BRISTOL – As a means of addressing public transportation and equitable access concerns with area residents, the Bristol Commission for Persons with Disabilities will be holding an open forum this Saturday at the Bristol Public Library at 1 p.m.
“We’re taking a look at transportation within the city limits and basically Greater Bristol. We’re talking all public and private transportation,” said Commission Chair Dan Micari.
The forum will include American Sign Language interpreters.
“We are looking forward to a robust discussion from the public on transportation needs,” said Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano. “The city’s infrastructure needs are going to change rapidly as we see the revitalization of downtown become a reality.”
Micari said the forum would focus on Bristol’s connections with statewide transportation systems as well.
“We’ll look at the entire system, what’s working and what may not be working,” he continued. “Some of the common things we hear about transportation challenges are around route changes, route limitations, geographic boundaries. We’ll go to this bus stop but we won’t go beyond a mile.”
The chair said transportation affects all aspects of residents' lives, whether that’s in the form of medical appointments, recreation, career opportunities and more.
“We want to make transportation accessible to all people regardless of their limitations,” said Micari. “A primary focus of the forum is going to be supporting people with disabilities and their opportunities to use transportation. We want to bring a level of awareness.”
Around four panelists and around a dozen informational presenters are slated to be at the event who work with various agencies involved with transportation.
The forum is being sponsored by the Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition along with other local sponsors.
“It’s a community effort and we hope this will be the first of a series of conversations about transportation,” said Micari.
A survey will be offered to participants at the end of the event to provide feedback to organizers.