FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Barry Taylor, Legal Advocacy Director
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Kevin Irvine, Senior Transportation Advocate
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Equip for Equality Salutes Mayor Daley For Supporting People with Disabilities By Opposing CTA Paratransit Fare Hike and Proposing Increase In Wheelchair-Accessible Taxi Requirement
Coalition of Disability Organizations Opposes Decision of CTA Board
Note: To view/download letters sent by Equip for Equality to the CTA Board Chair opposing the fare increase, please visit the Transportation Rights resources page.
CHICAGO (December 2, 2005) --On the same day that Equip for Equality and seven other disability organizations sent Chicago Transit Authority Board members a letter opposing its decision to raise fares for CTA paratransit customers, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley made two strong statements of support for people with disabilities. Mayor Daley announced his opposition to the CTA's plan to hike fares for paratransit customers from $1.75 to $3. He also announced a proposal to double the City requirement for wheelchair-accessible taxicabs to one for every 25 vehicles operated by taxi affiliations. Equip for Equality applauds Mayor Daley's strong leadership on an issue that is critically important to the disability community: affordable and accessible transportation.
The letter to the CTA Board was sent by Equip for Equality, in partnership with Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, Chicago ADAPT, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Metro Seniors In Action, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater Chicago Chapter and Progress Center for Independent Living. Having widespread disability community opposition to the paratransit fare hike bolstered by Mayor Daley's public support may lead to a reversal of the CTA Board's decision. "I know that these diverse organizations and all people with disabilities are grateful for Mayor Daley's swift action," says Zena Naiditch, President and CEO of Equip for Equality. "The majority of CTA's paratransit customers are people who have very significant disabilities and extremely low incomes - they cannot absorb a 70% fare increase."
Equip for Equality, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance the rights of people with disabilities in Illinois through self-advocacy assistance, disability rights, education, legal services, public policy initiatives and abuse investigations. It is designated by the Governor to administer the federally-mandated Protection and Advocacy System to safeguard the rights of people with disabilities for the State of Illinois.