for the lost service and has formed a committee to help.

The North Dakota Protection and Advocacy Project, is an independent state agency that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. It’s been receiving similar concerns about paratransit, according to Pam Mack, director of program services.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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