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OXNARD/VENTURA/OJAI : Demand Increasing for Vans for Disabled

One year after launching a public transit service for disabled people, South Coast Area Transit officials reported more than 10,000 trips have been taken aboard the agency’s special vans during the program’s first 12 months.

Ridership is expected to double by next year because there are at least 1,500 additional eligible riders who have not taken advantage of the program, agency spokeswoman Maureen Hooper Lopez said.

Mandated by the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, South Coast Area Transit officials last year began offering rides to disabled individuals living in the Oxnard, Ventura and Ojai areas.

Transit vans provide curb-to-curb service for more than 500 people who are certified as eligible by the Ventura County Transportation Commission.

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But South Coast Area Transit officials estimated that 2,000 or more disabled people live in the area served by the transit agency, and that ridership will continue to increase.

“Applications continue to be received daily by disabled individuals that have no other mode of transportation available to them,” said county Supervisor Susan K. Lacey, chairwoman of the transit board.

The federal law requires public transit agencies to provide public transportation to those who do not have access to fixed-route bus service or other means of public transit.


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