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We Need Your Voice for Southgate Plaza!

By March 5, 2024March 8th, 2024No Comments

Dear Transit Trailblazers,

We have an urgent issue and we need your voice. Our busiest shelter at Southgate Plaza, a vital link for many transit riders, is facing relocation. The property owner believes our riders are loitering and causing issues. Citilink has not been able to substantiate this claim. Despite increased Citilink supervision and police patrols, our shelter, which serves its purpose for riders, has become a gathering spot for some non-riders, treating it as a park.

This move will push us toward the public right-of-way, relocating the stop further away, down a steep hill, and requires passengers to cross Calhoun to catch the bus. We believe there is a more feasible solution that keeps our community connected and accessible in a food desert.

Some of the potential solutions discussed (and the results):

  • Have the Fort Wayne Police Dept increase patrols around the area (Citilink coordinated this and extends our gratitude to our FWPD for their great service to the community).
  • Increase Citilink Supervisor presence at location (Citilink implemented this; supervisors typically visit a handful of times a day during the highest ridership hours to ask people who are not riding to leave our shelter. We cannot force them off of property we do not own).
  • Move the bus stop in front of Kroger, to a higher populated area that’s easier for our riders to utilize but would deter non-riders from loitering (Property owner was not amenable to this solution).
  • Hire security for the property, like many other large shopping centers in our community provide (Property owner was not amenable to this solution).
  • Remove the tree to deter non-riders (Property owner was not amenable to this solution).
  • Remove the shelter but keep the location (Citilink determined this would have a severe negative effect on our riders that utilize this stop for the appropriate reasons).

Unfortunately, after discussing solutions, it was still determined by the property owner that our riders are the problem and that the shelter must move to a public right-of-way. We are disappointed. Our riders deserve better.

Call to Action:

1. Contact Kellams Enterprises Inc., the Property Owner: Share your concerns about the forced relocation and advocate for fair solutions that support everyone in our community. Contact Kellams Enterprises via email at james@kellamsenterprises.com.
2. Spread the Word: Share this information on your social media platforms, encouraging friends and neighbors to speak up.
3. Write Letters to Local Officials: Reach out to local officials expressing the importance of preserving accessible transit options at Southgate Plaza. Visit the City of Fort Wayne’s website to find your local official.

Even if you don’t personally ride, your voice can make a significant difference for those who rely on public transit. Let’s unite to preserve our community’s connectivity and accessibility. Thank you for your ongoing support. Together, we can ensure that Southgate Plaza remains a hub for accessible and equitable transit.

In solidarity,

Casey Claypool

Marketing & Development Manager clc@fwcitilink.com

 

DRAFTED LETTER TEMPLATE FOR LOCAL OFFICIALS

Dear [insert community leader name],

I hope this message finds you well. We are here to ask for your urgent support for an essential community matter regarding transit equity.

We regret to inform you that Citilink’s busiest shelter at Southgate Plaza is undergoing a forced relocation process. This decision comes as a response to concerns about perceived loitering and safety concerns by the property owner.

Citilink respectfully agrees that the bus stop could be in a better location so riders have more direct access to shops at the plaza.

Instead of working with Citilink to find a safer and more publicly visible location within the plaza, Southgate has demanded Citilink tear down its Southgate bus shelter immediately. This would be a move that impacts accessibility, moving the highest utilized bus stop to the public right-of-way would mean passengers have to cross Calhoun to access the shopping center, navigate up a hill, and then walk several hundred feet to the grocery store.

We believe there must be a better solution to keep our community connected. Help us advocate for transit equity by taking action through any of the steps listed below.

 

1. Contact Kellams

Enterprises Inc.,

the Property Owner:

Share your concerns about the forced relocation and advocate for fair solutions that support everyone in our community. Contact Kellams Enterprises by email at james@kellamsenterprises.com.
2.Spread the Word: Share this information on your social media platforms, encouraging friends and neighbors to speak up.
3.Write Letters to Local Officials: Reach out to local officials expressing the importance of preserving accessible transit options at Southgate Plaza. Visit the City of Fort Wayne’s website to find your local official.

As an elected official, your voice is crucial in preserving our community’s connectivity and accessibility. Please let us know if you have any questions or require any more details.

Thank you for your swift action. Best regards,

[Your Organization/Community Name] [Contact Information]

 

DRAFTED SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS & CALLS TO ACTION

Some facts and potential posts:

  • Our busiest shelter at Southgate Plaza is facing forced relocation because of perceived loitering by our riders. We’ve taken action with increased supervision and police It turns out, our riders use the shelter for its purpose, while nonriders treat the area as a park. Despite our best efforts, our shelter is still being forced to move. Let’s advocate for fair solutions that support everyone in our community!
  • Current Challenge Alert! Southgate Plaza is forcing Citilink to leave, pushing us to the public right-of-way. This means relocating the stop further away, down a steep hill, and crossing Calhoun to catch the bus. Let’s rally together for a more feasible solution that keeps our community connected and accessible.
  • Did you know? Our bus shelter at Southgate Plaza is a vital hub for the community! On weekdays, it’s the top stop, with around 127 people get on and 94 people get off each day at this shelter. Even on weekends, it’s the third busiest. Yet, our riders are being forced out. Let’s keep our transit options accessible and convenient for everyone!

Various calls to action to add:

  • Advocate for inclusive transit! Share this post, tag friends, and let’s amplify our collective voice and protect the Southgate Plaza bus shelter.
  • Advocate for equity! Contact the property owner, Kellams Enterprises, at james@kellamsenterprises.com to share your concerns.
  • Let your voice be heard! Contact Southgate Plaza’s property owner, Kellams Enterprises, at james@kellamsenterprises.com. Advocate for fair solutions that support our entire community.
  • Stand up for our community! Even if you’re not a rider, share this post, tag friends, and let’s amplify our collective voice. Riders already face challenges; let’s not add more barriers.
  • Email the property owner, Kellams Enterprises, at james@kellamsenterprises.com and emphasize the importance of equitable transit for everyone in our community. Let them know why relocating our shelter downhill and across Calhoun is a concern.

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