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Sometimes it pays to be the squeaky wheel.

Some of Utah's most needy citizens realized that recently when they let their feelings be known about Utah Transit Authority plans to significantly revise paratransit service throughout the system. To their credit, the folks at UTA listened.

Following two weeks of public hearings earlier this year, and plenty of input from paratransit users, UTA won't be increasing paratransit fares this year. Still, the modified proposal for bringing paratransit service more in line with federal guidelines won't sit well with some of the hundreds of people who use it. The discontinuance of an unlimited monthly pass, for example, will undoubtedly have a negative impact on some. On the other hand, agreeing to grandfather in those eligible riders who live beyond a federally designated three-quarter mile service area demonstrates UTA's willingness to assure mobility for paratransit users.

KSL is especially intrigued by UTA's proposal to more effectively coordinate the dozens of established federal, state and private funding options that are available for helping disabled citizens with their transportation needs. It is an effort that should be vigorously pursued.

This latest UTA proposal, of course, still requires board approval. In our view, they'll be voting on a much better plan than was offered the first time around.

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