With a fleet of nearly 60 buses LexTran provides transportation for thousands in Lexington. Several of those buses are broken down and off the street, and some riders are being left behind.
Sarita Dukes does her best getting around....she's confined to this wheelchair and depends mostly on public transportation "Some times I have problems with the buses, " says Dukes. The The biggest problem is when she can't get on.
Dave Riggins with LexTran says there are they have about 8 buses out of service. Riggin says they have rented 4 vans to fill the void on some routes.
But 27 NEWSFIRST wanted to know what happens when one of the rented vans pulls up to a bus stop with passenger in a wheelchair.
"I'm not aware of people needing wheelchair assistance on those routes," says Riggins. But we did find a complaint filed earlier this week. It was filed by a handicapped passenger.
The complainant says he's a paraplegic who relies on bus drivers to strap me down. But when he got on a bus "the driver was unable to work the seating.The complaint goes on to say he had to get out of his wheelchair in order to sit in a seat but he wasn't strapped and felt unsafe.
Tim Burnett is the Transit Union President. Burnett says there are more than just vans filling in for busted buses...passengers are even riding in cars Just two years ago voters passed a property tax referendum to extend LexTran bus hours and keep them rolling in Lexington.
But with the broken down buses there may be even fewer buses on the roads now.
LexTran says about eight buses out of service. But the Transit Union president says that number is closer to 20. Under federal law all public transportation services including LexTran must accommodates the handicapped.
Riggins says they are waiting on the arrival of 7 new buses but they won't be here until August.