[Nfbmo] The bus Saga Continues.

Magoon Erin magoone at gary-springfield-mo.net
Fri Feb 15 00:11:48 UTC 2013

The Bus Saga Continues.

Gary and I went to the City Council meeting on Monday.  He spoke about the fixed route buses and I spoke about Access Express.  Access is the para-transit door to door service that I'm riding for now because of my surgery last October.

It is getting pretty rediculous trying to get a ride on Access.  They will only let you schedule a ride up to one week in advance and it's getting difficult to do so.  They also have a 20 minute window either side of your pick-up to come and get you.  I had a pickup at 6:00 pm and they didn't have the person come on duty who was going to get me until 5:55 so he didn't arrive until 6:20.

I had another person drop me off at the wrong entrance to my building in my apaartment complex. I couldn't get a ride home from my job developer until two hours after the end of my appointment.  I couldn't get a ride home from the gym at all, I could get there but not home.  I also called one week in advance of the City Council meeting to schedule my ride.  I scheduled it for 10:30 pm because I didn't know how long the meeting would go and they set it up.  The lady called me back ten minutes later and said she looked at the schedule wrong.  "It's written in military time and I have trouble reading and understanding it.  The latest we can get you is 8:30 not 10:30."

I told the Council most of what I've just told you and they sent the following questions to City Utilities telling them they wanted answers by Friday, February 22.

1. Why did you make the bus route changes?
2. Why didn't you have the schedules and maps ready before the changes took effect?
3. Why didn't you hold a public hearing or have public comments before you made the changes?
4. Why did the routes change 3 and 4 times after you made the original changes?
5. Is it true that you didn't want the passengers to know the changes were coming? If so, why not?
6. Why are people having so many difficulties scheduling an Access Express ride 6 and 7 days in advance?

I called the City Council yesterday to find out what was the next step, that's when I got told those questions were sent to City Utilities and as soon as they received a response they'd call me.

Today a reporter from The Springfield Newsleader called.  He talked to both me and Gary about what has been going on.  I told him all about Access and that some of the buses arrive downtown five minutes early now because of the new schedule, and the bus route that was added sits in the Social Security parking lot for 15 minutes.  No one has explained why this is.

The paper got a report from City Utilities telling them that the number of riders on Access has increased and that they have 5 buses.  I told the reporter that several people I have spoken to said they are taking Access because of all the route changes.

He said that City Utilities has responded to City Council and said: "We should have had the bus maps and schedules available when we made the route changes, we will hold public hearings in the future for any change we want to make whether it's small or big."

I noticed that they didn't answer any of the questions City Council asked.

The article is supposed to run in tomorrow's paper.  I hope it makes a difference.

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