CONGRESS OF DISABLE PERSONS' AGAINST EXPLOITATION


PRESENTS
A CHICAGO TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (CTA) COMPLAINT


A LETTER FROM CTA TO HERBERT HOFFMAN

UJ
THE REPLY BY HERBERT HOFFMAN

DATE:        January 2, 2002

TO:            Mr. Payne, Manager, Customer care & Community Relations

Cc:            Mayor Daley & everyone

FROM:        Herb Hoffman


I received your letter dated Dec. 6, 2001, which was received on Dec. 24, 2001 warning me that if I continue to change my daily para-transit trip you will not allow me to ride on the para-transit anymore. This letter will serve as notice that I wish to appeal for the following reasons.

•    The trips that are listed as modifications were necessary to do my job.

        •    SUGGESTION: As I told CTA several years ago, my job demands that I travel to different locations for meetings, etc. I even took your suggestion and learned how to take mainline transportation during the day therefore  freeing up a ride for someone else. I asked you to change the rule to allow those of us that have jobs at more than one location to list our related locations so that CTA, SCR or Art’s transportation company have time each day to plan their trips (in most cases they have 15 hours advance notice anyway).

        •    SUGGESTION: When I was on the ADA planning committee, one of our plans was to use para-transit service to drive  disabled persons from their home to an accessible mainline station, and if needed, from the mainline to their office. Thus, all accessible transportation systems are utilized.

•    The para-transit driver wrongly made me a ‘no-show’ because they didn’t want to travel to a location. Some drivers hide down the block from where I am to be picked up waiting the allotted 5 minutes time before entering a ‘no-show.’ Some of your drivers treat all disabled persons as mentally retarded, and don’t listen when they have a wrong address. They treat us as sub-human. When I report a driver I never know what action, if any, is taken. One driver laughed at me over the airways after I reported him.

        •    SUGGESTION: More training of the different types of disabilities is needed for the drivers.

•    The CTA must change its rules to allow disabled persons to meet the demands of their current jobs, and help those who are about to be hired. The rules and policies are not helping Mayor Daley, his director of MOPH or his Commissioner of Workforce promoted employment of disabled persons.

I am calling on the Mayor, his Commissions, Dave Hanson of MOPH, the Aldermen and women, http://www.universalc.com/congress_of_disable_persons_.against_exploitation.htm and other disabled groups to seek a solution to this serious problem. In 1995 Mayor Daley asked me to serve on the CTA Board, but due to my Federal Job, and the CTA rules, I had to turn down his offer. Maybe after I retire, His Honor and the disability community may again offer me the opportunity to serve in order to change CTA policy. The bottom line is that every disabled person in Chicago that needs a CTA ride must get one.


Please call me at 312-353-2821 to set up a meeting.

Sincerely,

Herb Hoffman NEWS RELEASE - OCTOBER 21, 2001
BY
CONGRESS OF DISABLE PERSONS' AGAINST EXPLOITATION

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS GROUP, CONTACT: http://www.universalc.com/congress_of_disable_persons_.against_exploitation.htm 

What is the problem

∙    The regional transpiration agency of Illinois has a  method of determining who can use paratransit does not take into account the consumer.  (Attach specific RTA policy)  The RTA contracts a social services agency to conduct tests on potential riders.  The tests determine who is eligible to ride paratransit.  The tests do not include everything that factors in to whether or not a person needs paratransit instead of mainline.  They don’t care if persons’ are employed, and must use this service to get a job, keep there job and/or receive a promotion.


What are the consequences of the problem

∙    Many people who should be using paratransit are not allowed to ride and are only given the choice of mainline, which in some cases is unrealistic.  As a result, some people who relied on paratransit to get to work are now left with only one option.  But for them, mainline means taking two or three buses and trains to get to work when an able bodied person going to the same destination needs only one line.  The issue is, although a person with a disability may be near mainline, that particular mainline route may not be accessible. 


What should be done

∙    Consumers should be given a choice to ride either main line and para transit. 
∙    RTA’s method of determining who qualifies for RTA should be changed to take into account the rider’s disability, an individual’s accessibility to mainline routes