Tyler transit becomes easier for those with disabilities

Tyler transit becomes easier for those with disabilities
(Source: KLTV staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Imagine not having your sight and being unable to drive and dependent upon others as your daily form of transportation.

That's the reality for many who rely on Tyler's bus system, but now, the ride is about to get easier for the visually and hearing impaired.

A small phrase stating the next stop can make a big difference for some passengers riding Tyler public transit.

"Before this audible thing, they really had no way of knowing unless the driver said out loud that there was a stop," said Craig Ellis, an employment service specialist at The Lighthouse.

The Americans for Disabilities Visual/Audible Announcing System was installed on all fixed bus routes in Tyler. Before this new system was in place, passengers with visual or hearing impairments had difficulties getting around the city, Ellis said.

"It's a big deal because we have actually had people who have tried to come here, and they've ended up missing their stops because they didn't know where they were because of their vision issues," Ellis said.

Rather than the driver being held responsible, the system will automatically announce the bus' next stop. Ellis says not announcing stops can be crucial to the everyday mobility of a person with visual or audible impairments.

"They need dependable transportation, and they need to be able to use that transportation to get to work and to get home and do their shopping and all that," Ellis said.

Ellis said he believes the city is making great strides.

"I've seen it impact a lot of people's lives since they've changed to this audible visual system," Ellis said.

Since its opening, The Lighthouse has preached independence among the disabled community. Now, with this system in place, Ellis says his clients have full faith in the public transportation system.

"They feel more comfortable. They go more places," Ellis said. "They utilize the transit system more than ever because they feel comfortable that they are gonna be able to get off at the right stop."

The new visual-audible system has been installed on all buses throughout the city. Funding for the new system was proved to the city through a grant.

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