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Seniors Air Concerns About Public Transit

Nearly 30 speakers took the opportunity Tuesday to explain why public transit is working and not working to a panel of City Council members and transportation officials.

More than 100 senior citizens turned out for the meeting.

“We conveyed to them that there’s a definite need,” said Russell Murawski, who helped organize the forum at the Salvation Army Community Center in Ventura.

Murawski and others have lobbied for dial-a-ride and minibus programs as well as more convenient bus stops.

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“What it felt like was a whole lot of people coming together to find a solution for a common need,” said Sue Smith, manager of programs for seniors and the disabled for the Ventura County Transportation Commission.

She said the panel will begin to look at where dial-a-ride programs may be implemented and how transit for the disabled can be improved.

“Not all of the comments heard today were negative,” Smith said. “It was a mixture of good things . . . along with the needs we know exist that we need to work towards filling.”

A handful of task forces made up of members of the public also will organize and begin to address specific transportation needs throughout Ventura County over the next two months.

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“They’re going to do something because we’re not going to let loose,” Murawski said.

“We’re not going to give up. This is just the start.”


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