A Madison network redesign compounds the poor conditions people with disabilities face on local bus routes.
The recent Madison Metro bus system redesign was supposed to improve problems with bus route accessibility, stop frequency, and the number of transfers needed to complete lengthy routes. While the system has improved service for some, it has disproportionately left out people who already face transportation struggles due to income, location of residence, or disability.
As a person with a physical disability, I have relied on public transportation my entire life in order to access work, school, groceries, healthcare, and social activities. I am not able to walk extended distances between stops, stand on a bus without seating, or wait outside for prolonged periods of time in heat or cold without consequences to my health. These issues, along with a lack of bus stops that are wheelchair-accessible, are just some of the issues that people with disabilities face in obtaining equitable transportation access.
Recently, on my way back from a medical appointment, a bus scheduled at a nearby stop on South Whitney Way arrived early. I rushed to catch it before it left the stop, but it left me stranded in the summer heat beside a massive hole in the sidewalk. In my frustration, I took a photo of the inaccessible bus stop, drew it, and posted my story on Instagram when I got home. That initial drawing of the inaccessible stop began this extended project.
Below are six inaccessible stops I have collected, either through documenting problems on my own routes, or through obtaining references and tips from other people. I want to document more inaccessible bus stops, so if you see one please email a photo to email@example.com with the location of the stop. To bring up these issues to the City of Madison, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or register for public comment for the upcoming September thirteen meeting. You can also provide feedback directly to Metro Transit.
Below is a map of the inaccessible bus stops I have documented so far. Bus stops are identified as a pink dot. The hyperlink within each title will take readers to an exact location on the City of Madison’s transit map. There is no link for the West Transfer Point, since it has been closed down.
West Transfer Point (closed)
The West Transfer Point, along with all transfer points except the South Transfer Point, have been closed down. Transfer points were some of the only locations in Metro’s network with adequate seating, shelter, and shade. Additionally, these closed and existing shelter areas enforce anti-homeless regulations and criminalize people in need of a space to rest or sit down.
Aberg at Loftsgordon westbound, Route L
Where there used to be nine routes servicing this neighborhood on the north side, there is now only one. This limits the resources people in this neighborhood can access. The bus system redesign was meant to allow for more transfer opportunities between routes, so that fewer routes were needed, but there have been ongoing issues with buses not arriving on time, making transfers difficult.
Aberg at Loftsgordon eastbound, Route L
The eastbound stop at Aberg and Loftsgordon also has reduced routes. There is trash covering the stop, making it inaccessible for wheelchair users. There is also no seating or shade available.
Aberg at Packers westbound, Route L
There is no curb cut at this new stop, making it wheelchair inaccessible. This stop is also at the side of a busy intersection, which makes the lack of curb cut a safety issue if wheelchair users have to get off at an alternative location on the street.
West Washington at Bedford eastbound, Routes E, 75, 81
This is one of the many stops without adequate seating. Stops like these are the majority, not the exception, and they provide challenges to bus riders who are not able to stand for prolonged periods of time.
South Whitney at Tokay northbound, Routes D, E, J:
I had to sit at this stop after a healthcare appointment a little under a mile away. It is the closest stop to many healthcare resources in the area, one of them being a clinic that services people with orthopedic injuries. The stop has a hole in the sidewalk in front of the bus stop, making it inaccessible to wheelchair users. It is also exposed to direct sunlight and there is also no seating.
Tone Madison wants to continue publishing this series but we need your help! Send photos of inaccessible bus stops to email@example.com with the location of the stop.
To bring up these issues to the City of Madison, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or register for public comment for the upcoming September thirteen meeting. You can also provide feedback directly to Metro Transit.
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