Problems with Access-A-Ride the subject of upcoming August 27 forum

Many local residents have been voicing their displeasure with the service of Access-A-Ride (AAR).

On Wednesday, August 27, at 1 p.m., Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis will host a public forum at Holy Angels Academy, 337 74th Street, to discuss ideas on how to improve the program.

She will be joined by the Bay Ridge and Ovington chapters of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Bay Ridge Council on Aging. Residents are invited to participate in the discussion on past experiences with the service, current issues and how to effectively solve them.

“The Access-A-Ride program is vital to our senior citizens and disabled community, but many in my district have had less than satisfactory experiences with the service,” said Malliotakis.

Issues with AAR, a program operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and created to provide transportation for people with disabilities, are a concern shared by other local dignitaries.

Back in March, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attended a breakfast for Senior Umbrella Network of Brooklyn (SUN-B) and discussed the poor quality of service. “There have been a number of complaints regarding Access-A-Ride,” she told the group. “We had one senior who visited our office. That woman waited in office for five hours for Access-A-Ride to pick her up. Sometimes they wait in cold, rain, sitting on curbs. That’s unacceptable. We have to do better than that.”

“Some of my constituents have complained of long wait times and others who truly need the program have been denied service,” added Malliotakis. “I look forward to working with AARP, the Bay Ridge Council on Aging and local residents to identify and make recommendations to the MTA and help build a better program for those who need this transportation assistance.”

The Access-A-Ride program allows eligible commuters, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to reserve a trip in advance to a destination within the service area covered by public buses and subways. MTA New York City Transit administers the Access-A-Ride program through shared-ride, door-to-door or feeder service.

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