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Paratransit Service Update
Posted on June 8, 2018
The Chatham Area Transit Authority is experiencing operational challenges, temporary delays and a higher demand than usual for CAT Mobility transit services due to the abrupt departure of our contractor, Yellow Cab last month.
We were notified late in day on May 17, 2018 of the decision, which Yellow Cab stated was based on information from their insurance carrier. Prior to this, this contractor had been assisting us with “overflow” trips for the CAT Mobility and CAT Freedom programs.
Currently, all customer trips are handled in-house with extra operators, supervisors, other support personnel as well as other transit providers in the area.
CAT mobility services are for people with disabilities who are determined eligible for the transit program and are not able to ride CAT’s larger fixed-route buses due to their disability.
On a typical weekday, approximately 200 to 250 people call for reservations for trips to medical appointments, grocery stores, shopping centers and/or other locations.
The unexpected exit of Yellow Cab put us and the customers who rely on us in a very unfortunate situation. We are continuing to work on both short term and long-term solutions and have asked our customers and the community to be patient as we work through this situation.
CAT’s action plan includes the following:
Personnel and Vehicles
Hire temporary drivers and obtain additional vehicles
Several CAT operators and supervisors are working extra hours to assist
Reached out to other transit providers in the area: Coastal Regional Commission & Transition Commute Solutions
CAT Call Center Operations
Adding temporary staff to handle the increased volume of calls and minimize hold times.
Dedicating one person for paratransit questions regarding ETAs
An additional person to answer fixed-route bus questions
Adding another reservationist to speed up the reservation process
Additional phone messages explaining situation and asking for patience
Informational customer flyers for operators to provide to customers
Enhanced Communication tools in vehicles
Received 11 portable radios for vehicles that do not have them
Ordering five more portable radios
Placing tablets in vehicles for GPS tracking and schedule updates
A new fleet of vans for this program arrives within the next 60 days and we are planning to hire and train more operators. We are committed to doing our very best to ensure all booked trips are completed.