Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Expectations for 2017

The MCIL Planning Calendar

Here is what you can expect at MCIL next year. The planning committee has produced this planning calendar of all the things we plan to bring to you next year. This calendar may not have details at this time, but it will give you an idea of what we have planned. What ideas do you have? Write us or put your suggestion in the comments. Thanks everyone and thanks to Christina for the list. -Tim Wheat

January 2017

January 18, 2017
2PM How to ride MATAPlus - Tips from riders.

February 2017

February 8, 2017
Disability Day on the Hill  
February 17, 2017  
Volunteer Appreciation event, Staff to provide meal for volunteers.
Also in February:
Community forum on Couponing

March 2017    

March 3, 2017
POP Fish Fry from 11:00-7:00 PM
Also in March:
Managing your Attendant

April 2017   

Fair Housing for People with Disabilities
Community Forum on Art

May 2017   

Workshop on Visitability
MACCD Summit

June 2017

June 6-9, 2017   
Youth Leadership Academy       

June 12-23, 2017Bell (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning) Academy 

July 2017

July 21, 2017   
Assistive Technology Fair (at Benjamin Hooks Central Library)
July 26, 2017:

ADA Celebration

August 2017   

Workshop on relationships and sex
Speed Dating

September 2017    

Transportation focusing on the fixed route

October 2017   

Deborah Cunningham Awards Fundraiser

November 2017

November 17, 2017   
POP Thanksgiving Potluck

December 2017

December 1, 2017       
Silent Auction

Friday, December 16, 2016

Letter to MATAplus

Allison Donald shares her complaint about Memphis Paratransit 

Dear MATAplus:
As a taxpaying citizen of Memphis.  I am extremely displeased with the level of service offered by MATAplus over the last two weeks.  I frequently use public transportation to get around Memphis as well as during my daily commute to and from work.  

On December 6th I was scheduled to be picked up at 7:46 am. The bus did not arrive at my residence until 8:40.  I tried calling dispatch multiple times to check on my ride and was sent to voicemail each time.  On this particular day as I boarded the bus the driver asked me:  

“did the dispatcher call me and let me know that my bus was going to be late?”  

I did not receive a call from a dispatcher about the status of my ride or a possible arrival time. 
Due to the irregularity of the service that MATAplus has provided I am often forced to rely on other forms of transportation that are not very cost effective for me.  Over the last week alone I had to request a Lyft ride because I did not trust MATAplus.  I eventually had to cancel those rides, because MATAplus and Lyft arrived at the same time.  Even though I chose MATAplus I still had to pay a five dollar cancellation fee.  

When I call to inquire about the status of my ride I was placed on hold in the queue and eventually sent to voicemail.  I would like to know what my recourse is when the phone system at MATAplus fails and why is there not a sufficient back up plan when such incidences occur?

I hope that you will take my complaint into consideration. Many people suffer under the deterioration of public transportation and paratransit in Memphis, and many of them are as inconvenienced as I am.  If you question my claims, I suggest you attempt to ride to work on one of your own buses for an entire month. Then you may see how frustrating it is to be late for work because of an unreliable MATAplus paratransit system.
Allison Donald

I would greatly appreciate hearing your plans for improving the bus system Thank you very much for your time.

Allison Donald

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Memphis needs the Crosstown 31

Bring It Back! Historic bus route is the backbone of Memphis transit

Allison Donald
By Allison Donald
Memphis Bus Riders’ Union (MBRU) has vowed to keep the pressure on MATA and fight to restore the Crosstown 31 bus route. The effort to bring back the 31 rolls on and MBRU is asking for everyone in Memphis to help.

Prior to the elimination of the Crosstown 31, it was Memphis’ third highest used bus route, with an average of 2,600 riders daily.  The route was just behind the Route 43 Elvis Presley bus, which funneled 2,700 riders between the heart of the city and South Memphis.

This month’s MBRU meeting focused on continuing the conversation with city officials and the MATA administration. MBRU is asking them to act now and give them back the Crosstown 31. The bus route serves many poor, people of color, and people with disabilities in Memphis. 

MBRU continues to push for more signatures on Bring Back the 31 Petition with a community luncheon on January 14, 2017 to be held at the Cossitt Library from 12-2pm.  You are invited to come out and let the city leaders know how much the Crosstown 31 bus route is still needed in our community. 

Tuesday January 17th MBRU members will be attending the budgetary committee meeting which starts at 8:AM and the city council meeting starts that day at 3:30.  During the meeting MBRU members will present the petition in support of the 31.  If you can attend either meeting it would be greatly appreciated.  

Memphis Bus Riders Union: mbru.org
Sign the Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/petition-bring-back-the-31-crosstown

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

US Election Assistance Commission wants to hear from you

Share your experience with access at the polls

Man in ADA shirt stands by a Vote Here sign

The EAC wants to hear from voters with disabilities about their experience on Election Day or during early voting. The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is intended to ensure everyone can vote privately and independently. That means not only access to the polling locations, but have voting equipment that is accessible.

HAVA contained landmark provisions requiring the secure, private, and independent casting of ballots for voters with disabilities. During the past twelve years, the EAC has worked closely with election officials to promote these access requirements and to foster a climate of understanding in providing assistance for voters with disabilities. 

What was your visit to the polls like? The EAC is asking to hear about your experience, good or bad. The EAC looks forward to leading further initiatives that will improve accessibility and empower voters with disabilities.

Although they pride themselves on accessibility, the EAC only gives an email address to “listen” to your experience: listen@eac.gov.

MCIL encourages you to participate, write your experience as a comment to this blog piece to let others know how you feel. If you don’t think email is accessible to you, MCIL staff will listen and send your comments along to the EAC; with your permission.