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MTA / nyc mta - access-a-ride - doctor transportation for the physically disabled.

1 130 Livingston StreetBrooklyn NY, United States
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On 10/19/15 I had scheduled a round-trip ride to my Pain Management doctor with Access-A-Ride. I am 49-years old- legally homebound/bed-ridden with THREE diseases causing excruciating pain, fatigue, and weakness but have NO ONE helping me so I'm forced to go to my Pain Management doctor in-person EVERY month to get one pain prescription regardless how excruciating my pain is. I have Hyperthymusism which blocks medication from working right or in most cases they don't work at all. So my pain is NEVER "controlled". I'm also 6'7" tall. My trip was supposed to be direct from my home to the doctor or I'd never make it in time & I've explained to Access-A-Ride that if I'm late my doctor may be gone for the day. They send a private taxi company (the worst drivers you could imagine EVERY time!) 30-MINUTES LATE with an overweight person already in the backseat. The driver is blasting religious sermons on his radio (volume was at least: 6 out of 10). I told the driver I have less than an hour to get from Maspeth, Queens to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (45-minute trip with absolutely no traffic) and you won't make it on time if you are dropping this other patient off first. He says "no problem, she's only 10-minutes out of the way.". So knowing I had no other choice (if I called another taxi, I'd be waiting a minimum of 20-minutes waiting for them to get at my house) I get in and can barely move with the overweight woman next to me and I need to constantly shift - I have a ruptured disk right above my tailbone (L5-S1) with Fibromyalgia. The driver gets off the BQE at 81st Street, then gets lost trying to find where he needs to drop the woman off (and he had GPS which he had no clue how to work!). By the time he dropped the woman off, it was already my appointment time!!! I asked him "what happened to the 10-minutes to drop the woman off?". He said "no problem, no problem". Then I had to give him instructions as he took the LOCAL STREETS instead of taking the BQE to 6th Avenue (five blocks from where I needed to go). I get to my doctor a FULL HOUR LATE, and thank goodness my doctor was there. I had to beg him to see me even thought NONE OF THIS WAS MY FAULT! I get home without incident and spent 3-days calling the AAR number and pressing "8" to File a Complaint. I was ON HOLD up to 30-minutes and had to give up each time with a minimum of TEN calls. The next two months I got lucky & had actual Access-A-Ride vehicles (the vans are incredibly uncomfortable, but at least they get there on time). Then on 1/11/16 I had a 12:42 pick-up time for a 2PM appointment. No one shows up by 1:02 so I called AAR and they told me to call the taxi company (Corporate Transportation Ground Transportation). I called and asked for an ETA and was told "within 10-minutes". Three minutes later an obnoxious woman pulls up in a black taxi. I told her she's 23-minutes late & I have to be as far into Brooklyn as you can go by 2PM. She says I have another patient to pick-up first at Elmhurst Hospital, so you'll never get there on time.". I said "this is an EMERGENCY appointment with Pain Management to get a medication that I will die without (I have four ruptured disks in my neck, if I have Methadone withdrawal {21-days of seizure like vomiting} it will paralyze me if it doesn't kill me), so please call your supervisor and get that 2nd pick-up cancelled." She says in a nasty tone "THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS!". She said complain to Access-A-Ride. I said I need to call my doctor, OK? So I called and my doctor's nurse said the doctor is leaving at 2PM (he knew I just needed to go in & out) and the nurse says "ut-oh" when I said my AAR Taxi showed up 23-minutes late and has another patient to pick-up FIRST! So I reiterated saying "my nurse said "ut-oh" because my doctor will be gone at 2:PM. Then the driver says "even if I didn't have to pick-up the other patient, it would be a 45-minute trip.". I said I know that which is what I tell Access-A-Ride EVERY MONTH! So I had to get out of the taxi after spending all morning getting ready in excruciating pain only to have to return Wednesday morning, the next time my doctor could see me. So as soon as I got back in the house I called to tell AAR what happened with the obnoxious driver which AAR took NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE BIT. They said "whatever is on the taxi's manifest is out of out control, there's nothing we can do about that.". HOW MUCH MORE UNBELIEVABLY CRAZY CAN THIS GET? Then I tried to schedule my transportation for Wednesday and was told by TWO employees that "The computer is showing you have to wait for a Supervisor to call you back by 7PM." Guess what? NO ONE EVER CALLED ME BACK!!! Access-A-Ride is the ABSOLUTE WORST! But what are you supposed to do when you are very physically disabled, have no one helping you, & have no extra money? I even tried to sign up for Medicaid Logisticare today (which someone told me is FAR better than Access-A-Ride), then I find out THEY HAVE ME LISTED AS HAVING NO MEDICAID after having a Fair Hearing last month (12/8/15) where both the Judge and the Medicaid Representative said "you have full Medicaid and won't need to reapply until the end of February, 2016.". It's January 11th, so how did I wind up with no Medicaid AGAIN??? BTW- the state keeps cancelling Medicaid on people to see if they'll fight to get it back. If you are too sick- too bad YOU DIE!

Ek
Jan 11, 2016

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