March 13, 2019 – Hartford

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

If you experience an issue with the ADA Paratransit service that requires investigation, please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Service Department at (860) 724-5340 extension 9, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., email, or fax (860) 936-3750. You may also write to: Customer Service Department c/o First Transit, 148 Roberts St, East Hartford, CT 06108. If you are able, please file any and all complaints within 48 hours of the incident.

Rider and Community Attendees: Cassandra Brown, Kenneth Carone, Lynn Evans, Ellen Gregory, Beverly Jackson, Mary-Ann Langton, Rosemarie Manente, Barbara Miller, Patticathrynn Radzik-Blainey, Teresia Sanders, Michael Saylor, Charlotte Spriggs, Sandra Watkins, and Danielle Williams

First Transit (FT) Attendees: Andy Burke, Angela Glisson, Nelson Torres

Greater Hartford Transit District (the “District”) Attendees: Valerie Ellis, DJ Gonzalez, Margaret Pieniazek and Pat Williams

The forum began at 5:00 p.m.

January 2019 passengers trips were 38,947, no shows 1,582 (4%), and cancellations 10,185 (26%). February 2019 passengers trips were 35,632, no shows 1,600 (4%), and cancellations 9,278 (26%).

Customer Service:
In January 2019, 277 comments were received from passengers and 26% were compliments, 8% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 4% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 14% invalid concerns, 0% mechanical and/or related to safety concerns, 1% door-to-door and/or related to wrong drop-off or pick-up concerns, 0% courtesy, 0% no-show concerns, 8% unknown, 0 other, and 39% n/a, record only.

In February 2019, 323 comments were received from passengers and 31% were compliments, 7% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 2% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 9% invalid concerns, 0% mechanical and/or related to safety concerns, 1% door-to-door and/or related to wrong drop-off or pick-up concerns, 0% courtesy, 1% no show concerns, 3% unknown, 1% other, and 45% n/a, record only.

Staff Comments:
Staff introductions were made and Ms. Williams informed the group of the forum’s protocol. Ms. Williams and Mr. Burke explained how the ADA requires public transit agencies to provide “complementary paratransit” service to people with disabilities who cannot use the fixed–route (local) bus service. Passengers were told to be mindful of what an excessive trip is and if they have any questions regarding how to accurately determine travel times, please contact Customer Service Department at (860) 247-5329 extension 9 or email they will be happy to assist you.

Participants’ Comments

Kenneth Carone
He inquired about transportation from East Windsor to his dialysis in Manchester.

Staff Response
Ms. Williams will call him directly to discuss Freedom Ride transportation.

Danielle Williams
Ms. Williams is dissatisfied with the service. She has experienced rude behavior and a lack of training in the reservation and dispatch departments.

Staff Response
Mr. Gonzalez explained telephone calls are monitored and used for training. Mr. Burke added that staff is held accountable for their actions and they will continue to bring in additional training resources to assist with service improvement.

Teresia Sanders
When she receives the night before call, the time is different than what she confirmed with the reservationist. When she calls to reschedule a trip for the next day, she has problems trying to book a new reservation. Why aren’t drivers providing her with door-to-door service? She states that she is not being dropped off in the back at her place of employment.

Staff Response
Mr. Burke explained if she experiences any problems with rescheduling her trips with a reservationist she should elevate her complaint to a manager. She should address time changes with the Customer Service Department. All drivers are expected to perform door-to-door service. A road supervisor can be sent out to her place of employment to monitor the driver.

Rosemarie Manente
She asked if the reservation department was fully staffed.

Staff Response
Mr. Burke noted yes. He informed the group that during the hours of 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. the call center is the busiest and has longer hold times. In addition, passengers can call on the weekends.

Lynn Evans
She has experienced times where drivers are not performing door-to-door service.

Staff Response
The attendees were reminded to contact the Customer Service Department immediately if a driver did not perform door-to-door service.

Patticathyrn Radzik-Blainey
She is arriving to the senior center before it opens. She stated there is a lot of miscommunication.

Staff Response
Mr. Burke will have Customer Service work with her in scheduling her trips in a timelier fashion.

Charlotte Spriggs
She continues to have problems with the same dispatcher and does not feel that this issue has been addressed. She also stated that a new reservationist was not aware of the Forum when she was booking her trip.

Staff Response
Mr. Burke will be addressing all concerns presented at this meeting with his staff immediately.

Mary-Ann Langton
She addressed a specific concern on a Sunday where she arrived late because additional passengers were added on.

Staff Response
Customer Service will address this matter with her directly.

Beverly Jackson
She shared with the group a concern she felt was not addressed thoroughly from the Customer Service Department in a response letter that they sent to her.

Staff Response
Ms. Glisson from Customer Service Department will speak with her directly after the meeting.

Cassandra Brown
She wanted information about ADA Paratransit in Texas.

Staff Response
Ms. Williams advised her to contact her directly when she is ready to travel to Texas.

The next ADA Participation Group forum is scheduled for May 8, 2019 at One Union Place, Hartford, CT at 5:00 p.m. You may make a reservation for paratransit service to and from the meeting by calling (860) 724-5340 and selecting option “1”. The ADA bus fare will be waived for this meeting. Please remember to give everyone a chance to participate; forum attendees need to keep initial questions and/or comments to five (5) minutes. Follow-up comments should also be kept to five (5) minutes. This information is available in an accessible format upon request.

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