Metro Transit bus

A Madison Metro Transit System bus turns onto State Street from the Capitol Square.

AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL

A loss of almost $4 million in federal funding could mean the loss of "door to door" service for paratransit service on Madison's Metro Transit bus system, as well as an increase in paratransit bus fares.

Metro Transit officials and the Madison Transit and Parking Commission will hold a public hearing on the changes on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Madison Central Library, in the third floor conference room.

The changes would lower Metro's service from a "human services" level of transportation that is considered above and beyond what is required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, to a level closer to what the ADA calls for.

The transition would end "door to door" service and change it to "curb to curb" service, unless the customer has difficulty getting from door to curb; each customer would be evaluated as far as need of service.

Fares would jump from $3.25 to $4 for paratransit riders, and customers would no longer use convenience tickets, but would have to pay cash for each ride.

Metro's annual paratransit budget is about $9.4 million, so a $3.9 million cut requires the changes.

"Adjustments need to be made to offset this large anticipated decrease in revenue," Metro said.

The proposed changes would gradually be rolled out in 2018, with the fare increase expected to start on Feb. 1.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.