More Families Step Forward With Complaints About Paratransit

(CBS) – Earlier this week, CBS 2 brought you the story of a teen with autism who was stranded or brought to the wrong address by Paratransit.

Now, more families have come forward, with similar stories.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has this follow up report.

Elaine Reeves Haywood’s son, Malcolm, has autism.

The 21-year-old talks only when someone speaks to him. Haywood says she relies on Paratransit to pick her son up from school and summer camp at McGuane Park. She says the public transportation service under Pace has been late – in one case more than two hours – on three occasions in the past several weeks.

“And when the driver finally did get to my son, his response to me was, ‘I’m so sorry. I just got this call ten minutes ago,’” the parent says.

Haywood and several others shared their concerns through cell phone video.

Former Paratransit driver Carolyn Trull says the dispatching of extra trips causes the late arrival times.

“They would schedule you a trip, almost at your get-off time,” she says.

Trull adds: “They would add trips on you, in between trips.”

Says Haywood: “The parents, you know, raising the issue with the company, I hope it has some impact on the service getting better.”

Pace, which runs Paratransit Service, says its “on time” rate is 89 percent, acknowledging that means 2,000 trips a day will be late.

Pace says it cannot refuse a ride by law and that contributes to time issues.

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