CARTA has used grant money to make their bus stops more accessible to the public, something discussed during their Thursday meeting. Greg Herold said the $524,010 grant’s purpose was to “identify and correct barriers to pedestrian accessibility in relation to Transit Stops.”
According to the presentation, the construction began in late-February and finished on July 27. While Mr. Herold said there were around 50 places considered for “correction,” CARTA eventually had to pare that list down to 12 locations, with most of those being downtown.
“These roots of the trees heaved the sidewalks as much as four to six inches,” Mr. Herold said. ”We’re installing root barriers underneath the sidewalks to prevent the roots from heaving the sidewalks. These are the types of things we’re trying to do.”
He said there are places that might be considered wheelchair accessible, but are not in actuality. The grant’s money went toward fixing these impractical places.
“At first glance, you might see that there’s a drop someone can use there. But in reality, it’s not wide enough, so if you’re in a wheelchair you can’t use this ramp without dumping yourself out,” Mr. Herold said, and he pointed to another example where the ramp basically led to the road.”
During the finance report, Sonja Sparks said CARTA had a very productive last two months. According to the CARTA report, their income was $66,056 more than what they budgeted for, and their expenses were only $49,891 more than what was budgeted for. Overall, CARTA had a net of $5,261, which they called a “break even month.”
“So for the month, overall we’re pretty good at about a break even,” Ms. Sparks said. “The parking report had a net income of $17,803. We are in the throes of preparing for the audit, which will start at the end of September.”
Executive Director Lisa Maragnano then told the board that transit ridership was about 95,000 for the month. She said it’s an uptick compared to previous months.
“Hopefully, we’ll see how that goes going forward,” Ms. Maragnano said, who noted shuttle activity is still not particularly busy. “There’s still not a lot of activity downtown.”
She said depending on how the rest of September shakes out, CARTA may alter their shuttle schedule. When it comes to the Incline, she said there were around 2,000 more passengers than expected in August, even with 50 percent capacity.
Annie Powell also detailed CARTA’s upcoming Title VI report. The requirements of this report are that a notice is provided to the public, complaint procedures are listed, a complain form is provided, a list of transit-related Title VI investigations, complains, and lawsuits are attached, a public participation plan and summary of outreach efforts are included, and a language assistance plan for limited English proficient populations. Ms. Powell said there have been no Title VI-related lawsuits in the last three years.
Ms. Maragnano said the report has to be submitted by Oct. 1. Allen McCallie did say that there is nothing stopping the board from also going back and addressing their self-assessment of whether they comply with Title VI. At any point in the future, CARTA’s board can discuss what comes from the report, it can be addressed.