Annette Stoller, the executive director of CART – the Cooperative Alliance for Regional Transportation – and CART board vice chairman Scott Bogle were back at the town’s Elder Affairs Committee to respond to complaints that the transportation service has left riders stranded.
“We’re hearing more complaints and issues about your organization, and I asked (committee member) Bonnie Ritvo to maintain a log of complaints so we have time, date, name, place, everything,” Committee Chairman Al Baldasaro told them at the Tuesday, March 18 meeting.
Ritvo gave a copy of the complaints to Stoller and said she was among those making a complaint.
“I called CART for a ride and they told me that they would get back to me to confirm the ride, if they could do it or not,” she said. “I never received a call. I talked to Annette (Stoller) on Feb. 21 about not getting a call-back letting me know if I had the ride or not.”
Ritvo said Stoller told her she had been a “no call no show.”
“I was really upset when I heard that because that’s a total lie,” Ritvo said. “No one ever called me about the ride and I asked her (Stoller) for the name of the person who said that I called because no one ever called me to tell me one way or the other if I had the ride.”
“We had another instance where Peg Beard had a no show for a pick-up on Feb. 3,” Ritvo said. “Her daughter drove her to the Senior Center because they didn’t pick her up and on Feb. 21, her pick-up time was between 1 and 1:30 p.m. It was 2:15 p.m. and she was still waiting at the Senior Center for her ride. I called (Stoller) and you said that you would check and call me back. You said the driver had a flat tire and she would be there shortly. I asked why no one called the center to let us know.”
Ritvo complained that some seniors can’t get rides to their doctors’ offices in Manchester, and Stoller agreed that was correct – CART could take people to the hospital but not to individual doctor’s offices in Manchester.
Stoller said the call center that is used by CART employs a sophisticated software system. She noted that a former employee had promised rides but had not written them down, and some people were not picked up because of that.
She also noted that some senior riders are confused. “I’m not saying demented, but some of them are confused,” Stoller said.
Town Council Elder Affairs liaison Joe Green said the documentation of complaints will continue and he asked to receive copies. He also said he would work with Bogle to devise a better brochure listing as to where CART goes.
Londonderry pays CART $26,397 for its transportation service.