May 9, 2018 – Hartford

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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, 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: Dinah Davis, Lynn Evans, Willie Farley, Ellen Gregory, Beverly Jackson, Mary-Ann Langton, Barbara Miller, Virginia Manns, Melissa Thompson, and Muhammad Minhas (M7 Taxi Company)

First Transit (FT) Attendees: Andrew Burke, Tanya Colon, Gersham Flynn, Angela Glisson, Margaret Gomez, Anthony Taylor, and Karla Vera

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

The forum began at 5:00 p.m.

March 2018 passenger trips were 36,703, no shows 1,679 (5%), and cancellations 12,854 (35%). April 2018 passengers trips were 38,653, no shows 1,364 (4%), and cancellations 8,072 (21%).

Customer Service:
In March 2018, 174 comments were received from passengers and 44% were compliments, 10% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 8% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 22% invalid concerns, 1% 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, 13% unknown, and 0% other.

In April 2018, 143 comments were received from passengers and 15% were compliments, 5% driver, dispatch, reservationist, and/or scheduling concerns, 31% late/early arrival, ride length or missed trip concerns, 34% 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 0% other.

Staff Comments:
Mr. Minhas provided the group with detailed information about the operation of the Freedom Ride program. Freedom Ride is a prepaid reduced voucher program, which offers 50% discount from the normal taxicab rate. All participants are required to be ADA Paratransit eligible to enroll. For an application, please call at (860) 247-5329 extension 3100. Passengers who are already enrolled and would like to know their current balance, please call (203) 934-2096 extension 1116 and for problems or concerns call (203) 777- 7777 about the service.

Participants’ Comments

Mary-Ann Langton
She praised a driver for providing her with exceptional assistance on a rainy day. On Sunday, May 6, 2018 she called dispatch twice to inquire about her window time, and both times they hung up on her. She would like to see staff trained by people with various disabilities and offered to assist with this training.

Staff Response
Mr. Burke informed the group that all First Transit staff will be going through an intensive Customer Service training offered by the First Transit. He thanked the forum participants for their feedback on this very important issue and will take Ms. Langton’s offer to assist as well. In addition, a new road supervisor has been hired and ADA reached a high of 2,200 trips in one day.

Dinah Davis
Ms. Davis shared her concerns on Saturday May 5, 2018 and her telephone matter on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. She appreciates all that the staff does for the service.

Staff Response
First Transit will review her concerns and respond to her directly.

Willie Farley
Mr. Farley is satisfied with the service. He is having pickup problems at two different locations. He would like his cell number to be the primary contact number.

Staff Response
The Call Center Manager will update his cell number in his file. A Road Supervisor will investigate the two sites and place directions in his file.

Virgina Manns
Ms. Manns was not satisfied with her trip for Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Staff Response
Mr. Burke commented that her concern will be reviewed and she will receive a direct response.

Barbara Miller
Ms. Miller shared with the group that she arrived late to the forum due to a reservation issue. She would like to make a change with her subscription trip. She would like to know why drivers backtrack. How often do drivers receive training?

Staff Response
Mr. Burke will have someone contact her directly about a subscription trip. Drivers are trained on a monthly basis. In order for drivers to stay on schedule, there may be some instances where backtracking is necessary. If a passenger has experienced an excessively long trip, they should report this information to the Customer Service Department as soon as possible.

Lynn Evans
Ms. Evans had a concern with her trip on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

Staff Response
Mr. Burke will have Customer Service look into this concern and respond directly back to her.

The next ADA Participation Group forum is scheduled for July 11, 2018, 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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