By: Lanetra Bennett
July 2, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee Community College is putting the brakes on a transportation program for disabled students.
Because the budget was cut, so was the school's "escort tram service."
Sarah Howard is a 59-year-old TCC student.
She uses the school's disabled student transportation service to get around campus.
Without it, she says it would take her 20 minutes just to walk to her classes.
Howard says, "I definitely need it because I catch the bus out here. I can barely get from the bus stop to the building because I have to catch one bus to get to another bus. Before I can get across the street, I'm hurting. I have to stop and pause for about five or ten minutes or so, and then start all over."
Howard has to have total hip replacement surgery.
So, she says she was disappointed to receive a note from TCC, that says: "Effective July 1st, the funding provided by SGA in support of the operation of the escort tram service has been discontinued."
Howard says, "We definitely need this transportation. because there are a lot of handicapped students here."
Administrators say the program provided 15 to 20 trips a day.
Administrators say a drop in enrollment and less money coming in from activity and service fees led to the budget cuts. They say budget cuts also stem from tuition not increasing and funding from the State of Florida staying the same.
The college says it cannot financially support the student drivers, or Student Resources Officers (SROs).
Calvin Marshall was one of the student drivers. He says, "I respect their decision. All the while I still want my job, but, decisions have to be made in order for TCC to grow."
TCC has provided the escort tram service for more than ten years.
Administrators tell me that if funding increases, they hope to bring the program back in the future.
The nighttime safety rides will still be available.