May 10, 2017 – Hartford

Wednesday, May 10, 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, or fax (860) 955-2915. You may also write to: Customer Service Department c/o First Transit, 249 Wawarme Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114.  If you are able, please file any and all complaints within 48 hours of the incident.

Rider and Community Attendees: Carolyn Brooks, Dinah Davis, Ellen Gregory, Beverly Jackson, Michelle Johnson, Peggy Johnson, Peter Karanja, Karen Nazgiewicz, Narciso Texidor, and Kimberly Tindall

First Transit (FT) Attendees: Andrew Burke, Johanna Duran, Waleska DeLaCruz, and Rita Voskanova

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

The forum began at 5:00 p.m.

March 2017 passenger trips were 39,690, no shows 1,554 (4%), and cancellations 10,484 (26%).
April 2017 passenger trips were 36,721, no shows 1,371 (4%), and cancellations 8,295 (23%).

Customer Service:
In March 2017, 205 comments were received from passengers and 45% were compliments, 9% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 10% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 19% 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, 0% no-show concerns, 14% unknown, and 0% other.

In April 2017, 243 comments were received from passengers and 52% were compliments, 12% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 5% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 19% invalid concerns, 0% mechanical and/or related to safety concerns, 2% door-to-door and/or related to wrong drop-off or pick-up concerns, 0% courtesy, 1% no-show concerns, 7% unknown, and 2% other.

Staff Comments:

Pat Williams, Director of Paratransit Service, welcomed everyone and reminded all participants to keep their comments to five (5) minutes. She noted that if there are any pending concerns which remain to be investigated, please do not bring these matters up at this venue because the investigation has not yet been completed.  Andy Burke, First Transit (FT) General Manager, introduced Waleska DeLaCruz as one of the new Road Supervisors.  Ms. DeLaCruz has held previous positions in the Reservation and Dispatch Department.

Mr. Burke spoke about the safest established pickup and drop off entrance at Manchester Community College (MCC) at the Great Path Academy (GPA) entrance. The alternative for pick up and drop off at the main entrance is very congested.  When Peggy Johnson noted that MCC does not have adequate accessible doors and this causes a problem for a disabled persons.  Margaret Pieniazek, ADA Paratransit Coordinator suggested issues related to lack of door accessibility should be brought up with the school’s disability center. Passenger Narciso Texidor recommended that the ADA team meet with MCC to discuss the issue.

Staff reviewed with attendees the safe pickup and drop-off at the Middletown transfer point which is located at the Middletown Area Transit (MAT) depot in the rear located on 340 Main Street in Middletown.

Mr. Burke and Ms. Voskanovka, Customer Service Representative, explained why on occasion the ADA operation may have to back track when transporting passengers to their destination.

Mr. Burke provided an update about Info-Client. First Transit is looking at the possibility of rolling this feature out to the passengers who volunteer to test it. In addition, Mr. Burke stated that the construction on the new ADA Paratransit facility is moving along well.

Participants’ Comments

Kimberly Tindall
She congratulated Ms. DeLaCruz on her new job. She praised the service and thanked management for listening to passengers concerns in regard to personnel changes within the dispatch department.

Dinah Davis
Ms. Davis asked what options does a passenger have when they are not satisfied with a customer service letter they receive?

Staff Response
Mr. Burke commented that the concern can be re-opened for investigation.

Narciso Texidor
Mr. Texidor shared with the group that he is new to the service and so far he is very pleased.  He commented that he is looking forward to ADA transporting him to worship services on Sunday.

Staff Response
Ms. Williams will check to make sure there is operation where Mr. Texidor resides at on Sundays.

Peter Karanja
Mr. Karanja would like to know if he can receive subscription service?

Staff Response
Mr. Burke explained at the present time the operation has reached the maximum amount of subscription trips permitted. Periodically, Mr. Karanja should check with scheduling department to see if there are any changes with these types of trips.

The next ADA Participation Group forum is scheduled for Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. in the District’s Conference Room at Union Station, One Union Place, Hartford. Any changes of the time or location will be posted in advance. 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.

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