Recently I took TRAX and was disturbed at the attitude of some of the general public. Although I have three disabilities, it is not easy to tell as I do not use a wheelchair, cane or other assistive device. There have been five times where people have denied me the ability to exit the TRAX car in the front (the exit for people with disabilities). One time, while trying to enter the TRAX from the disabled ramp, a person tried to stop me and would not even listen when I told him I had the right to use the ramp by showing him my identification as a person with a disability.
These "incidents" were from people who did not know I was a person with a disability. In my attempt to get Utah Transit Authority to solve my problem, I spoke with six departments and 11 UTA employees before the public relations office told me to "write to the newspapers." I was shocked that there was nothing in place for educating the public on how to treat people with disabilities, visible or not. UTA spends a lot of money telling folks to ride its vehicles, but it could not come up with a simple solution to educate riders on the proper use of ramps and doors by people with all disabilities.So, please, when someone asks to be let out the door reserved for people with disabilities, let the driver evaluate the situation. When someone uses the ramp to access TRAX, let him; don't take it upon yourself to be the conscience of UTA, although it certainly needs one. When people deny others their rights, the entire service is slowed for everyone as the driver needs to write up the report. Trust me, if we did not need this extra help, we wouldn't ask for it.
West Valley City