Trip Planning and Monitoring

A "panic button" or plan in place for when things go awry

Different cities offer similar transit plans and/or shared ride services (SRS) but all of them are flawed in one particular aspect. There is no "panic button" or plan in place for when things go awry--accidents, break-downs, massive traffic situations, or emergency situations that eliminate the structure/accommodations in place for someone who is disabled. They are basically "abandoned" or have to wait longer periods of time in order to be "rescued" by whatever transit/emergency service can be arranged than for the average rider because of their special needs. Information to the rider is critical. It is frightening to be in a situation where you don't know what is going on or what you should do or not do. This is particularly true if a rider has reached their destination but has no means of getting back to their place of origin. For instance, in San Diego, CA I was left to wait for hours in an empty office building on a Friday night. No one was around and I was very uncomfortable. It was late and getting dark. I didn't have a cell phone. I used a pay phone to call the SRS for updates every 30 minutes until I ran out of change. My boss came back to the building for a file she had forgotten and saw me still there. She drove me home refusing to leave me there alone. I was kicked off the service for a month because I was not still in place when the SRS finally arrived to pick me up. Since I was not there when they came for me, I have no idea how much longer it was. I was in place for 3 hours prior to my departure. I did not want to leave because I knew I would be kicked off the service but I was too afraid to stay. No one should be placed in that position or have to make that kind of choice. (Submitted on behalf of Jane L.)

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Idea No. 176