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Workshops Planned on Dial-A-Ride Cuts

Able-bodied senior citizens may be forced to ride buses instead of calling the county’s Dial-A-Ride van if proposed cuts in van service are approved this spring.

The Orange County Transportation Authority is holding a series of public information workshops--with the first sessions scheduled this week in Anaheim, Garden Grove and Laguna Beach--to hear from the elderly and to provide information on the proposed cuts.

If approved in May, the cuts would discontinue Dial-A-Ride’s door-to-door service for able-bodied senior citizens beginning in June and would increase the cost of van transportation for the disabled from $1.50 to $2 per ride.

The cuts are the result of the increased demand for transportation from the disabled, OCTA spokesman John Standiford said.

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The county is required by the federal Americans With Disabilities Act to provide accessible public transportation to the disabled, and the high cost of the program makes it necessary to cut back on other services, Standiford said.

The first information meeting on the cuts was held last week in Fullerton, where 76 senior citizens attended to learn who would qualify to ride the disabled access van.

“They say if you can walk two or three blocks to the fixed routes, then you’re not qualified for the disabled van,” said Tom Schumacher, a senior citizen activist who attended the meeting.

“Some people have heart problems, and it’s hard for them to walk that far,” he said.

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Standiford said OCTA will try to help seniors determine if they are eligible for the disabled van and welcomes public comment on the proposed cuts during its May 9 meeting.

Below are the locations and dates of the upcoming information sessions:

* Today, 1:30 p.m., Louis Lake Senior Center, 11300 Stanford Ave., Garden Grove.

* Wednesday, 11:50 a.m., Braille Institute, 527 N. Dale Ave., Anaheim.

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* Friday, 10:30 a.m., Veterans Memorial Community Center, 384 Legion St. (downstairs), Laguna Beach.

* March 7, 12:30 p.m., Mission Viejo Senior Center, 24932 Oso Viejo Road, Mission Viejo.

* March 9, 10 a.m., Anaheim Senior Center, 280 E. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim.

* March 10, 10 a.m., Buena Park Senior Center, 8150 Knott Ave., Buena Park.

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* March 16, 10:30 a.m., San Clemente Senior Center, 242 Avenida del Mar, San Clemente.

* March 17, 1 p.m., Michael Rodgers Community Center, 1706 Orange Ave., Huntington Beach.

* March 18, 10:30 a.m., Irvine Senior Center, No. 3 Sandburg Way, Irvine.

* March 22, 9:30 a.m., Vietnamese Community Center, 1618 W. 1st St., Santa Ana.

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* March 23, 10:30 a.m., Santa Ana Senior Center, 424 W. 3rd St., Santa Ana.

* March 28, 11 a.m., Orange Senior Center, 170 S. Olive St., Orange.

For more information, call OCTA at (714) 636-7433, Ext. 16, or (800) 636-7433, Ext. 16.


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