IMPRUVE is the Assumed Name of BNICEH, the Black Network In Children's Emotional Health


Since Feb. 2000, paratransit riders have been standing up for their rights and the  rights of wheelchair taxi riders

and those who ride fixed route accessible transit.



WE WILL NOT BE SILENT

   Like an oak we bend, but do not break

IMPRUVE​​

No Wheels Left Behind

Taxi Group of 230 Wheelchair taxi drivers in Chicago co-founded by Abdelsamad Ali and  Richard Essien.  No Wheels Left Behind  Abdelsamad Ali was guest speaker  present at RDA meeting on February 17, 2020  at 5:30 pm. See calendar. A falafel meal was provided by Ali.

Find No Wheels Left Behind on the What's Up App, but they soon plan to have their own app, too, for their services.  They provide meals to homeless persons and tenants in the Lawson YMCA  on Chicago Ave.  They provide emergency rides to disabled persons and seniors.  

Call in an emergency when you are stranded or have a health appointment or event or meeting to attend and cannot get a WAV driver to respond through Open Taxi or if you do not have a paratransit ride. Give at least a 2-hour notice to Richard 312-597-3188. He will try to find a driver if he is unavailable.   If not an immediate emergency, give a 1- to 2-day notice to Abdel aka Ali 773-905-3141, even if you do not have funds to pay.   

"Being disabled is not a penalty nor a gift.   Those who have mobility limitations, whether they  ride in wheelchairs or not, are entitled to accessible transportation of their own choosing that meets their need.  IMPRUVE and the Rider-Driver Alliance (RDA) choose to establish our own rider-owned paratransit, so that we have an alternative when we are left behind by Pace, CTA or other transit services." 

Dr. Ayo Maat, former president-CEO of BNICEH, IMPRUVE  



Our Last RDA Meeting was Monday February 17, 2020 with a complimentary falafel meal.   We shall continue  UNLESS THE PROJECT IS SHUT DOWN DUE TO LACK OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT.  Wear or purchase your RDA tshirt to wear at meetings involving the paratransit or CTA or wheelchair taxis or Metra or RTA.  Click on calendar date for details.

Our Next RDA Meeting Monday March 16, 2020 - Please RSVP

Our Calendar

Attention: Rider-Driver Alliance in Danger of Being Shut Down

We Need An Administrative Assistant to help with Correspondence,

 Monitor Emails, Plan Fundraising, and Create Newsletter Content.

IMPRUVE has positions on its joint board for 3  New Directors 

 to Serve  for 3-Year Terms

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Past Events - Highlights


Join us for the 16th Disability Pride Parade on Sat. July 20, 2019. March with us. We need Taxi drivers to transport people who cannot march the full distance.Free to marchers and attendees. All vehicle owners or drivers must pay $25 city-required license fee to drive in the parade. All vehicles must be decorated before the parade begins. Lineup 10 am at Van Buren and Plymouth. Parade kicks off at 11 am. Donation welcome by IMPRUVE and the BNICEH, our parent company and the Disability Pride Parade key organizers. Contact Cece Jackson 773-544-9488 Visit www.disabilityprideparade.org for more information on the parade.

IMPRUVE Members and Volunteers In Active Service to the Disability, Senior and Black Communities

At Carson's Community Days Prior to Store Closings

You cannot receive a blessing nor give a blessing with closed fists. Gratitude attracts blessings.

Are you grateful?​

2020: Another year to stand up for paratransit and accessible public transit rights and form new alliances between those who ride and those who drive accessible buses, trains, vans, and wheelchair taxis. Join us. Be a voice or give a hand for social justice, human rights, worker rights, public accountability, and the end of fear and procrastination in demanding change, better services, and less discord between riders, drivers and those who are responsible for paratransit funding, statutes, and services. NOW.

Calling All Paratransit Riders and Drivers, Fixed Route Riders, Too

Join Rider-Driver Alliance in Chicago

Support $116 million Pace capital budget 

Rocky Donahue, new Pace CEO as of March 1, 2019

is no longer interim director. He is the new permanent director. He is working with the Paratransit Coalition to get a capital budget passed to enable Pace to make needed changes to improve routing and real-time tracking by Trapeze. Pace is also seeking separate funds to buy almost 1000 new vehicles, not the cutaway vans of SCR and MV that are injurious to clients with bone, joint, nerve and muscle pain or issues.

 New!! Pace asked for the help of all riders, drivers and advocates to solve the problems of paratransit service. Drivers are welcome who are off duty to attend public meetings of Pace on the Paratransit and offer solutions, ideas or submit to Rocky Donahue at Pace. [email protected]  

He also said though he did not know how it would work that he was receptive to listening to us and possibly supporting rider-owned Paratransit!!  

This is a milestone we have worked to reach since 2007- inclusion of all stakeholders--riders and driver especially in improving ontime performance and poor routing, and allowing drivers to suggest better practices and vehicle specifications that would be better for drivers and riders.

He announced that he wanted to hear from drivers, too, at the Disability Rights Consortium meeting Dec. 5, 2018 held from 9:30 am - 11 am (actually went to noon) at Equip for Equality 20 N. Michigan Suite 300 Chicago. We attended in person and by teleconference. 

Reminder!! Riders have always been welcome to Pace public meetings and RDA meetings. 

Drivers are also welcome to RDA meetings every 3rd Monday from 5:30-7:30 pm at Access Living 115 W. Chicago Ave. RSVP to Dr. Maat 773-416-7366 or Cecelia Jackson 773-544-9488 or [email protected]

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Rider-Driver Alliance

  1. Voted to Unite

Paratransit Riders and Drivers Again 

Our Meetings are held the 3rd Monday

every month except January

5:30-7:30 pm at

Access Living 115 W. Chicago Ave.

Register at 773-416-7366 

Please be on time

IMPRUVE annual meeting and board elections

Tentative Date: December 27, 2020 (details TBA)

Next RDA Meeting is the 3rd Monday

Show your Support


We are Green, Anti-Violent, and ATOD-free. We Support No GMOs, No Pesticides, No Canola Oil, No Tobacco, No Alcohol, No Abuse of Seniors, Persons Who Are Disabled, Women Children. Please Do Not Bring Guns to Our Events. Please Do Not Smoke Near Persons Who Have Respiratory Issues or Chemical Sensitivities. Thank you for Respect of Human, Transportation, Housing and Disability Rights. EVERY HUMAN BEING DESERVES A CHANCE AT LIFE & A HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE ACCORDING TO THEIR NEEDS. Universal Single Payer Healthcare for All is the humane approach to healthcare. 

Since Feb. 20, 2000, we have been the paratransit riders' voice and advocate on the front line, behind the scenes and wherever we were needed to support those who fight for disability rights. We are the original Paratransit Minutemen.

Donate Now!

Logo for Rider-Driver Alliance

RDA is a Project of IMPRUVE 

Will Crosby Calls for No Fare Increase by Pace for Paratransit Riders - Oct. 11, 2017 Outside Pace and Metra Offices at 547 W. Jackson Chicago

CEO-President Position Vacant

Since Fall, 2017

Executive Search Continues for a New CEO-President for BNICEH and IMPRUVE. Dr. Ayo Maat has retired/resigned after 25 years with BNICEH and 17 with IMPRUVE. She temporarily remains as advisor to the Board and Comptroller. CEO-President is not a salaried position, but expenses are paid.

IMPRUVE needs volunteers now! And Funds! HELP!!!

Pace Decided No Fare Increase for 2019

Only 25 Showed Up at Protest at Pace Chicago Offices

and Less Than 1% of Paratransit Riders

Have Filed Paratransit Surveys!!!

If you Ride 100 times per month, your transportation

costs may have increased by $300 annually!

To Help Our Constituents Pay the 25 Cents, We Need Your Support

HAVE YOU Seen Our Gofundme Page for

"Quarters for Paratransit Riders Fare?"

Goal: $25,000

https://www.gofundme.com/pay-disabled-riders-fare-increase

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What Every Driver Should Know

What Every Rider Should Know

To Be Republished in 2019-2020

TBA: Paratransit Coalition May Host a Townhall

on Your Rights as Riders and Drivers at Access Living

Review Summary Report by

Paratransit Coalition of

Access Living 

Title: Transportation Delayed

is Transportation Denied

Call 312-640-2100

Civil Rights Dept. 

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Annual Membership Meeting, Board Elections, and

Kwanzaa Celebration by Invitation

IMPRUVE is not Gone.

It is operated under the auspices of BNICEH

SAVE IMPRUVE

DONATE NOW

VOLUNTEER NOW

JOIN NOW

The annual meeting changed locations as of 2018.

Secretary to RSVP

773-544-9488

Save the date: December 27, 2020

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)

Show Membership Card for Free Admission

Guests Must be pre-registered

$5 suggested for food for invited guests and

Members whose dues are unpaid

Only Members Can Nominate and Vote for Directors

Must turn in Candidate Bios or Resumes By Dec. 12

All Members Can Vote and Eat

No Member Turned Away who RSVPs by Dec. 20

and Shows Up on Dec. 27

Limited Space and Seating 

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To suggest ideas for funding 

and rates for our own paratransit,  contact us

[email protected]

We are part of the Paratransit Coalition

and partner with others:

Access Living, Chicago ADAPT, Equip for Equality,

Friedman Place, CDAC, PTTP, Rider-Driver Alliance 

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We generally observe these events: Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras), Black History Month in February, Womens' History Month in March, Juneteenth on June 16th, Chicago Disability Pride Parade in July and Kwanzaa in December thru January 1

_____________________________________________________

National Giving Months  for BNICEH and IMPRUVE

are November and December

We Need Your Help and Your Complaints, Comments

We Need Volunteers, New Members, New Directors

A New President-CEO

_____________________________________________

Many Ways to Give

DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERS, ADVISORS REQUESTED, NEEDED, APPRECIATED. Please GIVE TO IMPRUVE OR BNICEH.

We No Longer have Support of Bon Ton (Carson's)

They Went Out of Business

nor SparkPlug (Project grant ended Dec 31, 2017)

KEEP THE PARATRANSIT MOMENTUM GOING FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE GOOD SERVICE. 

To Donate to IMPRUVE or BNICEH for Giving Day or Any Day - Click Yellow Donate button for PayPal - See below to pay by credit or debit card or check. You Can Also Pay Dues by PayPal. Just call us at 773-544-9488 or 773-703-8412 to pay dues by gift to PayPal at www.paypal.com our acct: [email protected] Have a heart. Love the organization that has worked through the campaigns of IMPRUVE for 19 years on behalf of paratransit riders and the mother company BNICEH that has worked 27 years to promote holistic health and green living and dining, prevention, better mental health, ATOD prevention; and ensured that seniors, youth and persons who are disabled (PWDs) have equal rights, civil rights and human rights through our advocacy projects. Show your philanthrophy. GIVE.

We are supported by volunteers. No major funding.

Mainly Self-Funded. Give through PayPal to IMPRUVE 

Or give at our FundIMPRUVE Gofundme page. Goal is $22,000. http://gofundme.com/2r2syws

To volunteer, request volunteer application. Can receive here

https://form.jotform.com/63363199755165 Call 773-255-2113 or CLICK Contacts Tab above to email or CLICK COMMENTS Tab to leave a comment

We are a family of paratransit riders working with volunteers, paratransit drivers, and are the foundng host of the Rider-Driver Alliance. We host an informational booth at the Chicago Disability Pride Parade every July. We are following a 5 year plan to rebuild the Rider-Driver Alliance (RDA) through 2022 Beginning 2018, we include CTA riders who are disabled and CTA bus and rail workers from ATU 241 & 308. In 2020, we plan to expand relationships with wheelchair taxi drivers. Supported by CDAC (Chicago Disability Activism Collective), IMPRUVE was successful in collecting signatures on its petition for Better Paratransit. As a result, drivers got increases and services are being improved thanks to new director Rocky Donaghue working with Paratransit Coalition and Pace ADA Advisory Council. 

DON'T FRET. DON'T GIVE UP. Work with us, the Paratransit Coalition and keep filing complaints anyway with Pace Customer Service. Complaints to carriers go nowhere. 

Better Paratransit Petition Calls for Public Townhall Forum

Better Paratransit Petition targets in Illinois, not just the governor, but MOPD (Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities), OEIG, FTA, Transportation Committee Chair Alderman Anthony Beale, and House Speaker Mike Madigan. MOPD has been cooperative.

Anyone can sign. But please identify if you are a paratransit rider or driver. 

Chicago Had A Voting Representative on Pace Board

Commissioner Karen Tamley has left MOPD (Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities) to assume leadership as CEO of Access Living.  Wonderful.  She was a voting member on the Pace board of directors. Chicago has the largest ridership of NE IL. However, a fair share of funds come from suburban mayors and township presidents.  Who will replace heron Pace board and MOPD as Commissioner is critical!

The images (photos) change that are below the heading above when you click the images to left or right. An arrow will appear left or right. The text and images below or on the side can be enlarged by zooming in.  

Our Mission Statement is found on the Page titled "About." See tab above left under the healing hands on our banner header above. Click there for Mission statement and to learn Why Us (why we do this, why you should donate to us, why you should volunteer for us, why you should join our board of directors or advisory board).  

Board Meetings

The joint board of IMPRUVE and BNICEH meet on the 1st Tuesday of every month 1-3 pm at Access Living unless announced otherwise. Closed to non-directors unless you are invited. The Executive Committee meets occasionally with chairpersons of committees and departments and at least annually the advisors meet with the CEO-president.

CEO-President Position Vacant Since Fall, 2017

Executive Search Continues for a New CEO-President for BNICEH and IMPRUVE. Dr. Ayo Maat has retired/resigned after 25 years with BNICEH and 17 with IMPRUVE. She temporarily remains as advisor to the Board, and temporary Webmaster and Comptroller. Not a salaried Position, but expenses paid.

SPEAK OUT, STAND UP - STOP PARATRANSIT FARE Increase and NEGLIGENCE.  No need to be Silent whether a Driver or a Rider. Report to CEO of Pace Rocky Donahue. Help provided by   phone, email, or come to meetings. Pace 847-228-4226 rocky.donahue@pacebus.com

Chairman of Pace ADA Chicago Advisory Council is Kerry Moore.

Jobs- Employment

IMPRUVE Project: Rider-Driver Alliance

Organizer Jobs Closed 12-15-16 . Will Reopen when funding is renewed.

Apply for organizer jobs online. Two-5 organizers may be needed for 2020-2024. Stipend: started at $15 an hour in 2017, 20 hours per month for 11 months Send application with resume, agreement (request agreement for internship).

Click link below to apply. Organizer Jobs Closed 12-15-16. Will reopen for 2020 if a new grant or funding is secured.

https://form.jotform.com/63312365792155

Temp Position - IMPRUVE

Administrative Assistant INTERNSHIP has not reopenedyet for pay.  Will be a stipend when it reopens, then a paid position once funded.

Volunteers, ASL Interpreters and Grantwriters Needed

APPLY NOW!! Call 773-916-6228

Send application and resume to:

https://form.jotform.com/63312365792155

If hired, will require you to sign agreement.

Temp Position - IMPRUVE - To Reopen

Healthy Research Interns to Explore Wellness Vendors and Grants for Wellness Seminars and Training

Data Entry-Internet Research Volunteers Needed Work At Home or School for 2 Weeks. $50 Stipend Or Work Study . H.S. Students Ok. Enter Resources that we will contact for our Summer Wellness Fair. Do MailMerge. Closes March 1, 2018 5 People Needed. May reopen in 2020 or 2021. Call 773-916-6228 Or email ResearchandYouthProjects@impruve.org

Join Rider-Driver Alliance. Sign up as a driver or a rider from paratransit, CTA, Pace, or wheelchair taxi. New leadership development training after funding resumes in 2020-2021.

Please note: we will miss Ryan McGraw. He served 1 year as an organizer with RDA in 2017. He is now an organizer with Access Living who runs the home services group called Tuff-Ass, which stands for Taskforce United for Attendant Services or TUF-AS; it deals with the issues of persons who are disabled having personal assistants who are paid by DRS (Division of Rehab Services of IDHS).

Dr. Ayo Maat 773-416-7366 (project manager)

Email: [email protected]

A custom car version of proposed green car powered by solar energy in which solar panes can be installed and nanotechnology used to add doors to satisfy any city's requirement that a NEV (vehicle) have doors. Working on the issue of wheelchair ramps for passengers and drivers in larger vehicles. Calling for help from rehab and mechanical engineers. See archives at www.greenthinktankfordisabilitycommunity.blogspot.com

Dr. Ayo Maat, Kerry Washington, Jeanette Exom. Guess where?

ISPC at Disability Pride Parade Lineup with ADAPT, IMPRUVE: Wm Owens, Anne Scheetz, Susan Aarup, Maat and others July 23, 2016