Ride-On, a countywide shuttle which caters to seniors and people with disabilities, announced that it will likely have to end the discounted senior shuttle service. The service was forced to raise prices earlier this year to three dollars for a one-way trip, citing higher gas prices. Now with the state budget crisis, Ride-On executive director, Mark Shaffer said, the program will likely be abandoned altogether.
According to the governor’s proposal to balance the budget, the state could pull more than 75 percent of its funding for local transportation programs—State Transportation Assistance, or STA funding.
STA cuts would have an impact on both regional and city transportation systems, but probably not so dramatically as they would for the senior shuttle, which is funded entirely from the state funds. Shaffer said for many seniors, the bus is too hard to ride, so they depend on the shuttle for such basic errands as buying groceries.
Shaffer is encouraging seniors to write to local lawmakers to stress the importance of the program.