TV5 Follow Up: MTA Working Toward Solutions? 3-16-2011 - WNEM TV 5

TV5 Follow Up: MTA Working Toward Solutions? 3-16-2011

Mass Transportation Authority officials said they are taking a closer look at “the limitations that are affecting the community and growth at MTA.”
Recently, TV5 has told you about Flint residents who were upset over the dependability and constancy of MTA’s Your Ride transportation system.
Read: Public Bus Service Strands Paying Customers
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. Residents must call 24 hours in advanced to be scheduled for pickup and pay a monthly $30 fee for a pass to use the service.
However, many of those rides were being canceled or ignored.
"They usually call the night before and cancel it," said Anita Granger, a frequent passenger on Your Ride for the last three years. With no money to buy a car, Granger says she's at the point of walking where she needs to go. "My employer says if I can't get to work, I may not have a job to go to," she said.
Granger is not alone and over the past few months, several Your Ride customers have appealed to TV5 for help, saying they too have been stranded.
"The Mass Transportation Authority is committed to providing service to the community; however, growth of services must be limited,” Ed Benning, MTA chief of staff, said. “This requires that we place limitations on the number of Your Ride trips we schedule daily. The growth of casual demand trips creates a significant challenge for the MTA. On a daily basis, the number of casual trips is maximized, but some requests must be denied.”
The combination of a $2.6 million loss of local millage monies and the increasing cost of diesel fuel, which has nearly doubled in the past year, have made it necessary for the MTA to reduce the annual budget by over $2 million.
Benning said ADA certifications, along with subscription services, will continue to receive transportation on a daily basis.
Alternatives include a higher utilization of transfers through fixed routes and increasing the notification period to the rider on trips that are unaccommodated. Another alternative, Benning mentioned, would be to schedule meetings with key community stakeholders to provide information on the scheduling process, challenges the MTA is facing and to receive input on potential solutions.
Benning said MTA will continue to provide its passengers with safe, efficient and reliable transportation services to the community at large.
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