Advocate shares frustration after rides were cut for disabled Detroiters

‘People need to go to the grocery store and get to medical appointments’

DETROIT – Chris Ruzzin is angry at the Detroit City Council and is perturbed about the city’s most vulnerable population, which is people with disabilities.

They need transportation to and from the things in life most of us take for granted.

“People need to go to the grocery store and get to medical appointments,” Ruzzin said. “They need to be able to get to a job and be able to go to church.”

In their last council meeting before going on a long break, Detroit City Council did not like a five-year $49 million contract. The city administration wanted to expand and improve the free ride service to Detroit’s disabled, which they voted it down.

Read: City council votes down paratransit contract on Detroit’s west side

Only 30% of the service is funded going forward, meaning 70% of the rides have been cut for the foreseeable future, leaving the disabled behind.

“It just blew me away,” Ruzzin said. “It’s just taking away the access of people just going and doing their daily livelihoods like going to school, work, church, the grocery store, and medical appointments. Friends and family. People have a right to enjoy those things.”

The city can no longer take reservations for rides until the first of the year.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.