Public Bus Service Strands Paying Customers 2-08-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Public Bus Service Strands Paying Customers 2-08-2011

Mid-Michigan residents who depend on public transportation to get around say their rides are getting canceled. TV5 is hearing from the elderly and disabled about their frustration with Flint’s Your Ride busing system.
Your Ride was set up as a cab service of sorts that picks up the elderly, disabled or parents with more than three small children at their houses. They must call 24 hours in advanced to be scheduled for pickup. Users pay a monthly $30 fee for a pass to use the service, which is operated by the Michigan Transportation Authority.
"I call a day ahead of time and they call me back and they say I don't have a ride today," said Betty Anderson, a Your Ride customer. Anderson was able to drive until she suffered a stroke a few months ago. Now she depends on Your Ride, but so far, she's been left stranded.
MTA said services are up, but money is down, so if Your Ride can't come pick you up, you need to wait for the regular bus.
That's what Anderson did, and when the bus showed up, it was still a struggle. But she isn't the only person left waiting in Flint.
"They just canceled my ride this morning,” said Cristina Taylor. “They are saying it's a peak time."
Taylor says she's been catching Your Ride for three years and lately the service hasn't been stellar.
"Don’t tell people who are paying you 'Oh we can't accommodate you'," said Taylor.
In response to the complaints, this is what the general manager of Your Ride had to say:
“The problem is the economy; more people are reaching out for MTA services,” said MTA General Manager Robert Foy. “Your Ride is on a first come, first served basis. If you can't get a ride through that, go to a fixed route. There's just not enough money coming in.”
Betty Anderson said that answer isn't good enough. She says it's hard enough being disabled and even harder when she's left without Your Ride.
Your Ride officials said they don't expect it to get better anytime soon. At the state level, $400,000 was cut and money from the millage is down.
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