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No RIDE today

Update, 2:15 p.m.: MBTA reports RIDE is back to scheduling rides, but wicked slowly.

MassDOT reports the RIDE, which serves people with disabilities, "is experiencing a communications and technology outage" at its communications and dispatch center that means people who had rides scheduled for today are on their own.

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I mean how will anyone know the difference? I'm happy this exists for people with limited mobility but the see so many Ride horror stories. When I make appointments, if I know the person will be using the Ride I'll make sure I block off two hours instead of twenty minutes because who knows when it will show up... I've had people in my lobby for two hours waiting for their pick up. When I worked in Fields Corner we had a weekly Toast Masters and one of the participants could never sign up for anything because she would sometimes show up as it was ending... Another time they pulled up front on a cold day and we tried to get her out the door (I often hung out until they picked her up) but the driver pulled away like a race car driver.

Phew , I know that was a rant but my blood boils when it comes to them. I don't see how anyone could depend on them.

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I hear it used to be a lot better. Before Baker decided the setup that was there.. that worked well for a long time. Yep people were well paid.. but people who knew their jobs well and were paid accordingtly.

Fwiw. Its been long enough so I can blab, but I worked for the first company that took over after Baker and co changed the way the RIDE worked. As a transit person .. what I saw in the call center and overheard. yeah I didn't stay very long.

But yeah just like Matt says above and all the issues they have still.. things haven't changed. And there's stuff you dont hear about too that I saw. I assume its still one in the same at the second iteration of this. (remember the first company, GCS, that got the contract after Baker & co broke things up, lost its contract within a year it was so bad)

Its sad to hear that nothing has changed.

Sorry folks, you cannot.. C A N N O T take someone who has done their job for 10-15 years and replace them with a 10-12/hr person. There's something to be said about knowledge of a job. If that leaves, you're screwed.

So yeah not surprised that there's still issues. No one will stay for 12/hr (or whatever it is now) and some of the working conditions I saw .. yeah I wouldnt either. (new clean office, but just microscopic managers all the time.. I'd rather work at dunkin).

But nooo.. paying a dispatcher 45k was too much for baker & co. So yeah. Here we are.

Just remember the T has hell to pay if things happen to people with disabilities because of the ADA. $$$$$

Makes me wonder how much they are paying out vs how much they wouldnt be if baker just left it alone.

If it wasn't broken, why try to fix it applies here.

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I don't know if one could have called it "broken" before, but it functioned in a very clunky fashion. Better than nothing, but not really good.
Different vendors in different service areas, booking nightmares, territory handoffs, the whole torture experience of routing across boundaries or shared segments, the "you'll take what we give you and be grateful like we're doing you a favor" customer disservice experience, the day-in-advance booking requirement, the shit show of finding out your pickup time (or not finding out) before bed... Need I go on?
Oh! Cost, too! Years ago, MBTA was paying more per fare than any system in the country (except maybe one) for that horrible service.

Some of the more recent moves were something of an improvement - but still a shitshow. Outsourcing to Uber/Lyft and letting clients do same-day bookings was a good start. Failing, however, to take Uber/Lyft drivers who violate ADA (refusing clients with service dogs, for example) and rake them over the coals, ban them, and have it set up to fine them? That still needs to be fixed.

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The problems always existed and got worse about a year ago (give or take) when they cut-in new software to book and manage rides. It was a raging dumpster fire.

After a few months of that they went back to the old software and that wasn't great to begin with and then it hardly worked at all sometimes. There is a long list the length of Storrow Drive of complaints. Of course when these people complain through the MBTA's Rider's Transportation Access Group (RTAG) they get apologies and an offer to connect personally. This is followed by lip service and nothing fixed.

There's one person that needs one of the specialized vehicles to be moved about and he books days in advance and it is a crap shoot whether he gets that specific vehicle. The other ones may already have a passenger and his chair won't fit when there is another one already on board. So they leave him there and he has to wait until the whole fleet is juggled.

Can you say hours?

And of course the drivers that do not know where designated pick up and drop off locations are at select medical centers. They pull up in the wrong area, there is no customer, so they just drive off.

Better scheduling is regularly promised.
Better service is always promised.
Solutions are always promised.

None of that happens. At this point it is likely the Greater Boston ADA population has a very valid class action suit due to these violations.

Mind you, the RTAG group exists as a court-mandated body due to past problems. Yet the MBTA seems powerless to fix this despite all kinds of new dedicated ADA staff.

I think the best one was Boston's Open Streets Days. It was great to get out an mingle. However while a labeled THE RIDE van could get through, none of the ride share services in private cars that are contracted to handle the less-disabled population could not get through. So those people were prisoners in their homes from 9 AM to 3 PM during the event.

There was apparently no advance planning, no instructions on the MBTA web site, no heads up, no e-mail (they have people's e-mail addresses), and that goe son. Hopefully if they do that next year they will plug this gap.

Investigative TV reporters would have a field day with this. Oh wait... they already did and nothing was fixed. My bad.

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I seem to remember a discussion here in advance of one of the Open Streets days about how to get a rideshare for someone with mobility issues. Maybe the T and Boston need to outsource their event planning to the Uhub community.

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It's absurd and it has been absurd that this service is put onto the MBTA to manage. It should be its own service under the supervision of HHS. They dumped it onto the MBTA because they didn't want to deal with it.

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