[tabi] Re: Fw: your experiences with Dial A Ride

  • From: "Norine Labitzke" <norine@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2013 21:58:24 -0400

Most of your know, I am very pro Dial-A-Ride, and perhaps overly tolerant,  
positive, and supportive of Dial-A-Ride,, but even my patience is about to run 
out.  As has been said before, it is not the drivers fault – they are severely 


My experiences over the past few months that have been very frustrating are as 
follows:  #1 calling the dispatcher and being lied to, and especially and often 
by one whose first name begins with “T” – I can understand they are busy; I 
would be annoyed if told I don’t have time to deal with your problem right now, 
 however, I could  tolerate that,  but I extremely resent being lied to,– one 
dispatcher does this repeatedly – I will call the 30 mins after my scheduled 
pick up, be put on a long, long hold, then told the driver will be there in 3-5 
minutes, which does not happen;  when the driver comes they tell me, they were 
never contacted.   Thus I am too late for my appointment or class.   In some 
situations, had I known the schedule and how late I would be, I would have 
cancelled or made other arrangements.  I would support a computerized or 
automated system that riders could access to determine the approximate times of 
our rides – it might not be what we want to hear but it would be objective and 
honest.  Also, why can’t riders have the same courtesy and notifications if 
their scheduled times will be late, and given the option to make other 
arrangements and not charged with a “No show”..


  I teach a Bible Study class at my church at 4:30 on Wednesdays  and have a 
standing 3:15 pick up, which certainly should assure I am not late,  but three 
times in a row recently I was late.  How early do I have to schedule to be 


The same is true if I call and say” I am ready early, would you please notify 
my driver?”  I am assured that will happen.  However, when the driver comes, 
usually late, they say they were never notified and their schedule would have 
been much easier and more manageable if they had been told this – this usually 
occurs for me in the middle of the day, when things are slower.  


Lately, I have had to cancel pick ups when it is evident they cannot get me to 
my work,   class, or destination on time.  I have been told these trips are 
cancelled –  God forbid I get a notice my riding privileges have been suspended 
because of too many  “no shows”    Another similar problem, which happened 
today, is that once I got on the bus I dialed dispatch and was put on hold for 
a long time, then disconnected.  I asked my driver to call for me to cancel a 
pick up at 12:15 – it was now about 12:16 after I had been on hold for several 
minutes.  The driver was able to get through to dispatch much quicker than I 
could and I think and hope this will be ok.   Recently I have tried to cancel 
about an hour and ten minutes before my scheduled trip but been put on a long 
hold, usually been disconnected and had to call back,  thus making it late by 
one or a few minutes.  I always explain this and am told ok;  I hope and pray I 
do not get a notice otherwise.


It would be nice if cancellations could be within thirty minutes, or less,  
rather than an hour.  It would make the drivers schedule easier,  and often, a 
rider such as myself, does not know how long I will  have to run over at work, 
or that someone will offer me a ride.  At least, when at work, could we cancel 
or delay such as is allowed at a doctor’s appointment?


The people in scheduling are usually very reliable, and one who is very good, 
also seems to have a control problem.  I requested to change a standing ride to 
and from work to be picked up at 12:15 rather than 12:45.  I was told, after a 
few days of “we have to talk with Quintas to get permission to change” to  I 
could not change a standing ride.  This seems quite strange as it seems to 
override my employers ability to change my schedule.   Does Dial A Ride have a 
policy on standing rides for work, and standing rides in g eneral?  I would 
like to know this and all their policies.


I could support a priority of scheduling for medical, school,  and work as 
number 1 priorities with a one hour tolerance strictly accounted for and  
enforced.  It would seem those of us who are using the system because of age, 
health, and other reasons not our own fault should have a number 2 priority for 
rides no matter where or why  with perhaps a 75 -90 minute tolerance;  anyone 
using this service who does not fall in this category should be subjected to 
and able to live with a #3 priority of a 2 hour+  tolerance.


I continue to appreciate and support Dial-A-Ride and their caring hard working 
employees.  Changes need to be made.  I did not know that persons with DUIs 
could affect schedules and agree this does not seem fair – if anything, it 
would seem they are the ones who should have to schedule with a 2 hour + leeway 
for work or other appointments.  I am sorry for them, but their need to ride 
comes from their own choices where many of us ride because of circumstances 
beyond our control and are trying our best to maintain employment, pay taxes, 
maintain or improve our health and ability to be good citizens doing volunteer 
work, etc.


Hopefully this helps with what you are doing.  Probably after sleeping on this, 
I will  have many more situations and examples to share, but  probably  will 
not, because this and the others who have responded have already addressed them.


Thanks for taking this on and for all  you do Norine


From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
Easy Talk
Sent: Saturday, April 6, 2013 8:27 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Fw: your experiences with Dial A Ride


Hi windy,


Thanks for your support.  I am collecting all the info people give me so we 
have proof of the problems and will add yours to the list.  I will keep you 
posted on progress.




----- Original Message ----- 

From: wendy.hoss@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:wendy.hoss@xxxxxxxxxxx>  

To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 4:42 PM

Subject: [tabi] Re: Fw: your experiences with Dial A Ride



I whole-heartedly agree. The drivers are completely overbooked, I have been 
late to work twice when I have to go to the office at TCC and it was due of 
course to overbooking.  Also to add to your list is one that I fussed about 
many times before and that is being allowed more than one escort. People with 
disabilities have families too - it works in Jacksonville and BTW you pay less 
per ride over there. I will be happy to go to city hall with you.  I don't 
really know how much help we will get from others in the community but I am 
willing to try.




From: "Easy Talk" <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> >
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Thursday, April 4, 2013 5:18:12 PM
Subject: [tabi] Fw: your experiences with Dial A Ride


----- Original Message ----- 

From: Easy Talk <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

To: Rosser, Andrea <mailto:Andrea.Rosser@xxxxxxxxxx>  

Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 5:16 PM

Subject: Re: [tabi] your experiences with Dial A Ride


Hi Andie,


Thanks for your prompt attention to my concerns.  I look forward to your call.  
you can reach me at 906-9821




----- Original Message ----- 

From: Rosser, Andrea <mailto:Andrea.Rosser@xxxxxxxxxx>  

To: Easy Talk <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  ; Maldonado, Ivan 
<mailto:Ivan.Maldonado@xxxxxxxxxx>  ; Hudson, Jann 

Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 1:06 PM

Subject: Re: [tabi] your experiences with Dial A Ride


Mr. Miller,


Thank you for forwarding this to me.  I believe we can fix the issues you have 
listed below.  StarMetro would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you 
about each issue prior to the City Manager/Mayor/ Commissioners getting 


Having involved citizens like you is what makes our system better.


I will give you a call tomorrow.


Thank you,



Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

Easy Talk <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> > wrote:


----- Original Message ----- 

From: Easy Talk <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 11:04 AM

Subject: [tabi] your experiences with Dial A Ride


What have been your experiences with Dial A Ride since the Decentralization of 
the bus system.  It is my understanding that 100 new users have registered and 
been approved for service but there has been no expansion of vehicles or 
drivers and drivers say they are being over booked.  Recently Sila totally 
missed a dentist appointment, had to wait for two hours to get a return trip 
home from a medical appointment and just this morning was picked up 1 hour 
after her scheduled pick up at 7-30 for a two hour medical procedure.

Since Dial A ride starts pickups at 6-30 AM, with in a hour they were already a 
hour behind.


As we all know public transportation has declined in Tallahassee and Leon 
county for the past five years and we also know transportation is a vital 
service for the visually impaired.  I think it is time that the disabled 
community stand up and try to remedy some of our transportation problems and at 
least get it back to what it was five years ago. I propose we start with Dial A 
ride and work our way up to night and non sponsored county service. I am not 
particularly interested in doing this under the guise of TCB or the local NFB 
chapter but as disabled citizens who need a service that is reasonable by 
contacting city and county  commissioners by phone, email and requesting for 
agenda time on both boards.  We can also use media coverage to get there 


Here are the things I think will help as far as Dial A ride is concerned


1 not sure who made this rule but you can not have a dispatcher check on your 
ride until the vehicle is 30 minutes late.  This means if DAR screwed up you 
only have 30 minutes to make your appointment and from my experience you will 
be late.  This needs to be immediately changed to 15 minutes.  The fact that 
you have to wait 20 minutes after your pickup  time to see if you are on the 
schedule must be scrapped.


2 Dial A ride must have at least one vehicle available at all times to deal 
with over books and scheduling changes such as some one not being ready for 
pickup from  a medical appointment.


3 as soon as possible the City needs to acquire vehicles and drivers to meet 
the demands due to decentralization of the bus system.  They created the 
monster so let them pay the price.


4 The city needs to look for a better schedule routing system for more 
efficient scheduling and not allow drivers to be scheduled for more pickups and 
drop offs that aren't physically possible.


5 have the rule changed that allows self inflicted driving privileged 
restricted/DUI people  removed from being able to use Para transit.  Just 
imagine, A drunk driver can cause you to be late for your doctors appointment 
or not be allowed to go grocery shopping.


Folks, this is a serious issue and it is time we stand up and do something 
about it.  I hope you will join me in this indever.  I think the issue can be 
dealt with in the manner I have outlined.  I think we have a few city and 
county commissioners who care and may just not be aware of the problem.  About 
a year and a half ago, a bunch of us went to the city commission meeting and at 
that meeting when I spoke, I gave each commissioner a document of research I 
had done on the Polaris traffic signals and many of you know that is what the 
city is using now so it can work with some effort on your part.  Once we get 
Dial A ride back on track, we can move to the other transportation issues.


Thanks Robert










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