Mobility customer wants someone at MTA to listen
Leslie Kassal of Baltimore is a user of the Maryland Transit Administration's Mobility service for the disabled, and an unusually grateful one at that. But like so many others, she's having a hard time penetrating the bureaucratic thicket that is the MTA. Would somebody there please take her off permanent hold and help her?
Here's her story:
Below you will find a copy of an email that I sent to MTA today, about two incidents that were highly disturbing to me:
I am a Mobility customer, and as such, I feel terrifically blessed. Mobility enables me to go to doctor appointments, to my volunteer job, and to a day program that I attend.
Today, I was charged as No-Show for a ride that I DID (God knows!) take to my doctor's office; and then, I was called about being a No-Show for a ride that I did NOT even schedule!
In light of these two incidents, I write to you, hoping that we can bring some light into the Mobility service in Maryland. Sadly, this is the third time I have been noted to have 'not shown up' for my scheduled rides. In reality, I have NEVER not shown up for my rides.
I now have to jump through some uncomfortable hoops to prove my "innocence". Too many No-Shows can mean you are suspended, (at least for some time period), from the Mobility program. They are spots on my record, that never, ever happened!
Also, I called Mobility to report these circumstances this afternoon, and after holding on the line for a few minutes, I was hung up on before I could even talk to anyone.
Then, when I got a kind, helpful agent, I was connected to the Customer Service department, which, after holding the line again, I was told, via message, that the office was closed (it was 3:10 PM).
So, how do I make sense of all this? Some very positive aspects of Mobility (the privilege in and of itself is a blessing), but then some real and disturbing problems within the system, that make for worrisome and unnerving interchanges.
And, God forbid, what about those Mobility Customers, who, for whatever reason, are not able to speak for themselves?
I'm afraid those customers are out of luck, but let's hope Leslie isn't. The problem of no-shows is a serious one, but the MTA needs an effective appeal process or its contractors will ride roughshod over customers. That means solving problems on one call rather than transferring them into the Void.