PHOENIX - Many retired people call it a lifeline-- but the Dial-a-Ride service that lets them get to places like the grocery store and the doctor is about to get more expensive.
The fare is just going up a few dollars, but that adds up to a lot of money each week for those on a fixed income.
One Scottsdale woman is afraid she won't be able to make it to work anymore.
Suzanne Domaz needs the help of a wheelchair to get around after a car accident back in 1990 left her disabled.
She uses Dial-a-Ride twice a week to get to work and to visit her sick mother.
The Valley Metro program provides door-to-door services for seniors and passengers with disabilities.
They're able to take taxis to get around at a discounted rate.
Right now it costs Suzanne $1.50 each way for a five and a half mile trip to work. But in October, rates are going up a few dollars.
"I can't afford their raises, I can't afford ADA rate right now," she said.
There are two programs available called ADA and non-ADA.
The ADA program is for those who qualify for federal aid due to their disabilities. That fare costs $4 for a five mile trip right now.
The non-ADA program costs $1 for that same distance, but that's about to change.
The rate will go up to $2.50 October 1 and increase again July 1, 2014 to $4.
Then after five miles, customers will pay 50 cents a mile.
Valley Metro says it hasn't raised rates in about 10 years.
"It actually costs us about $25-30 dollars per trip. So we're subsidizing that service quite a bit," said Susan Tierney with Valley Metro.
But some customers, like Suzanne, say even a few dollars more is too much to bear.
"I don't like the thought of what that would do. I've been homeless before and I've come a long way. I've worked really hard to get where I'm at now," she said.
Valley Metro says they have programs to help pay the costs of transportation for those who qualify.
They're holding several meetings this month to explain the changes:
Thursday, September 5
5 - 6:30 p.m.
Tempe Transportation Center
Don Cassano Room
200 E. Fifth St., Tempe
Monday, September 9
Chandler Senior Center
202 E Boston St
Chandler, AZ 85225
Scottsdale (2 dates):
Thursday, September 12 and Tuesday, October 15
Via Linda Senior Center
10440 E. Via Linda
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