Woman complains public transportation leaves disabled waiting for hours

Woman waits too long for Max bus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Birmingham woman claims she must wait upwards of four hours for a bus service that accommodates the disabled.

Tammy Fitts said rides with Paratransit, a service provided by MAX bus system, are consistently late.

A double amputee and diabetic, Fitts has used Paratransit for more than three years. The service is for riders who can’t board other buses because of a disability. Fitts said lately getting where she needs to go, doctor’s appointments, the grocery store and everywhere in-between, has become a hassle.

“Two, three, four hours waiting, sometimes, for the bus to pick you up,” Fitts complained. Even through the rides she pays $80 a month to use, are scheduled.

The long wait, Fitts believes, puts her and others at risk.

"If they see you at the shopping center riding around with bags on your chair or a purse, then they see that that's an easy target," Fitts explained. Fitts said waiting inside is not always an option because riders are only given a five minute window to board the bus, or it leaves.

“They are saying that they are going to get better and they are short of drivers, their short of buses, they’re short of...there’s constantly a reason, but not a solution,” Fitts said.

There are other private companies that offer transportation for the disabled, but Fitts said the services cost more and can be difficult to make for people who are on fixed incomes.

We have reached out to the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) for comment on this issue. We are waiting to hear back.

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