Residents protest HRT’s ‘increasingly difficult’ paratransit system for riders with disabilities


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Local transit passengers in Norfolk held a gathering Wednesday morning to protest HRT’s paratransit system that some say is difficult to navigate for riders who have disabilities.

Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, members of Virginia Organizing’s Norfolk Chapter along with several local transit riders and members of the Paratransit Advisory Committee held a briefing on the sidewalk outside HRT headquarters in Norfolk.

Riders expressed their frustration regarding how it’s become “increasingly difficult” to navigate HRT’s system.

During the gathering, riders talked about their own personal experiences using paratransit and talked about how HRT could improve the system.

“We were told when came to this area we would have superior technology. Yes, there is an app where people can find out where their rides are and we appreciate that, but the technology has not improved when it comes to ride notification,” one woman said during the protest.

In the past year, HRT’s bus system served around 2,000 clients and gave about 22,000 rides according to a release from Virginia Organizing’s Norfolk Chapter.

In the release, it stated that riders have found that the buses are frequently late and it’s become difficult to reserve rides.

Riders say they must give 24 hours notice to reserve and the routes often take them out of their way before they can get home or to work.

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