Their story generated viewer questions about what the disabled need to do to qualify for service.
Julia and Michelle are friends and neighbors who have a hard time getting around.
They shared their feelings of frustration with HRT for canceling Pararide service to their Oceana neighborhood.
“Having it in three states and this is the first time I’ve had a problem in 28 years. I’m pretty disgusted,” says Julia Bayne.
NewsChannel 3 took action to get results.
HRT says they’ve obtained new funding for the Oceana area, and the proposed route, still on the drawing board, may give these ladies the ticket to ride they’ve been asking for as early as this fall.
The story also drew the interest of a NewsChannel 3 viewer who sent an email: “I used to ride Handi-Ride until HRT, in all its wisdom, decided I was not handicapped despite the fact that I had paperwork (letters) from two doctors,” says Kathy Krafft in the email.
“We provide this service under the guidelines that are established by the federal government and the Americans with Disabilities Act for people who qualify for it,” says Tom Holden, an HRT spokesman.
Kathy’s brush with HRT happened years ago; the Hampton Roads Transit website has since been updated, spelling out exactly what you need to do to qualify.
It reads in part: “Keep in mind that mobility aids such as wheelchairs, do not automatically qualify someone to use this service. It also calls for “one medical professional contact that is familiar with your disability for verification.”
If for any reason you are denied Paratransit or Handi-Ride service, it’s important to note that you have the right to appeal 60 days from when you are notified.