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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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 hartfordcustomerservice@firstgroup.com, or fax (860) 955-2915. 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: Carolyn Brooks, Beverly Jackson, Michelle Johnson, Peggy Johnson, Peter Karanja, Kimberley Long-Hicks, Barbara Miller, and Michael Saylor  

First Transit (FT) Attendees: Andrew Burke, Waleska DeLaCruz, Edward Smith, Nelson Torres, Karla Vera, and Rita Voskanova

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

The forum began at 5:00 p.m.  

July 2017 passenger trips were 34,706, no shows 1,368 (4%), and cancellations 9,734 (28%).
August 2017 passenger trips were 39,777, no shows 1,481 (4%), and cancellations 8,692 (22%).

Customer Service:
In July 2017, 232 comments were received from passengers and 40% were compliments, 12% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 13% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 18% invalid concerns, 0% mechanical and/or related to safety concerns, 3% door-to-door and/or related to wrong drop-off or pick-up concerns, 0% courtesy, 1% no-show concerns, 11% unknown, and 2% other.

In August 2017, 165 comments were received from passengers and 42% were compliments, 9% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 13% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 22% invalid concerns, 1% mechanical and/or related to safety concerns, 2% door-to-door and/or related to wrong drop-off or pick-up concerns, 0% courtesy, 2 % no-show concerns, 4% unknown, and 5% other.

Staff Comments:
Ms. Williams thanked everyone for attending and introductions were made. Ms. Williams respectfully reminded riders to refrain from bringing up concerns that are currently being investigated.

Staff Comments: - continued
Mr. Burke informed the group that the District’s ADA Paratransit Operations & Maintenance facility move to 148 Roberts Street in East Hartford was a success. A date to hold an upcoming forum at 148 Roberts Street has not yet been determined. Mr. Burke thanked passenger Ms. Johnson for agreeing to speak at the September 22nd operator’s safety meeting. Beverly Jackson has volunteered to speak as well but at a later date.

Ms. Ellis announced the upcoming event Let’s Go Transit! that will allow ADA riders to learn how convenient it is to use fixed route (CTtransit). For more information, you may read about it in the summer 2017 S.T.A.R. newsletter. To access the newsletter on-line, go to www.hartfordtransit.org (click on ADA Paratransit Service, scroll down and click on summer 2017 newsletter) or call (860) 247-5329 extension 3100 for a copy to be mailed to you.

Participants’ Comments

Michael Saylor
He rode on CTtransit and was very pleased. He will be attending the Let’s Go Transit!  He wanted to know what happens when a CTtransit bus has both wheelchair spaces occupied. He also inquired about transferring within the state from one ADA Paratransit district to another.  

Staff Response
When all mobility spaces are taken in a CTtransit bus, they will provide another bus.  Riders over the age of 65 years or who have a disability may ride CTtransit for $0.85 with their Medicare card or state-issued Reduced Fare ID. The District staff will contact Mr. Saylor about how to use ADA Paratransit in another part of the state.   

Barbara Miller
On some occasions she does not receive door-to-door service. Are drivers provided ample amount of time before their first pickup? Why does she spend more than ninety (90) minutes on the bus? How many passengers ride the bus? Why are various scheduled times offered when booking a ride? Why aren’t drivers allowed to backup? What is the protocol for picking up passenger in the wintertime?

Staff Response(s)
Ms. Voskanova requests that Ms. Miller and all riders contact the Customer Service Department when door-to-door service is not provided. Mr. Burke noted all drivers are scheduled enough time before their first pickup. ADA transports approximately 2,000 trips daily. Mr. Burke noted if a rider requested a trip, the time may be negotiated either one (1) hour before or after that specific request. Staff also explained that a rider’s total travel time on an ADA bus is comparable to the time he/she spends on CTtransit (this will include walking and waiting at a CTtransit stop), which may be longer than ninety (90) minutes.For safety reasons, drivers have to receive approval before they back up. In the wintertime, drivers will not pickup a rider if their sidewalk or driveway is not clear of ice and snow.

Peggy Johnson
She continues to have pickup and drop-off issues at her residence.

Staff Response
A Road Supervisor will look into her concern.

Kimberly Long-Hicks
Reported issues with door-to-door service.

The passenger’s upcoming trip will be monitored by a Road Supervisor.

Peter Karanja
Appreciates the service and thanked the entire staff.

Mr. Saylor and Mr. Johnson informed the District’s staff the dates they will be attending Let’s Go Transit!

Ms. Brooks stated that she was dissatisfied in how the forum was being conducted. Staff did offer her time to speak; however, she said she was all set.

Rita Voskanova explained in detail how the Customer Service Department functions.

The next ADA Participation Group forum is scheduled for November 8, 2017, at 148 Roberts Street, East Hartford, time to be determined. 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 accessible format upon request.