EDMOND — Edmond's paratransit bus service for people with disabilities is running at capacity while rider requests continue to grow, leaving Edmond officials trying to figure out a solution.
Citylink's paratransit service provided 8,453 rides last fiscal year, up from 3,520 rides in 2009-10, when the system started operation.
Paratransit service is an alternative mode of flexible passenger transportation that does not follow fixed routes or schedules. People who have a doctor's letter can apply for the service. Patrons can call up to two weeks in advance to schedule a bus to come to their doors and take them to a medical appointment or run an errand.
The city receives federal money to help fund the service, which includes one bus and one driver dedicated to the paratransit service designed to cover the entire city limits. There is no charge to ride any of the Citylink buses.
The Americans with Disabilities Act sets regulations for the paratransit service.
“We are booked solid every day of the week,” John Pleveich, Edmond's new McDonald Transit general manager, told members of the Edmond Public Transportation Committee this week. “We are right at maximum capacity right now. We keep getting new clients.”
Each month, the paratransit service gets 10 to 12 new applications.
“We are told not to deny transportation for these people,” Pleveich said.
City councilwoman Victoria Caldwell said the law would allow the city to reduce the coverage area to a three-quarter-mile circle around the fixed routes, which would reduce the number of riders in the outer areas of the city.