The ultimate goal of Frederick County TransIT is to create a convenient, safe and easy to use system for our passengers. The idea of having a service that is available to all citizens is especially relevant during the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Act, written into law on July 26, 1990, celebrates “removing barriers and empowering people” and affects over 50 million people in the US. Since its inception, the percentage of buses that are accessible to people with disabilities increased from 51 percent to 99.8 percent. TransIT provides lowering features on Connector buses, wheelchair lifts and trained staff to assist passengers. The TransIT-plus program provides transportation for seniors and people with disabilities in Frederick County, MD. And in addition to TransIT’s ADA compliant services, it will launch the Taxi Access Program this Fall, providing TransIT-plus customers with an additional transportation option.
But buses aren’t the only source of transportation for people with disabilities. Popular sports company, Nike, is changing the way people with disabilities see transportation.
Matthew Walzer, a teenager diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, wrote to Nike expressing concern that, when he would head to college, he wouldn’t have a way to tie his shoes; Matthew relied on his parents to help him each day. Nike designer Tobie Hatfield saw a need and created a basketball shoe, the Nike Flyease, with a zipper release providing ankle support and easy entry/ exit for its wearer. Hatfield said about the process, “I worked with Matthew just as I would any athlete.” This expression fits with Nike’s motto which is, “If you have a body you’re an athlete.” The journey to the Flyease wasn’t easy. Several years of design and hard work were put in to create the perfect shoe, with Matthew’s input. The same goes with our public buses. Creating better service isn’t easy, but it is our duty to provide a transportation system that is safe, reliable and convenient for all who choose to use it!
This individualized approach should remain consistent across all modes of transportation: availability for all. This inspiring story is just one of many from all modes of transportation. Alternative transportation, in any form, provides access to vital medical appointments, grocery trips, jobs and much more.