[tabi] Dial-A-Ride Experiences

  • From: "Sila Miller" <silam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2013 21:01:15 -0400

On 1/15/13, I took D-A-R to a non-routine Doctor's appointment at the CHP 
offices on Centerville Road. Because of extra tests that needed to be done, I 
was not ready at the pre-arranged pickup time and called dispatch to advise of 
this. When I called to advise that I was ready (around 10:30 a.m.) I was 
assured that this information would be conveyed to the next available driver. 
At approximately 12:00 I again called to inquire about an ETA for a ride home. 
I was assured that they were working on it and that I should be picked up 
shortly. Around 12:45 I again called to inquire about my ride. It was explained 
that apparently "the ball was dropped" but that it would be taken care of and 
that I would get a ride home shortly. It was after 2:00 p.m. when I was finally 
picked up. I was extremely ill and should have been at home in bed.


On 2/20/13, I had a pre-arranged reservation for a 2:15 pickup to get to a 3:15 
Dental appointment. Around 2:45 I began to call for an ETA. The Dentist's 
office is on Thomaswood drive, near me but inaccessible by bus (Dogwood route). 
I was told by TaWanna, the dispatcher that it would be approximately 13 minutes 
until the driver would arrive. At 3:07 I again called and was told that there 
was no way they would be able to get me there on time. Thus, I was forced to 
cancel the appointment and reschedule.


On 4/4/13, I had a 8:30 appointment and had pre-arranged for a 7:30 pickup. I 
had to make extraordinary and advance preparations for the 
appointment/procedure upon which major surgery is dependent. At 8:00, 
respecting the 30 minute rule, I began to call for an ETA. I was told that the 
driver would not be able to get me there on time and that I should either make 
other arrangements or call the facility, TMH Radiology to see if they could 
"work me in". I called Yellow Cab and was told that they couldn't get me there 
any sooner. TMH could not assure me when I would be seen. I arrived at the 
facility a half hour late.


Could I have taken the bus? To two of the above-mentioned appointments, 
perhaps. If I wasn't ill and required to make complicated street crossings 
(some without traffic signals), transfers and walk distances without sidewalks. 
However, as mentioned, I was extremely ill in January. In February, I couldn't 
get there by bus and in early-April, I was unable to safely navigate the bus 
route and transfers necessary to get to TMH by 8:30 not to mention feeling ill 
and having to fast for 24 hours in advance. I have a legitimate and documented 
disability that qualifies me for the door-to-door services provided by 
Dial-A-Ride. I do not take advantage of the service and use the fixed-route bus 
services as often as I can. Yet, when I truly need the curb-to-curb service, I 
am unable to count on it.


Sometime ago, the members of the Tallahassee Council of the Blind (TCB) 
requested a telephone recording service for Dial-A-Ride related reservations 
and arrangements. At a Transportation Disadvantaged meeting, we were assured 
that this had been approved and was coming. When will it be implemented? This 
service will "put to bed" any question of who is telling the truth, who didn't 
tell the truth and where egregious errors are being made that affect peoples' 


It is my hope that the 30 minute rule will be done away with. I also hope that 
the dispatchers will be counseled about telling the truth. Better yet, do not 
put callers on hold but let them hear the call to the driver and the driver's 
response regarding ETAs. We are adults with real and legitimate appointments, 
some of which have serious consequences upon our health and wellbeing. If it 
weren't for "riders" like us, the dispatchers, drivers and yes, even you, 
managers wouldn't have the positions that you do. 


Thank you for listening and attending to my and others' real concerns. I know 
that together, we can make this service all that it is meant to be for people 
with disabilities.




Sila Miller 


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