Butterfly Bar at the Vortex
"...Capital Metro is tightening its belt on Special Transit Services, a move that is drawing a firestorm of protests from disability advocates and the ire of the Urban Transportation Commission, which has taken up the issue in at least two recent meetings...."
"...The decision slashes shuttles to more than a dozen popular community events; in future months, those will include the Austin City Limits Festival, Halloween on Sixth Street, UT football games, and the Trail of Lights. Unless private charter companies seamlessly step in to replace all of the free shuttle services with new pay-to-ride shuttle service – a dubious prospect – everyone on Austin roads will suffer from increased traffic congestion during big events...."
"...House Calls for the HousebrokenMobile Vet Services..."
"...The Capital Metro board is composed of either elected officials or people appointed by elected officials. But lately, the board has voted to raise fares, trim bus routes, change policies regarding services for the handicapped, and halve the yearly funding to upgrade the accessibility of bus stops – all while pouring more than $100 million into a new commuter train, the opening of which is two years behind schedule..."
"...TCRP argued that without subscription taxi rides – vouchers for regular trips such as work, doctor appointments, and dialysis – Cap Metro's Special Transit Services aren't efficient and flexible enough to meet the comparability requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The ADA requires that a federally funded transit agency provide services for people with disabilities that are parallel to the fixed-route service in terms of wait times and service area...."
"...This network would not block street access, injure or cause pain to the frail elderly or the disabled in Austin. EMS and AFD, Cap Metro Special Transit services and AISD Sp..."
"...Capital Metro's attempts to cut costs and streamline services are leaving no customers untouched, including those with disabilities. The agency has announced proposed policy changes for MetroAccess (formerly known as Special Transit Services), its service that caters to customers with special needs..."
"...The latest fiasco surrounds the proposed "fare adjustment," which would double the basic bus fare from 50 cents to a dollar and, even more radically, double or triple (or more) ancillary fares that directly affect the transit system's most vulnerable and dependent customers, often on Special Transit Services: the elderly, the disabled, and those without any other affordable means of transportation...."
"...For better or worse, this means we depend on local media to focus and keep attention on significant community issues. I believe the prospect of kids going hungry simply because AISD finds it easier to eliminate services than to work out prickly details deserves attention, for reasons both of policy-making substance and style..."
"...Pedestrians note that they are often forced to walk in the street because the city lacks a comprehensive sidewalk system. Capital Metro Board member Audley Blackburn, who is blind and uses a seeing eye dog to get around, says that for four years he was dependent on special transit services, until the city finally constructed sidewalks on the four blocks between his home and the nearest bus stop..."
"... Night Owl routes include: • 481-North Night Owl • 482-East Night Owl • 483-Southeast Night Owl • 484-Lamar/S. First Night Owl • 485-Cameron Night Owl • 486-Dove Springs Night Owl Special Transit Services (STS) hours will mirror the regular bus operation with most service ending at 8:00 p.m..."
"...until midnight: 481-North Night Owl 482-East Night Owl 483-Southeast Night Owl 484-Lamar/S. First Night Owl 485-Cameron Night Owl 486-Dove Springs Night Owl Special Transit Services (STS) hours will mirror the regular bus operation with most service ending at 8:00 p.m..."
"...The trips used to be fairly uncomplicated. Because the Chandlers are qualified for Capital Metro's MetroAccess paratransit services, they could call a cab – usually driven by Yellow Cab driver Hannah Riddering – and Cap Metro would give them a voucher to cover the first six miles of the trip, up to $16.50..."
"...Tim Finton of the State Department said the United States' position always has been to keep a neutral stance on telecommunications regulation frequently letting the market regulate itself but the increasing use of cross-platforms and new gadgets may force the feds to rethink how they move forward. Cable, telephone, and even power line providers now are offering a combination of video, phone, and Internet services..."
"...The motivation behind the uprising? Many with disabilities are outraged over Cap Metro's planned cuts to STS, also known as paratransit services. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, Cap Metro must provide service to riders with disabilities that is "parallel" to regular service..."
"...For all their claims of “innovation,” the “transportation network companies” – i.e., Uber and Lyft – are following a script that dates back at least to the era of the Robber Barons, most familiar in Texas as the pattern established by the owners of the hydrocarbon industries. At bottom, it is employing overwhelming economic power to force elected officials and communities into submission, the strategy now used by the TNCs – amateur taxi-for-hire services craftily rebranded as “ridesharers” – against local governments across Texas and the country...."
"... The city of Austin has put a price tag on the snow days from the ice storm earlier this year $1.6 million in official city costs. The breakdown goes like this: More than $1 million went to personnel costs, $272,000-plus went to contractors like tree-trimmers and tow-truck operators; de-icing supplies ate up $174,000, while $72,000 in sundry and various other services make up the rest..."
"...• Since Cap Metro must retain sufficient funds to keep transit services running, a sales tax threshold must be met before payments to the city can resume. Cap Metro wanted to set that threshold at the fiscal year 2009 receipts of $140 million but agreed to the city's demand of FY 2010's $134 million...."
"...• Capital Metro and Veolia Transportation have entered an ugly war of press releases after the local transit authority canceled the firm's contract to run the new MetroRail Red Line. Veolia claimed the termination was illegal; Cap Metro replied by touting the safety record of new contractor Herzog Transit Services...."
"...If you’re not into walking long distances or paying for services, ACL provides free shuttle service for festivalgoers. From 10:30am to 11pm, shuttles run from their Downtown station at Republic Square (Fourth and Guadalupe) to the festival entrance near Barton Springs Road and back again..."