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I AM CERTAIN HOWEVER, THAT A SOLUTION CAN BE FOUND THAT WILL

SERVE TO INCREASE THE MOBILITY OF OUR DISABLED CITIZENS WHILE

PRESERVING AND IMPROVING EXISTING TRANSPORTATION SERVICES. WHETHER

THIS SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH A FLEXIBLE, COMMUNITY APPROACH

OR WHETHER GEOGRAPHIC AND CLIMATIC CONDITIONS SHOULD PLAY A GREATER

ROLE OR WHETHER FULL ACCESSABLITY IS WARRENTED. WILL I HOPE, BE

BROUGHT OUT IN THE TESTIMONY WE HEAR TODAY AND NEXT TUESDAY.

FOR THESE REASONS, I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM OUR WITNESSES

TODAY AS THEY SHARE WITH THE COMMITTEE THEIR EXPERIENCE AND

KNOWLEDGE ON THIS ISSUE. WE MAY THEN MOVE FORWARD TOWARD OUR GOAL

OF A TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WHICH ALLOWS THE DISABLED OF OUR SOCIETY

ACCESS TO ALL FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION AND THEREFORE TO ALL WALKS OF

LIFE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.

Mr. MINETA. Thank you very much, Bud. Are there other members who wish to make opening statements?

Mr. Petri?

Mr. PETRI. Thank you very much for the courtesy of allowing me to do this, Mr. Chairman. I would like to put my full statement in the record and abbreviate it, if possible.

Mr. MINETA. Without objection.

Mr. PETRI. Mr. Chairman, as Yogi Berra would say, I have a sense of deja vu all over again as this subject comes before this Subcommittee. Some advocacy groups are insisting that all public transit equipment should be equipped to meet the needs of all disabled persons. Politically, this is difficult to oppose, but it is not the best way to go.

Back in 1980 and 1981, in the 96th and 97th Congresses, the same subject was addressed as part of the implementation process for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The principal issue then as now was requiring that buses be equipped with lifts, regardless of local needs and conditions, or alternative means of transportation tailored by localities for themselves.

Proponents of mandatory lifts tend to cast those who favor more flexible approaches as being anti-disabled. Such was not the case eight years ago and it needs to be made clear again that being against mandatory bus lifts does not mean being against having transportation available to the disabled.

In fact, the reverse is true. If we provide a common-sense framework in the legislation, then local communities can adapt their transportation systems to what works for them. In my state of Wisconsin, which has a long tradition of innovative action in solving social needs, a number of realistic solutions have been tried and proven. These examples are compelling evidence of how local decisions and solutions can best meet that need.

In this hearing today, Mr. Henry Mayer will give testimony to this Subcommittee that will provide compelling evidence that local flexibility is the answer. Mr. Mayer served as Mayor of Milwaukee during a study and test period that Milwaukee underwent to determine how best to serve the transportation needs of the local disabled community.

Mr. Chairman, I also have a letter from Mayor Paul Soglin of Madison, Wisconsin to Senator Kohl describing why Madison has opted for paratransit service rather than lift equipment mainline bus service.

I would ask that his letter be inserted in the record at the conclusion of my statement.

Mr. MINETA. Without objection. So ordered.
Mr. PETRI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(Mr. Petri's prepared statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF Hon. THOMAS E. PETRI, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM

WISCONSIN Mr. Chairman, this bill ! as been referred to this subcommittee to address the transportation requirements which the bill would mandate; specifically the civil right of disabled persons to enjoy full availability of and accessibility to public transit facilities.

Now, that is an admirable and moral goal, and it is achievable-but Mr. Chairman, as Yogi Berra would say, I have a sense of deja vu all over again.

Some advocacy groups are insisting that all public transit equipment should be equipped to meet the needs of all disabled persons.

Politically, this is difficult to oppose, but it is not the best way to go.

Back in 1980 and 1981, in the 96th and 97th Congresses, this same subject was addressed as part of the implementation process for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The principal issue then, as now, was requiring that buses be equipped with lifts, regardless of local needs and conditions, or alternative means of transportation tailored by localities for themselves.

Proponents of mandatory lifts tend to cast those who favor more flexible approach as being anti-disabled.

Such was not the case 8 years ago, and it needs to be made clear again that being against mandatory bus lifts does not mean being against having transportation available to the disabled.

In fact, the reverse is true. If we provide a common sense framework in the legislation, then local communities can adapt their transportation system to what works best for them.

In Wisconsin, which has a long tradition of innovative action in solving social needs, a number of realistic solutions have been tried and proven.

These examples are compelling evidence of how local decisions and solutions can best meet the need.

Later in this hearing, Mr. Henry Mayer will give testimony to this subcommittee that will provide compelling evidence that local flexibility is the answer. Mr. Mayer served as a Milwaukee City Official during the study and test period that Milwaukee underwent to determine how best to serve the transportation needs of the local disabled communities.

My own home town of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is very proud of the system that they developed to meet the transportaiton needs of the disabled community. Back in 1979 when Federal dollars were made available, coalitions that included representatives of the disabled and the transit authority, were formed to study the needs of the disabled community to seek the best, most cost-effective system to meet these needs. Bus-lifts were considered and studied, and passed over in favor of a paratransit system.

It seems once again that as with most problems that the federal government tries to legislate a federal cure for, the best solution can be found in each community. We should only establish a result oriented standard, leaving local flexibility to determine how best to achieve that standard. Milwaukee, Madison, Fond du Lac, and many other progressive communities have proven that local flexibility is the answer. The communities that have been successful in developing dependable, timely, cost effective transportation to the disabled should not be penalized through federal mandates that tell them, despite their findings to the contrary, bus lifts are the answer. The disabled community is not limited to those in wheel chairs. There are many other elderly and disabled citizens that enjoy the convenience and ease that door-to-door service provides them

It is important to look at ways for communities to not only provide service to the disabled, but to provide proven superior service through proven methods such as paratransit.

Mr. Chairman, I also have a letter from Mayor Paul Soglin of Madison, Wisconsin, to Senator Kohl, describing why Madison has opted for paratransit service rather than lift equipped mainline bus service.

Basically, para-transit offers better service to the elderly and disabled, at less expense. Without objection, I would like to insert Mayor Soglin's observations in the record following my statement.

Mr. Chairman, when we went through this same debate almost 10 years ago, we saw a number of 'horror stories'.

For example, in Appleton, Wisconsin, $140,000 was spent on wheelchair lifts for buses to serve only nine people in Appleton.

In short, Mr. Chairman, federal requirements do not guarantee the success of community programs.

It is the efforts of local citizens that will determine their outcome. We should pre scribe a performance-based standard of expectation in the legislation.

I urge each of you to examine the experiences of Milwaukee, Fond du lac, and Madison closely. I think you will find them to be models of successful local initiatives.

We should frame our requirements in such a way to encourage such flexible, efficient, and cost-effective local responses.

(The letter referred to by Mr. Petri follows:]

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I wadoratand that s. 933, th. Aporicons with Disub111110s Act, 111 soon be voted on la ta. Sonat. Connitte. On Labor and Human Resources.

As you consider the provisions of this $111. I ask that you seek to retain the option for cities to choose tha bost moins providing transportation service to the olderly and diseblod. Иy inoidiato coasera 18 that cities, such as Madison, continuo have the option of choosing whethor or not to purchase buses with whoolohair listu or to

availablo funds to improve demand Posponsive paratransit. The city of Madison has just Encod decision about whether buy lill-equipped buses. Initially, I lavored purchase of 111tequipped busos. A

learned more bout tho variety transportation need, anong diubiod ladividual. and as I loarned about the limitations of 1 fixed route, 118t-equipped service, I changed my sind. I decided Madison should continue to focus its rosources on parıtransit service. The Madison Connon Council strongly supportod this position in a voice vote to purchase six parıtransit type buses rithor then purchase Rainlino buses with 118ts.

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the city's decision. Madison'ı veverwintor weather would result in unrullubi. 117t•quipped mainline survice von for taut portion of the disabled community that pretorrud to us. 1t. Subzoro temperature, Inow and 1cy utr..to, curbo and sidowalks would

substancial barriers to reliabi. servic.. Second. • significant portion of disabled individuals cannot use 11ft-oguropod mainline servis. either because they do not whoelchairs, because they arı not sufficiently mobilo, or because cransit routes are not conveniently located.

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Finally. given fixed number of dollars, Madlaon's para transit syotom dolivers many timos mor. ride, than 11:t-equipped mainline service. I have looked at the number of sido actually taken on 11t-equipped mainline bus service la oitios with ollaate', similar to Madison',. The number of rides is quito in comparison

tho aumber provided by Madison', para transit systoa. Over the past tiltoea yours, the City of Madison has developed in outstanding paratransit system. In 1909. paratransit sorrio. expondi turos equal 9.55% of the total transit syston', budg.t.

annual dollar amount equals $1,340,90 tar exceeding the approximately $1,000,000 the city annually aceive from the federal governmont lor operating costs. The city', paratransit service will provide approximatoly 100.000 rides this year. Nithout the exclusivo paratrunoit opcion, I think it is uniikoly that the city would have the quality and quantity of elderly iad disabled transit service we have today. I believe it is in option that is most approDrint, tor cities in « cold climate such a. Wineonoin'ı.

Monald J. Anthony

Robert D. Gioia

William G. Gisel

Ernesing R Green

Glenn S. Hackan

James M Wadswonn

Theodoro o Williamson, Sr.

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