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Shirley Blackener, a resident of Paris, Texas, for 43 years, is able to get around on “the legs God gave [her]” thanks to a knee surgery, but that doesn’t make the hour-long walk from her home into town any shorter or less arduous. She still sometimes uses a cane. Her sister, Vernitta Hale, uses a rollator and oxygen—for her, such a walk is not only time-consuming but nearly impossible. Fortunately, thanks to the city’s robust public transit system, they don’t have to walk. Their yellow disability cards allow them to ride the bus for free—though by now the drivers know them by sight. “It’s been a blessing,” said Blackener.Since 2016, Blackener and Hale have been able to rely on the “Paris Metro” to provide a…
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