City

Women's Group: Bus Cuts Will Hurt Homeless Women's Access to Health Care

By Erica C. Barnett July 26, 2011

In a letter to the King County Council today, the Seattle Women's Commission urged the council to pass a temporary $20 vehicle license fee to preserve Metro transit service; without the two-year fee, Metro faces cuts of 17 percent, or 600,000 hours of service. Those cuts, the commission members argued, would fall disproportionately on homeless women and their ability to access health care services.

Many of the bus routes scheduled for cutbacks or elimination, the letter says, "are the very routes that homeless and severely low income women rely on to access their health care services. If these cuts are made, many of these women will not have transportation access to places where they can receive comprehensive and preventive medical care. Without regular and preventive care many of these women may end up using the emergency room at Harborview for what could have been a preventable situation."

Those bus routes, about a dozen in all, slated for reduction or elimination include routes serving Harborview, Sound Mental Health, Planned Parenthood, DSHS and numerous other clinics around Seattle.
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