Access to transit cards limited for seniors, disabled

As the Claremont Depot gets renovated for the upcoming art museum, some elderly or disadvantaged residents may be suffering unintended consequences.

A letter sent to the COURIER on April 20 by resident Dennis Lloyd outlines one such problem—seniors’ inability to renew their Transit Access Permit (TAP) cards in the city. A notice on the door of the Depot stated that Foothill Transit Passes are available at city hall.

“So I walked there, only to find that the staff has the ability to sell regular TAP cards and load funds onto them, but cannot issue senior or disabled cards,” Mr. Lloyd wrote.

TAP cards are similar to plastic credit cards and can be pre-paid each month to allow seniors and people with  disabilities to simplify public transit travel. The cards, which were readily available at the Depot prior to the lease agreement between the city and the Claremont Museum of Art, can now only be renewed in person at the Foothill Transit Center in downtown Pomona. It is an inconvenience that disheartens Mr. Lloyd.

“Public transportation has become more inaccessible,” he said.

When reached for comment on the matter, Director of Human Services Anne Turner said the city was “unaware” of any issues before Mr. Lloyd’s letter and is looking into changing the contract with Metro to allow the city to renew and issue TAP cards for senior and disabled people.

Public transit users can load standard fare TAP cards at city hall but this service is not currently offered to the disabled, students or senior citizens.

“The city, as a retailer, will never be able to process applications for senior, disabled or student TAP cards,” she said. “But we are getting back to Metro so we can amend our contract.”

According to Ms. Turner, the amended contract to allow seniors, students and disabled people to reload their TAP cards will go into effect on May 23.

In the meantime, Ms. Turner recommends reloading the TAP card online via taptogo.net or using Dial-A-Ride as a means to get to the Pomona transit center.

Dial-A-Ride rates for trips outside of Claremont are $4 one-way for regular patrons and $2.50 one-way for seniors and the disabled, according to the Dial-A-Ride website.

Ms. Turner said she would work with Dial-A-Ride to make sure that the fee for a ride within Claremont for seniors, $1.50, would also apply for rides to the Foothill Transit Center.

Prior to lease agreement with the Claremont Museum of Art, the Claremont Depot was used as a center for Foothill Transit and Metrolink and also served as a source of public restrooms for people visiting the Village.

The restrooms at the Depot are now closed to the public, and travelers or pedestrians needing to use the restroom must walk more than a block to the public restrooms at city hall, the Claremont Library or the parking garage in the West Village.

A notice of five nearby public restrooms has been posted in front of the Depot, the northernmost of which is located at Mallows Park on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Indian Hill Boulevard.

In the meantime, regular TAP cards can be loaded at city hall Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

 

*A previous version of this post, as well as in print, incorrectly named Anne Turner as the Director of Community Services. She is, in fact, the Director of Human Services. The COURIER regrets the error.

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