18 thoughts on “Access-A-Ride or ‘Stress-A-Ride?’ MTA Service Needs Overhaul, Users Say

  1. On the trip in the photograph, the Access-A-Ride van did not have the required securement for my wheelchair, so the on-site supervisor had to try to get them from other vans at our location.

    Of course complaint percentages are low. Why should we keep on wasting our time to complain when nothing changes? Our problems happen with the trip and we’re on our own then.

  2. If they are very late, you can get approval to take a cab home and send the receipt to AAR. But… even though you had to wait sometimes more than an hour, they refund you the cab fare minus their fare! How do drivers who don’t or barely speak English get drivers licenses! They have the GPS set to their language and if you tell them they’re taking the long way, they don’t answer you.

  3. On Friday September 14, on three attempts I finally was able to get someone who new how to sign my son and I up for a group trip. On Friday evening I received a call confirming trip. Trip included myself: Dolores Biggs- 15972, and Kenneth Greene-159869. There were two aides, and two wheel chairs. So Saturday morning two vans arrived. puzzled we boarded van seperately. when we arrived at destination, i exited van and waited for son to exit. So what happened Lift malfunctioned, trapping back wheel. So had to wait for people to come get him off. when they got him down the neck part of chair that supports his neck was broken. This is a brand new power chair. coming home they sent two vans. both vans had my name. Since already loaded I stayed on van, we picked up someone else, and I wound up in City Island. My deepest concern now is having his wheel chair repaired

  4. I’ve only been using Access-A-Ride for a few months now, but I must admit the service is horrible. I’ve read other people’s complaints and they’re legit.
    For me, and my wife (who is my Personal Care Attendant) it’s been difficult. We live way out on Staten Island near the Outer Bridge Crossing, in Charleston, and one ride to the Metropolitan Museum of Art was over 3 hours. We were first to get picked up and last to get dropped off. We picked up one customer on the North Shore of S.I., then another person in South Beach. Both customers were taken to parts of South Brooklyn, one near Ocean Parkway, and the other close to Marine Park! Then finally, we were driven to Central Park East. That’s just crazy. But that’s not all. What was worse was our last experience in October.
    We got picked up at home in Charleston Staten Island, headed for East 41st street between 1st and 2nd Ave. Manhattan. The driver was instructed to pick up another customer at Howard Ave. and Ralph Ave. Brooklyn, then take us to Manhattan, probably prepared to drop them off first on East 17th street their destination. We were frustrated. I asked the driver to leave us on Flabush Ave. amd Atlantic Ave. by the Barclay Center near the Subway Station. It was better for us to just get out of the Bus and take the train which left us a couple of blocks away from our destination.
    I mean, I wouldn’t expect someone who got picked up on Howard Ave. in Brooklyn, to have to take a ride to Charleston Staten Island before being dropped off in Manhattan. So why is it being done to us the other way around?
    You want to know why? Horrible Logistics, and terrible dispatching. That’s the problem. Just deplorable arrangements by whoever is setting up the bookings.
    I’ve only used Access-A-Ride a half a dozen times maybe, and the other occasions were less than admirable, and those were local 2 mile trips.
    In order for things to shape up for us a new method of arranging rides needs to be implemented with excellent dispatchers who focus on their zones or neighborhoods. Fixing and arranging rides for their customers in their zones/ neighborhoods. The dispatchers need to coordinate with each other when buses/drivers overlap into their zone. Finally, a half dozen or more “Editor Dispatchers,” need to Oversee the work of all of the Zone Dispatchers in order to make any necessary corrections before a problem arises. That’s it.
    I know this is Challenging, and will take time and patience, but I drove trucks and had a CDL License for 33 years. I also did some dispatching, and Route distribution coordinating for a major Milk Company. Things need to improve. The service is deplorable. Please make it happen. We are disabled, and Handicapped and we’re counting on this service to function properly. Thank you.

  5. I could have written this article verbatim. I am currently in an AAR and I have literally gone from one river to the other and it takes 20 minutes for me to get to work. If I went to work and didn’t do my job, I would be fired. So how does the MTA chairman and his colleagues maintain their jobs when an organization is run so poorly? While I know I am privileged to ride AAR, as I would not be able to work without it due to my Rhuematoid Arthritis, it is entirely too stressful and disorganized. Something needs to be done.

  6. I am currently in an acess a ride contracted taxi. My mother and I reached the 59st bridge back to Queens tohave dispatch send the driver to our starting point in Washington heights. The company is so money hungry that they have extended a 45 minute car ride to 2 hours. I called the access a ride complaint line. The representatives refused to take my complaint. I was told to call the taxi company directly.

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  8. I am an 80 year old acess a ride for a few years now,its not perfect but better then trying to make it on and off the bus with my painful arthritis, I am now using the same day curve service the new program, it’s the best thing for people with my condition, because if I have two medical appointments the same I can do them,sometimes I dont remember to make the appointments two days in advance. The reaular acess a ride can’t acomadate us like the same day service.i can’t Express the many positive benefits ,the same day service help people like myself ,and many others.please jeep the same day service,

  9. The ehale program has been dismantled thanks to mta ? Ehale gave moderate amount of relief to the dismiss on time performance of access a ride vehicles now its back to just access a ride only pickups returning back to the days of numerous complaints – ehale was definitely the way to go in the right direction for arriving on time and being picked up on time in. My experiences but. Now. Its. Gone. And. Return back to days of. Numerous latenessess endless hours spent in old buses and missed appointments.

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  11. On 4/12/19 my AAR return home pickup never came I waited an hour and was terribly stressed. I called and was told they were dispatching a green car. It also did not arrive. A friend ordered me a Uber, which she paid for, and said to cancel my reservation. I was told there was no reservation for me, which was a lie. I’m 84 and don’t need this stress!!!

  12. Access a ride is a cash cow for the carriers and I think the MTA should take the service over. This service is needed but it is a burden on tax payers. The MTA can take over entirely and cut cost at least 30%. MTA has the drivers and dispatchers already in place. The transition would at first be difficult but once they get rolling it would be smooth. The poor drivers put up with bad pay and benefits and deserve to be MTA employees and that would create consistency with better drivers and more professionalism. If any MTA job would require a test – it would be access a ride drivers, considering they go all five boroughs, parts of Long Island and westchester. The MTA can also create revenue by charging a test fee. There’s some type of corruption going on between the carriers and some of these top officials in the MTA and it needs to stop.

  13. Even though I’m not an Access A Ride user I’m glad the fair did not go up for AAR passengers. The MTA did the right thing this time because it’s not the passengers fault that the overall transit system is not ADA compliant. The MTA is in hot mess -not because of Access A Ride; it is becuase of bad management on overtime and corruption. Corruption is a disease in New York and has to stop.

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  15. I’m a driver and I can say for a fact that this system is terribly broken i took this job because I thought it was a noble profession however to my dismay or is just a cash cow for the owners , the manifest are terrible making people ride sometimes for hours at a time it makes,then always late for appointments and as drivers we are treated like slaves by the owners,I have be praised by my passengers ,yet one very disturbed lady made a complaint and mta took me off the road and made me take a drug test even thou i have over four commendations from them.so now I sit in limbo waiting for a decision to see if I still have a job.

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  17. I believe having a system for the handicapped is great thing. I am disturbed by people who know the costs to the taxpayers and abuse this system. Wealthy are using it when the costs to the taxpayer are outrageous, what a waste of money. Great idea, poor execution and abuse of taxpayer money as though it is a bottomless pit

  18. I know that some of the AAR can be trying, but at least I can board without having my walker broken if a cab driver shoves or forces it in the trunk of the car. It doesn’t help me physically since I have difficulty boarding a vehicle without seriously injuring myself. The cab drivers that have taken over AAR are rude and lack the proper training in assisting passengers in and out of the vehicles. Bring back the vans with the lift, at least I know when I get to my destination, it would stress me when a cab driving is looking at me like I’m wasting his or her time.

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