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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Alternatives to route cuts should be considered
A few years ago our business had a dishonest bookkeeper. She was very clever and determined. She lied, forged documents, and intercepted certified letters warning us of problems. By the time our accountant caught her we were in deep trouble financially. It was a very scary time, but we pulled through.
Telling this story to others, it was astonishing how many people had similar stories. We would have said that we were very careful with finances. Island Transit even had state auditors, and still the problems weren’t caught. Wrongdoing by bookkeepers can be hard to catch.
I’m so distressed for Island Transit and the people who depend on it. The loss of so many paratransit routes is disastrous for elderly and disabled residents, some of whom will be effectively trapped in their homes, unable to get to doctors and therapy appointments.
I’m glad to hear that routes may be restored in 2015, but those folks just can’t make it that long. I hope at least some kind of solution can be found for this vulnerable population.
Maybe the routes could be run a couple of times a week, instead of entirely eliminated, so people could make appointments for those days. Perhaps Island Transit could lend the idle paratransit buses out for volunteers to drive. The mechanical lifts are essential to help people with limited mobility and wheelchairs. Creative thinking may help us get through this difficult period.