Rapid Transit to Help People with Disabilities

Levy Johnson, who uses a walker to get to the temporary transfer center in Downtown San Bernardino, rides in the wheelchair section of southbound Route 2 on his way to the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System for his daily weekday therapy to treat neuropathy, which causes numbness in his legs.

Levy Johnson finds it increasingly difficult to lift his walker on board Route 2 to his daily appointments at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System to treat his neuropathy disorder. The San Bernardino resident is looking forward to the day when he can just wheel himself on board the new sbX service from the platform at E Street and Court Street.

“The ease of access will help,” Johnson said. “The walker feels heavier every time I lift it up the stairs.”

Johnson is one of many people with disabilities who will benefit from rapid transit service on Kendall Drive, E Street, Hospitality Lane and Anderson Street, which is scheduled to begin early next year. Platform-level boarding on express service is the alternative to lifting an accessory such as a walker, or using a ramp to board on a wheelchair, because the height of the platform is even with the floor of the vehicle.

Johnson boards Route 2 on weekdays at the temporary transit mall on 4th Street between F and G streets to attend physical therapy courses at the VA. The retired veteran has suffered from neuropaty ever since his days as a cook at Fort Ord, in 1967 and ’68. He said he experiences numbness in his legs, which has become progressively worse over time. Neuropathy is a nerve disease which can cause painful cramps, muscle loss and bone degeneration.

“I rely on Omnitrans to get around because I don’t have any other transportation,” he said. “It’s very dependable and now it’s going to become more convenient.”

–  David Rutherford

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