Disabled Tulsans Oppose Transit Cuts

A crowd of disabled people is taking part in tonights Tulsa City Council meeting.They are protesting some planned budget cuts, that would eliminate evening bus routes and The Lift service that helps the disabled.Emeka Nnaka is a disabled college student who depends on The Lift for his future.He was paralyzed while playing semi-pro football in 2009.Now he uses the service to get to his workouts in the daytime and his classes at night.He's making the best of that situation, by studying to become a rehabilitation counselor.But if the cutbacks take place, he'll have a tough time getting to school from his apartment near 81st and Lewis.In addition that he has an even bigger concern.He says the bus service is a big part of independence and having options helps with the mental struggles that disabled people face.Advocate Judy Mattox, of the group Transit Matters, is familiar with that struggle.She got involved in bus issues, because her sister is disabled.Mattox has helped to collect almost 2,500 signatures on petitions, to keep all the buses going. She says $270,000 would continue all the service for the year.The mayors office has said that the size of the budget crisis requires cuts in most areas.The Tulsa Transit staff says they've tried to make cuts, so that the smallest number of people will be affected.