Columbia lacks wheelchair-accessible transportation

8 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago September 09, 2016 Sep 9, 2016 Friday, September 09 2016 Friday, September 09, 2016 3:20:00 PM CDT in News
By: Max Diekneite, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Columbia citizens who use a wheelchair have a difficult time finding a ride outside of normal business hours. In fact, there isn't a single wheelchair-accessible taxi cab in service in Columbia right now. 

"I mean, to think that people in the faith community can’t get out and go to church on Sundays because there’s no accessible vehicles is stunning to me," said Chuck Graham, the chair of the Columbia Disabilities Commission. 

While there are numerous wheelchair-accessible transportation services offered in the Columbia area, such as MO-X and OATS, these services are many times not offered at night or over the weekend. Specifically, Graham said, people using wheelchairs don't have access to these services on Sundays. 

"There are some services that" offer wheelchair-accessible transportation to people "but once again, they’re going to be strictly limited, they’re going to be only during the day time, and they’re not going to be on Sundays," Graham said. 

The Columbia Disabilities Commission submitted a letter to Mayor Brian Treece and Columbia's city council asking for major changes to Columbia's transportation services. Specifically, Graham said they want the city to offer grants to taxi companies in order to incentivize them to offer wheelchair-accessible services. 

“What we’re proposing to the city council is that they provide two ten-thousand dollar grants per year to be able to offer those to taxi companies who would like to use that as an incentive to buy an accessible vehicle and then put that into their rotation," Graham said. 

Treece said he's on board with the idea, and wants to fund the initiative through the street closure ordinance he introduced recently to the council. 

“We need to make sure that we’re providing those basic services like transportation available to everyone regardless of whether they use a wheelchair or not. I think that’s a basic function of government," Treece said. 

The street closure ordinance charges downtown developers a fee for taking up parking spaces during construction. Treece said this is an appropriate way to use the funds. 

"I think that could be a great financial mechanism that is directly tied to those who use our sidewalks and streets the most.”

A new taxi-voucher program, aimed at providing transportation for low-income elderly or disabled people needing a ride to doctors appointments, will bring Columbia its first wheelchair-accessible taxi later this month. But the man in charge of administering these vouchers, Central Missouri Community Action's Mobility Coordinator Anthony Nichols, concedes that the program falls well short of providing adequate service for people with disabilities.  

“I couldn’t agree more with Chuck. This is a great small victory, but it is just a step. The bigger picture is one of more need, and that need is only going to continue to grow," Nichols said. 

The wheelchair-accessible vehicle, provided through ABC Taxi, should be put into circulation later this month. The initiative is funded through the Community Health Fund, which garners $500,000 per year from Boone Health Center's lease with BJC Health Care. The taxi-voucher program will receive $20,000 per year to provide transportation for low-income people, but does not provide ride services for people outside of that realm. 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Pizza Tree, a local restaurant in Columbia, is participating in a national campaign that works with the non-profit... More >>
1 hour ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:17:23 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A preliminary assessment has found about $86 million of damage and costs from recent flooding and... More >>
2 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man could face up to a year in prison after admitting that he... More >>
2 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 4:28:01 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City announced it will withdraw from the Affordable Care Act starting... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 2:56:00 PM CDT in News
PARMA (AP) — A southe ast Missouri ma n is accused of burglary after allegedly targeting a most unlikely place... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:51:54 PM CDT in News
ST. CHARLES - Jurors are deliberating the fate of Mexico resident Serghei Comerzan in the death of Missouri State trooper... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman is dead and a man critically wounded after shootings in St. Louis' Baden neighborhood.... More >>
6 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:38:59 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University announced Mike Middleton as its interim president Thursday as it prepares for current president Kevin... More >>
7 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:55:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A report of a chemical smell coming from a hotel room turned out to be from white powder... More >>
7 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:24:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City's Boys and Girls Club opened its new facility after three years without headquarters. "When... More >>
9 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 9:08:00 AM CDT in News
RAYTOWN (AP) — A Kansas City-area middle school is offering support to students who saw a body hanging from a... More >>
10 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:33:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A bridge over Interstate 270 near St. Louis will be closed for the next three months.... More >>
11 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 7:51:57 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The federal agency investigating an April 3 explosion that killed four people in south St. Louis... More >>
12 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:35:42 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU has found its new chancellor. On Wednesday, UM System President Mun Choi introduced Alexander Cartwright as... More >>
18 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:10:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
FAYETTE - The city of Fayette Wednesday night issued an immediate boil advisory until further notice for all residents affected... More >>
20 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 10:06:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker has taped messages from constituents to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens's door urging... More >>
22 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 8:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A Target 8 investigation background checked Columbia Uber drivers and took a closer look at the ride-share company’s... More >>
1 day ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:57:00 PM CDT in Target 8
MOBERLY - Moberly no longer will euthanize animals with a gas chamber. In exchange for getting rid of the... More >>
1 day ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:39:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
7pm 74°
8pm 71°
9pm 67°
10pm 65°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
8:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
9:00p
Red Nose Day
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
8:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
9:00p
Red Nose Day
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld