By Pam Bailey, Office Manager, The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties
As a long time employee of The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas, it’s always nice to take some time to learn something new. Last month, I decided to sneak away from my desk to attend the Transportation Workshop coordinated by our Education and Community Outreach Coordinator, Kim Tenure.
I am not a regular user of public transportation, which was one of the reasons I decided to attend the class. I was amazed at what I learned and I’d like to share the 6 tips with you.
- Via Mobility Services provides FREE one-on-one travel training for individuals with I/DD and for older adults (age 60+). Contact Susan Unger at 303-447-2848 ext. 1048 or [email protected] and she will be happy to assist you.
- RTD is willing to improve bus stops for better accessibility. All you have to do is submit a request to the Engineering Department. Call the Administrative Office at 303-628-9000 for more information.
- If you already have an Access-A-Ride card, you and your aide, if needed, can ride the bus and light rail for FREE. All you have to do is show your card.
- RTD has a free smart phone app that can assist with your travel needs.
- Stokes Straps – You’re probably saying what I did, what the heck is stokes straps? These are bright yellow straps for customers who use a mobility device including wheelchairs. You can request them for free by calling 303-299-4056. Someone from RTD will come to your home to show you how to use them. Once attached to your mobility device, these straps indicate where securement straps should be attached when traveling on the bus.
- If you have mobility concerns and are not comfortable with the steps on the bus, you can ask the driver to deploy the lift or ramp when boarding or exiting the bus.
During this presentation we also learned how to board the bus, insert cash or a paper ticket or use a bus pass. You must have exact change as the bus driver does not have change. If you put too much money into the machine, you will not receive change back.
We then traveled to the light rail station and received instruction on how to purchase tickets, validate a coupon and board. We road light rail for a few stops, got off and then road it back to our starting point.
The Transportation Workshop has been offered several times during the past few years, and now I know why it is a class everyone should take. I learned so much and was happy to share my new found knowledge with my family. You never know when you might need to assist someone with public transportation or it becomes a regular way for you to get around. Whatever your preference of transportation is, I would recommend this class.