TOPEKA (KSNT) – Veterans fought for our freedom, now they’re having trouble catching the bus at the VA Medical Center in Topeka. As the weather gets colder, many veterans are concerned with the recent bus stop changes. The Topeka Metro announced last week that there would only be one stop on the VA grounds instead of the previous three.
Christine Allen, is one of many frustrated veterans who say “only one bus stop on the grounds now, it makes it harder to get other buildings if your needing to get to other buildings.”
Marc Lay is a veteran as well, he says this change messes with “the veteran because if they’re at a faraway place from this bus stop, then how are they going to get over here.”
If a rider came to one of the old bus stops, the first sign that this location is not a bus stop anymore is yellow caution tape saying ‘do not enter.’ Another indication is multiple signs, letting riders know that this location is no longer a bus stop and to go to building one. So why the change?
“We were not making our transfers at Quincy Street Station and if we can’t make the transfers were not any good to our passengers,” says Topeka Metro General Manager Susan Duffy.
She says three separate stops, loading wheel chairs and helping with assistance takes time. Time that impacts riders catching their next stop. If they miss it, “they’ll have to wait either a half hour or a full hour for the next bus.” but by making one stop, “we can load one time or unload and then they’re able to go throughout their buildings. And there all connected,” says Duffy.
Christina Allen, a vet who’s taken the bus for years, doesn’t agree, “I don’t think it’s so much a matter of how many stops they make at the VA, as it is just the traffic in general.”
She says there needs to be another solution and she’s not alone, Lay says they are connected, “but I mean man to walk with a cane or a wheel chair the distance their going to have to go, I don’t think it’s right.”
At this time the Metro is not offering any solutions and for now the building one main entrance stop, is the only one available.