The following represents the position of United Handicapped Federation regarding the provision of Metro Mobility Services, funding, and user fees:
1. The UHF Board supports the short-term implementation of a user-fee increase of $1 per ride, and a decrease in reimbursement to providers of $1 per ride WITH NO OTHER CHANGES until the end of this biennium June 30.
2. After June 30, user fees and provider reimbursement will be reconsidered.*
3. We support full funding for Metro Mobility for the next biennium: this means at minimum $31 million (the actual cost for the current biennium). Please note that certified riders are increasing by about 1,000 per year, and the number of rides provided has increased steadily to 135,000 to 150,000 per month.
4. Throughout, we urge legislators, providers, riders and the general public to remember that Metro Mobility is not a luxury. Metro Mobility is public-transit. City buses do not require income guidelines for riders. Neither should Metro Mobility. What should be investigated is the possibility of monthly rider cards for Metro Mobility, corresponding to the same cards for mainline transit.
* We are well aware that fee increases, once instituted, tend to be perpetuated. We do feel, however, that building in a “sunset” clause will foster on-going evaluation of the fee structure.