This holiday season, paratransit is offering shortened hours leaving some riders stuck at home for the holidays.

So they got together, spoke up, and spoke out.

‘Tis the season to spend time with the ones you love. 

“I want to be with my family just like everyone else,” Trevor Vannett, paratransit rider says.

But when you rely on Paratransit, you might not always have the option to go where you want, when you want.

“There’s evening functions you miss out on just because you don’t have transit and without it you can’t afford to get there,” Vannett says.

For those with disabilities, shorter hours, can mean putting the stop to some of their holiday plans. 

“You have to be done by 2:30, 3 o’clock, you have to be done with your meal, you can’t visit your family,” Vannett says.

So, Trevor and others in his community took action,  speaking up, and speaking out, about what kind of holiday schedule works for them.

“They wanted to get the word out that they wanted to change this,” Kathy Temchack, advocate for Dakota Center for Independent Living says.

“On some holidays, they had extra hours where people didn’t need [them] so we tried to cut back on some holidays to extend it for others,” Randee Sailer, paratransit rider says.

Because many riders don’t have any other options.

“Most people don’t have any other way to get around, so if you’re in a wheelchair, you’re very limited in how you can use it,” Vannett says.

But when it comes to holiday hours, they still want a seat at the table.

“I don’t want to be limited, I want to be treated fairly and be able to be as free and independent as I want to be,”  Vannett says.

Making a change to make sure everyone in the community has a chance to make it home for Christmas.

“We don’t want to be [more] limited than other people, we want to be treated the same,”  Vannett says.

Treated the same, regardless of disability.

Trevor, along with other Paratransit riders worked with Bisman Transit to adjust holiday hours to try and accommodate as many people as possible this holiday season. 

Updated Holiday Hours:

New Years: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Memorial Day: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

4th of July: 10:30 a.m. -10:30 p.m.

Labor Day: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Thanksgiving: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Christmas Day: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.