Advocates For The Disabled Concerned About Proposed Transit Cuts In Tri-Cities

Ben Franklin Transit


Dori Luzzo Gilmour reports about concerns from advocates for people with disabilities over proposed public transit cuts in the Tri-Cities / Runtime – 1:28


The Ben Franklin Transit Board is putting forward a resolution to cut BFT funding and that has raised concerns with advocates for the disabled community. Without transit, non-drivers will have no means of independence or travel.

Vanessa lives with visual impairment and works as an Advocate for the Disability Mobility Initiative, a new organization formed by Disability Rights of Washington. Vanessa relies on the transit to go to work, the gym, the store, and to live her life as a non-driver.

“It is very critical for people that are non-drivers, especially in the disability community, we rely on para-transit. Even those people that walk, bike, or use a wheelchair. Our voices need to be heard towards working towards the future of mobility.”


Vanessa, who is visually impaired, advocates for people with disabilities and is worried about the impact of proposed transit cuts on people who cannot drive. Her motto is: “Instead of seeing the world, let the world see you”.

The potential cuts to the transit will affect non-drivers in Benton and Franklin County. The losses could be up to $70 million dollars if the BFT Board loses the state dollars from newly signed legislation with Move Ahead Washington. Vanessa has been talking to residents of the state and understands how critical it is for people to have access to reliable, independent travel.

“Just learning about individuals, non-drivers, and people with disabilities. Transportation should be accessible for everyone. Our goal is to raise awareness about people without access to vehicles navigate to places in their communities. “

The Disability Mobility Initiative has interviewed over 100 non-drivers to find out what their transportation needs are. Those stories are turned into story maps and helped policy makers make legislation. As Vanessa stated, “If they have no transportation, they have no travel.”

To see some of those interviews, go to:

Transportation Access For Everyone Storymap

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