UTA celebrates 30 years of complimentary Paratransit Service

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Transit Authority celebrated its 30th anniversary providing bus service to those people with disabilities on Thursday.

Riders who started riding the UTA service came out to celebrate and share their stories of appreciation for UTA’s complimentary service, like Linda Reeder.

Reeder is blind and started using Paratransit 30 years ago to commute to her job at the Salt Lake County Health Department.

“ I am totally blind,” said Reeder. “I was born that way. No one could ever tell me why until I went to the Moran Eye Center and this guy said, ‘Let me explain it to you- it’s like a camera- you don’t have the negatives.’”

She was not negative though, about getting around in her daily life. A friend of hers at work suggested she start taking the Paratransit service and Reeder immediately loved it.

“She said, ‘Linda they will bring you straight to work, it’s a curb to curb service.’”

Another woman with disabilities, Priscilla Luster said she has been using the service for only a year and a-half and it has saved her a lot of money.

“I used to ask friends at church for a ride, but that is such an inconvenience on them and then sometimes I would use a cab, but being on a fixed income, I can’t afford that,” said Luster.

Special Services manager with the UTA, Cherryl Beveridge, said the drivers are more than just drivers to their passengers, they get to know them.

“I remember one day, her (a driver) calling in, and saying, ‘I usually pick up this passenger every day and something is wrong, they aren’t coming out I pick them up every day,’ and so we were able to call emergency response, and something was wrong with that passenger,” said Beveridge. “They’d fallen and broken their hip and had no way to make a phone call. That’s what I am proud of.”

For more information on UTA’s Paratransit, click HERE.