[tabi] Re: Dial-A-Ride Experiences

  • From: Tinetta Cooper <tanetjec@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 15:51:41 -0400

You tell 'em Sila!

On 4/7/13, Sila Miller <silam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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' lives.
> 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.
> Sincerely:
> Sila Miller
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