Letter to the editor: Reader says driver pay and cab wait times deplorable
Are you aware that the cab service we pay for to assist the elderly and/or disabled is deplorable? It is so bad that using it is a contest of endurance we taxpayers subsidize. Believe me; these dollars are not being spent wisely.
I use an electric wheelchair; therefore, I use the hard cab quite frequently. To say the service is abysmal could be a compliment. This service has deteriorated to a point of no return. So far this month, I’ve had three clinic appointments. Pick-up service in the early morning is pretty close to on time. However, as the day goes on, pick-up times become later and later. The cab company requires a 45-minute lead time before the appointment time.
The real nightmare begins when one is ready to leave the clinic and return to residence. The clinic called the cab at 12:50 p.m. I waited until 4:40 p.m. for the cab to arrive. I arrived at my residence at 5:45 p.m. The other two times found me waiting one hour, thirty-five minutes and one hour, twenty minutes, before the cab arrived.
On Nov. 21, I was called to the clinic for an unexpected exam. The cab was called and the response was, “We’ll get there when we get there.” Believe it or not, the cab never came nor did the company call back. This company is subsidized by the taxpayer, yet it seems to have no obligation to those who are trying to use it. What’s wrong with this picture?
Unfortunately, the cab drivers take the brunt of the complaints. This is neither their fault nor their responsibility. Not all the cabs available run every day. Why not? No drivers. I cannot imagine anyone in this day and age working for $8.50 an hour. Can you? How about trying to work with a dispatcher who is sitting in Viroqua, with no knowledge of Marshfield streets? Ask the company how many drivers it has hired and lost in the last six months.
Driving handicaps is not just a matter of driving up to the curb and waiting for the passenger to get in. Each passenger must be belted in and the wheelchair locked into place, then all of this must be removed for the passenger to exit. Would you do this for $8.50 an hour?
It’s time to look into this situation. My tax dollar should work efficiently. These people should be paid a living wage, and some of these problems will be resolved.
Nothing seems to be getting any better. Yesterday, Nov. 28, the cab that was called for an 8:15 a.m. appointment showed up at 10:30 a.m. for pick up. Of course, this, in turn, forces the clinic to adjust its schedule to accommodate the patient, or reschedule. It’s time to fix the problem.
Geraldine A. Smith