One-half mile means no public bus for people with vision issues in Fayetteville

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Vision Resource Center asking city for public transportation
Vision Resource Center asking city for public transportation

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Vision Resource Center is asking the City of Fayetteville for help with public transportation.

The Vision Resource Center, founded in 1939, connects those with vision loss and impairment with independent living skills, recreation and support. Charles Luther is a longtime member. He and his wife learned to adapt to losing his senses thanks to classes at the VRC.

"Ninety-five percent of what I do, I depend on her," Luther said of his wife.

The Center recently moved to a new location on Cedar Creek Road. Its staff is getting ready for an open house coming up Wednesday afternoon.

But in the back of their minds, staff members are also worried about how people, especially those who are vision impaired and who don't have a ride, will get there.

"It's so critical with our disabled in terms for getting around. The main purpose of this house is so they can get anywhere they want to. We're setting it up that way. Instead of being in their homes, isolated state or depression where they can have a place to be with people just like them to find their horizons," said Terri Thomas, executive director.

The city of Fayetteville provided the following response to ABC11:

"The new Vision Resource Center office is located outside our current ADA Zone for FASTTrac paratransit services. An ADA zone extends up to a mile from a regular fixed route bus line, which is what ADA requires. The new Vision Resource Center office is 1.58 miles beyond FAST's service area. There is no ADA requirement that we serve a location outside the established ADA zone. In addition to those going to the Vision Resource Center office, FAST would have to provide FASTTrac service to those living in that extended zone. The Fayetteville Area System of Transit has a meeting scheduled with the Vision Resource Center later this week to discuss this issue to try to reach a solution that will benefit all," said Randy Hume, FAST Director.