[nfbmi-talk] FW: Article from Detroit Free Press News Section 2015 11 29

Fred wurtzel f.wurtzel at comcast.net
Mon Nov 30 18:38:39 UTC 2015



Here is the second of 2 articles.  This shows that the decision to move the
Michigan Flyer (or Air Ride) as it is also known, was political and could be
easily reversed.  Not told here is that the Michigan Flyer offered to pay
for a parking enforcement officer to manage the parking area in front of the
International Arrivals area where the Flyer dropped off passengers for


Thank you to all NFB of Michigan members who have and will support our
efforts to live the lives we want and travel independently.


Warmest Regards,






Metro Airport accused of special treatment for students Eric D. Lawrence,
Detroit Free Press People who take public transportation to Detroit Metro
Airport's McNamara Terminal must walk hundreds of feet just to get to a door
that will take them to the terminal. But University of Michigan students who
use the university's airBus service, which operates before and after'breaks,
get much closer access. Critics of the Wayne County Airport Authority's
decision to move the bus stop for public transit providers to the location
farthest from the terminal in the Ground Transportation Center point to that
discrepancy as an example of what they say is the authority's disdain for
public transit riders and those with disabilities, a criticism airport
spokesman Michael Conway rejects as false. 'When somebody tries to brand us
as being insensitive to our customers with disabilities, that's absolutely
not true,' Conway said. But those critics also point to a series of e-mails
in September 2014, before the switch, between Bobby Dishell, a former
University of Michigan student body president, and Andrea Fischer Newman,
who is both senior vice president of government affairs for Delta and a
University of Michigan regent, when Dishell was concerned that airBus would
have to use the same'spot as AirRide and SMART at the Ground Transportation
Center. The e-mails were provided to the Free Press by attorney Jason
Turkish's firm. Turkish is a Southfield-based'attorney involved in
litigation accusing the airport of discrimination against the'disabled
related to the airport's decision to move the public transit stop farther
from the McNamara Terminal last year. The airport said it did so because of
safety concerns. Newman, in asking Dishell for an update on the situation,
writes that she knows 'all those people and perhaps I can help. In his
response, Dishell describes a limited number of spaces for buses in the
location and the extra time it would take students to check in. 'On top of
that, this requires students to walk in between the wheel wells of buses and
motor coaches to board and get off the buses while they also struggle with
luggage. In addition, this new location forces students to walk outside for
a long stretch of time, and if we had a winter like this past year, could
leave students outside in the cold while they try to board a bus home,'
Dishell wrote. Newman did not respond to requests for comment. Dishell said
in a phone conversation with the Free Press that Newman was a 'huge help' in
resolving the situation for'airBus. 'This just shows who really calls the
shots at Detroit Metro Airport,' Turkish said. Turkish said the decision to
allow airBus to use a closer stop than that for public transit providers
means university students get special treatment. 'Elderly disabled people
have the long walk, but U-M undergrads (are) dropped near the door,' he
said. Both Conway and Brian Sadek, the airport's in-house counsel, rejected
that claim, with Conway saying the airport only does what makes operational
sense and'Sadek saying that'the airport does not give preferential treatment
to one operator over another. Sadek said airBus stops are handled as a
'special event,' just like shuttles that move people heading to and from the
North American International Auto Show or large conventions in the area. The
airport does not want to add to congestion, so it allows those buses and
shuttles to pick up and drop off in an area that normally does not permit
that, he said. 'These are discreet special events with large waves of
people,' Sadek said. Contact Eric D. Lawrence: elawrence at freepress.com or on

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