Press-Republican

Local News

October 25, 2012

Special transportation available for those who can't use public routes

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County residents who have difficulty getting about because of a disability may have options for travel available through the county’s paratransit program.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, certain individuals are eligible for transportation if their disability prevents them from independently using a normal bus route or if routes don’t fit the required destination or time needed by the individual.

For instance, people who cannot understand or navigate the system’s fixed routes because of vision impairment or mental disability are eligible.

“Demand for the paratransit program is increasing,” said James Bosley, director of Clinton County Public Transit, while adding that “paratransit is not intended to meet all of the travel needs of all persons with disabilities.”

DIALYSIS PATIENTS

The program currently has 16 clients who visit the H.K Freedman Renal Center for dialysis three times per week, Bosley noted.

“In some cases, the dialysis patient may be full of energy (on the way to treatment), but dialysis takes so much out of a person that the patient may not be able to return home without assistance.”

Dialysis patients using the program account for nearly 5,000 paratransit trips annually, Bosley noted, but the system still needs to allow for all other individuals who may need specialized services to travel from one point of the county to another.

FEDERAL MANDATE

“We currently have two buses dedicated to this service: one for the Plattsburgh area and one for the rest of the county,” Bosley said.

“ADA regulations require that we offer paratransit services in those areas where we offer fixed routes. We believe we go above and beyond those regulations.”

County residents who qualify for the program must apply for paratransit services. Application forms are available at the Public Transit office, 137 Margaret St., Plattsburgh, or by visiting the website at clintoncountypublictransit.com.

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