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TARC3 disabled passengers protest for better services

Published: Jul. 11, 2021 at 9:04 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2021 at 9:16 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - TARC3 passengers gathered at Jefferson Square Park on Saturday protesting services they say are dangerous for their health and safety.

The group is demanding TARC3 provide better services for their disabled passengers.

One of the protesters, Rev. George Mays Jr. worked in law enforcement before losing his sight. Mays said his experience riding TARC3 as a blind man is more dangerous than being a police officer.

“If you’re an officer and you’re going into a dark area or an area you don’t know and you’re knocking on the door, you know you have sight to recognize it,” Mays said. “Just imagine losing that sight, and not being able to know where you are, that’s an uncomfortable situation.”

Mays said this fight for better services began decades ago. He said the transit services often abuse their power. Protesters in downtown Louisville on Saturday said the TARC3 buses often leave disabled people at locations for hours at a time, make them late for doctor’s appointments, and sometimes not even pick them up at all.

“I was out early one Saturday morning going out to take care of business, and I’m looking for TARC3 to come pick me up on time,” another protester said. “Well, when you got two artificial knees, and an artificial hip, and arthritis, standing on concrete is not easy.”

The group said they’re protesting for their health, their life and they’re hoping city and state leaders hear them and prioritize them.

“Mayor Fischer should have been here,” Mays said. “The governor’s office was invited, Beshear, and he’s a Christian man, so that, that troubles me.”

In June, TARC officials told Louisville Metro Council they are short about 100 drivers right now and need 50 just for TARC3 passengers.

TARC has requested an 18 percent budget increase from Metro Council in order to meet operational and staffing needs.

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