Louisiana Association for the Blind (LAB) President and CEO Brian Patchett has called on the City Council of Bossier City to maintain its current budget for SporTran bus services.
On Tuesday, February 21, the council is expected to consider a funding cut. SporTran would reduce its operations in Bossier City if the council removes the money for those services from its current budget.
Patchett addressed the proposed cut at a news conference on the morning of February 16. He said the Louisiana Association for the Blind strives for its clients to live independently. He also said that the lack of public transportation would affect his clients who have to get to jobs,
appointments or the store.
“This is unacceptable,” said Patchett, who resides in Bossier City. “The impact on people who are blind or visually impaired and others with disabilities would be devastating. They would go from being productive citizens to hostages in their own homes.”
Also speaking at the news conference was LAB client Denny Keeth who will be affected by any cut in bus services. Keeth currently relies on the SporTran bus route to get to work every day. He also rides the bus to attend classes at Louisiana State University Shreveport and Bossier Parish Community College, where he is studying business.
“It would be devastating to me,” said Keeth. “I’ve worked very hard to try to recover from my disability. This would just be a crushing blow to many of our people in the Bossier area.”
The Louisiana Association for the Blind plans to attend Tuesday’s Bossier City Council meeting to voice its opposition to the proposed budget cut.