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West Virginia Assistive Technology Blog

Learn to Ride the Bus!

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Kevin is 34 years old and uses a wheelchair for mobility.  Before moving to Morgantown, he lived in Baltimore and was accustomed to using public transportation to get around the urban community.

As a local resident, Kevin used the transportation services at In Touch and Concerned to get to medical appointments but had trouble finding ways to get to and from places to shop or just enjoy an evening out.

Enter Kelli LaNeve, Mobility Coordinator for Mountain Line Transit.  As Mountain Line’s Travel Trainer, Kelli is on hand to help individuals learn to use the local fixed route system and, in Kevin’s case, how to use the deviated service.

For those who don’t know, public transportation systems in this country are required by the ADA to deviate from fixed routes by ¾ miles to accommodate riders who are unable to access the bus route.  This service is provided on all routes as long as the buses are able to safely access the location.  Deviations need prior approval.  The cost to deviate from the route is .50 cents in addition to the regular fare.

“I don’t use it all the time but I’m glad it’s there when I need it,” Kevin comments.

As a Travel Trainer, Kelli was able to explain to Kevin where buses go, how deviation works and how to change buses to get from one place to another.  And she didn’t just hand him some papers – she got on the bus with him and showed him first-hand how the system works.

Travel Training has helped Kevin get to know his way around town and do more than just get to doctor offices.  Although sometimes the local terrain is a challenge, Kevin is now comfortable going to the mall, bowling and the movies, among other activities.

“It takes a long time to get from one place to another,” explained Kevin.  “But the travel training was very helpful.  I would recommend it to others.”

Mountain Line Transit is the only public transit authority in West Virginia to offer Travel Training, a truly beneficial service for individuals with disabilities who may not have previously used public transit.

For Morgantown residents interested in Travel Training, contact Kelli LaNeve at 304.296.3680 or laneve@busride.org

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