Thursday, July 15, 2010

Transit Budget Cuts Put Job At Risk

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Some people drive to work. Others may bike, take a bus, carpool, or even walk.
However, for many people in this community, none of those is an option.
Mandie Bottema has scoliosis and cannot drive. Like many others across the city who have developmental disabilities, she may lose her job because of budget cuts in public transportation.
Previously, Mandie had been using a taxi service organized by the Resource Exchange, a nonprofit that works with children and adults with developmental disabilities to build independence. Through its Medicaid waiver program, the state would pay up to $50 a day for Yellow Cab rides. That was enough to cover Mandie's rides to and from work at Target, off of Powers Boulevard.
But according to David Ervin, executive director of the Resource Exchange, as of July 1 the waiver program went from being "cost-based" to "dependent upon the number of miles of a trip." Anne Bottema says her daughter falls into the lowest mileage category, meaning she is only allotted $5 each way.

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