Ride-On, a countywide shuttle that caters to seniors and people with disabilities, announced it will likely be forced to discontinue the discounted senior shuttle. The service was forced to raise prices earlier this year to $3 for a one-way trip, citing higher gas prices. Now with the state budget crisis, Ride-On Executive Director Mark Shaffer said, the program could be abandoned all together.
Under the governor’s proposal to balance the budget, the state would 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 those impacts likely would not be as dramatic as they would be for the senior shuttle, which is funded entirely from the state funds. Shaffer said that 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 and stress the importance of the program.