'I feel more isolated and stuck': Bus strike impacting those with mobility issues
KITCHENER -- As Grand River Transit continue to walk the picket line, those with disabilities are left facing transportation troubles.
The fourth day of the strike means the fourth day of the suspension for the door-to-door Mobility Plus service.
Kitchener resident Amanda Hearn uses a wheelchair and relies on the service. She had outdoor activites planned for her and her son on his P.D. day, but was forced to cancel them due to the strike.
"I feel more isolated and stuck," she says.
Mobility Plus services are limited only to prescheduled dialysis appointments during the strike.
The Region of Waterloo says there are 25 accessible taxis available. Hearn says this isn't a feasible option for her family.
"For most students, budget is tight to begin with," she says. "Being on fixed income is even tighter."
KW AccessAbility helps adults with physical disabilities, and executive director Edward Faruzel says nobody is helping them.
He adds that the agency has halted its events during the strike and many of the members are trapped at home.
"Able-bodied people can use cabs or public sharing companies, but there's only less than 15 accessible cabs in all of KW and there are zero accessible car-sharing vehicles," Faruzel says.
"So somebody in a wheelchair doesn't have any options."
Waterloo resident Lindsey NG and her husband Gabriel are both visually impaired, use the service every day, and say they have no other choice but to trek through an especially challenging winter.
"Now because of the strike I have another challenge to deal with," says Gabriel.
Faruzel is asking people to check on their neighbours to make sure they have groceries and everything they need.
"I really think transportation should become an essential service," he says.