Friday, April 06, 2007

Albuquerque's SunVan bus - Next Stop Knockouts

Mayor irritated at use of taxpayer dollars.

On March 2, ABQ Ride's SunVan paratransit service gave 671 door-to-door rides to people who - because of some disability - weren't able to use the regular fixed-route bus service.

Assuming the usual pattern prevailed that day, most of those riders were looking to get to work or medical appointments. The rest used the service, which is mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to get to places like restaurants, shops, movie theaters and churches.

And three of those rides, according to ABQ Ride Director Greg Payne, went to Knockouts, a Downtown strip club.

Taxpayer dollars doled out so someone could go to a strip club?

Something's wrong with that, say Payne and Mayor Martin Chavez. But their ideas for changing the "problem," as they see it, are angering some in the disabled community and might be in violation of federal civil rights law.

Ideally, Payne said, SunVan would be allowed to prioritize, so someone going to work or a medical appointment would have priority over someone going to the mall or a strip club.

original story

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