Detroit Evening Report: Detroit Mayor Duggan will use emergency powers to fund city’s paratransit services

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Mayor Mike Duggan promised Monday to use his emergency powers to continue paratransit services after federal officials said the City of Detroit violated the law with its current plan.

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Detroit City Council voted last month not to renew a contract with a French transit provider Transdev — which has been accused of providing poor service to people with disabilities for several years.

As The Detroit News reports, the city will not accept paratransit reservations in the new year unless there is an urgent medical need. The Federal Transit Authority sent a letter detailing the city’s responsibility to riders with disabilities according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disabled riders must not be subjected to waiting lists or prioritization by medical needs.

The FTA suggested the city council schedule a special session to address the paratransit issue. DDOT may lose its federal funding if it fails to comply with ADA requirements.

Duggan intends to have emergency contracts effective within the next couple of days.

“I’m not going to let the disabled of this city be stranded on Jan. 1. I will be exercising emergency powers to put emergency contracts in place to protect our most vulnerable at risk,” Duggan said. “I have no explanation for how council could turn down the contracts and qualification for two months and leave people stranded. We’ll take action in the next 48 hours.”

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.