January 9, 2019 – Hartford

Wednesday, January 9, 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 Hartford.Customerservice@firstgroup.com, 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, Deitra Davis, Dinah Davis, Lynn Evans, Ellen Gregory, Mary-Ann Langton, Kimberley Long-Hicks, Yvonne Loteczka, Barbara Miller, Patticathrynn Radzik-Blainey, Michael Saylor, Charlotte Spriggs, and Melissa Thompson

First Transit (FT) Attendees: Andy Burke, Angela Glisson, Shayna Reid, Enid Rodriguez, and Karla Vera

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

The forum began at 5:00 p.m.

November 2018 passengers trips were 39,188, no shows 1,470 (4%), and cancellations 10,350 (26%). December 2018 passengers trips were 36,791, no shows 1,529 (4%), and cancellations 9,761 (27%).

Customer Service:
In November 2018, 263 comments were received from passengers and 22% were compliments, 8% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 13% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 17% 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, 5% unknown, 1% other, and 32% n/a, record only.

In December 2018, 177 comments were received from passengers and 30% were compliments, 9% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 9% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 20% 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, 7% unknown, 1% other, and 22% n/a, record only.

Staff Comments:
Staff introductions were made and Ms. Williams informed the group of the forum’s protocol. Mr. Burke shared with the participants that the District and First Transit staff met with Trapeze representatives. Trapeze is the scheduling software system used to book passengers’ trips. Staff will be working with them to provide performance improvements in the system.

Participants’ Comments

Dinah Davis
She is concerned about receiving non-valid “no show” violations.

Staff Response
Ms. Williams informed her she will not receive a “no show” violation if she runs overtime at a medical facility. In addition, drivers are required to contact dispatch before they no show a passenger.

Cassandra Brown
Ms. Brown shared with the group that it is not a HIPPA violation for ADA Paratransit drivers to call out a passenger’s name at a medical facility. She suggested that educating passengers about this would be helpful.

Staff Response
Staff will look into putting information about this topic in an upcoming ADA Paratransit newsletter.

Kimberly Long-Hicks
She continues to have concerns with drivers coming to the front of her residence to pick her up when they should be picking her up in the back.

Staff Response
Staff noted proper instructions are written on the driver’s manifest; however, additional steps to ensure they are following these directions will be implemented immediately.

Lynn Evans
She stated new drivers are not providing door-to-door assistance, and cited specific instances.

Staff Response
Staff will investigate her issues and respond directly to her.

Patticathrynn Radzik-Blainey
She is requesting to be picked up and dropped-off in the back of her church located in East Hartford.

Staff Response
Staff will have a Road Supervisor go to this location to investigate a safe pickup and drop-off point.

Barbara Miller
She stated staff should take the initiative to get accurate passenger contact information. She also wanted to know who does the training for the drivers. She stated that she is not receiving door-to-door assistance.

Staff Response
Training is conducted by experienced certified trainers. Staff has taken note that passengers are not receiving door-to-door assistance from new drivers. This subject will be discussed in greater detail during the drivers’ training classes.

Yvonne Lotecezka
She shared with the group specific trip concerns.

Staff Response
Staff will contact her directly to review her issues.

Melissa Thompson
She stated drivers are not informing her that there are objects or steps in her pathway of travel when they are assisting her. This is a concern because she has a visual impairment.

Staff Response
First Transit and the District will be reviewing how to improve driver training with regard to transporting the visually impaired.

Charlotte Spriggs
She stated new drivers need to be retrained. She praised dispatchers Geraldine and Tanya.

Staff Response
Staff appreciates riders providing feedback requesting improved training for new drivers, and changes will be made in this area. The respective dispatchers will be notified in regard to the commendation provided by Ms. Spriggs.

Michael Saylor
Inquired if dispatch is required to contact a passenger before he or she is no showed.

Staff Response
Dispatch will make every effort to call the rider before they are marked as a no show. Riders should confirm their contact information with the reservationist when they schedule their trip(s).

The next ADA Participation Group forum is scheduled for March 13, 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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