Alternative transportation is a need, not a want
I was horrified when I read that the Call-A-Ride needs emergency funds. This is a service that is not only needed by many members of the Ada community, but it should be expanding to help more people. This morning I walked to work because my car is having engine problems and my bike got a flat yesterday. I did not use Call-A-Ride because it is so underfunded that it can take up to an hour for them to be able to pick someone up.
A first example, last year when I walked into my bank, a disabled lady was sitting in the lounge chairs. I overheard a bank employee asking her if she was waiting for a ride, and the woman said that she had called the Call-A-Ride and that they would arrive sometime in the next hour. The banker then offered to give the lady a ride home to spare her the long wait.
Also, last July during the 114-degree heat wave as I drove my daughter to swim lessons, I saw a woman trying to walk home with her laundry. She did not have a ride, and she lived about six blocks away from the laundromat. This lady could have had a heat stroke if I had not given her a ride.
Finally, last spring near Easter, I saw a lady walking home with about 15 pounds of groceries. When I gave this lady a ride, I learned that she was walking because she could not afford a car. The nearest grocery store was Apple Market, and she lived south of the junior high school. With all but two grocery stores on Lonnie Abbott, this lady had no choice but to shop at Apple Market, which still remained a long walk for someone carrying groceries.
My daughter and I love that the city has been improving the parks with new pools and play areas. However, having a pool or park is a want. Having groceries, going to the bank, avoiding heat stroke are all needs. Not everyone in Ada is able to drive or can afford a car. Even if someone has a car, like me, we sometimes need a ride if our car is broken down or needed by another family member.
I strongly urge our city council to prioritize current and expanding needs to fund the Call-A-Ride as well as focusing on city planning that minimizes the need for long walks.