Metro grandma said she was stranded at clinic in wheelchair nine hours waiting for MARTA

ATLANTA — A metro grandmother said she had to wait nine hours for a MARTA Mobility Services bus to pick her up from a doctor’s appointment on Thursday.

“One minute, I wanted to cry because I said, ‘Durn, is anybody going to come get me?’ I was really getting upset because it was getting dark,” Christine Taylor told Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco.

Taylor explained she had a physical therapy appointment at Emory Brain Health Center at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday.

“I’m a double amputee,” said Taylor. “I went to the doctor to do my physical therapy. They’re teaching me how to walk on my prosthetics.”

Taylor’s family members who have wheelchair-accessible vehicles were at work.

So, she said she scheduled MARTA’s ride-share bus to pick her up from her Stone Mountain home from home at 8:15 am and to pick her up from the appointment at 10:30 am. That ride home never made it.

She said she called MARTA four times and spoke to three bus drivers, personally. However, a bus operator did not pick her up until 7:35 pm. That’s more than nine hours late.

“That makes me feel that I could be stranded at any time,” Taylor said.

She said she arrived home at 9:00 pm. She was on the road, or waiting, for 12 hours that day.

“Yeah, and my body felt like it, too,” Taylor said. “When I got home, I couldn’t hardly get rest. You know how you’re tired, and you couldn’t get rest? That’s how my body felt.”

Senior Director of Communications for MARTA, Stephany Fisher, explained Friday that the computer system that controls the Mobility paratransit operations malfunctioned, impacting the ability to track more than 200 vehicles, customer trip information and hampered communication with drivers and customers.

“While many operators have paper manifests to refer to in the event of a computer malfunction, some did not,” said Fisher. “That resulted in Ms. Taylor waiting an unacceptable amount of time for her scheduled trip.”

Fisher said mobility services sent three alerts to customers, warning them of the delay in service.

Taylor paid $8 for roundtrip services that day.

“The head of our Mobility service is reaching out to Ms. Taylor directly to explain what happened and offer her 10 free trips if she chooses to utilize the service in the future,” said Fisher.

“I want other people to speak up to the experience,” said Taylor. “Just don’t let that go by like that because this company is too big for you to be sitting all day long.”





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