Study: MTA doing disservice to disabled, elderly

SOUNDVIEW - Unreliable service and rude drivers bug disabled and elderly Bronx and city residents taking public transportation, according to a report released Sunday.

With the help of disability advocates, City Council members released the findings of their investigation at City Hall. Dozens of disabled and elderly New Yorkers who live, work and attend school throughout the city were surveyed to compile the report.

The report sought feedback on buses, subways, commuter rail lines, Access-A-Ride ? which provides front-door service to people with special needs ? and taxis.

The investigations committee chair Eric Gioia delivered a five-point plan to shape up services. The suggestions include conducting regular customer service training for employees, focusing on respect and sensitivity, having bus drivers avoid passing stops with waiting passengers if the bus is not at capacity and daily inspections of buses and wheelchair lifts.

Access-A-Ride dispatchers should also provide information about delays and vehicle and driver identification should be displayed inside vans so riders can file complaints with greater anonymity.

The City Council says the next step is beginning to implement the five-point plan and then take it to legislation.

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