The main objective covered in this letter is makinga case for why transportation for the disabled should be more accessible. People with disabilities try to keep their dignity by doing things for themselves. For it shows natural independence as opposed to having a person care for them hence assisted living.
It is very difficult for the disabled people to get around Harford County. For example, people who want to see a special event in another part of the county or in another county, must arrange rides to the event. There is also a problem with getting proper information from county to county or getting into Baltimore City. The same problem exists with getting disabled passes or fare information.
For example, if a person wants to go to another college or advanced training school other than Harford Community College, that person is pretty much left out in the cold since buses are their only means of transportation.
Speaking of cold, there are no shelters, like Baltimore City has, for most Harford County bus stops. Therefore, most people have to stand in the weather — hot, cold or rain — making patrons feel insecure.
The buses need to make connections easier, as the bus should be a benefit for the general public, not only the disabled. More buses would open up more jobs for the disabled, who rely on these for transportation. Since there is only transportation during the day, many jobs off Route 7 or 40 and inother areas are unavailable to bus riders.
With more hours of operation, these people could be riding the bus and possibly enrolling in a night class at Harford Community College. With the exception of the recent holiday boost in sales and foot traffic, Harford Mall is nearly a ghost town. On nights I have been there in the evening, I have walked past empty stores. I remember when the mall was bustling with foot traffic all the time, not just at holiday time.
The county transportation must be extended, as well. Many people live in developments, which preclude them from getting to a bus stop. Many people do live near a bus stop. Some of these people cannot walk to one. For example, the area of Friendship Village, in Abingdon, which includes Box Hill (Abingdon) or the area of Forest Hill, which is between Vale Road and Route 152, or Bel Air north and the bowling alley or surrounding developments to Colgate Drive, all have limited or no bus service.
Harford County needs to be concerned with reference to how people are educated about how various transportation systems work. They need to see how this could be beneficial to all people, especially non-drivers. The traffic situation would be improved and our roads would not be cluttered. Television commercials about this would increase business in the county and add money to the coffers of the county in the long run.
There should be a bus pass (as in Baltimore City) that is valid across the state for those who are disabled. The bus companies that travel to Baltimore during the week, too, should honor it. I am confident private bus operators would look at it as good public relations, rather than a problem. Some of the drivers honor it, others do not. Disabled people want to have their chance, too, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.