I think it’s fairly obvious by now that you are somewhat reluctant to print anything negative about MV Transportation or Go Bus.
Nevertheless, I would like people to know that Wheelway had proven itself over a 15-year period to be quite capable of providing paratransit service in the St. John’s area, even though the clientele had tripled over that time period.
Wheelway always rose to the challenge and a study of the system conducted a couple of years ago confirmed that, when it stated Wheelway had exceeded its contracted obligations.
Still, the City of St. John’s felt compelled to award the paratransit contract to a foreign company, which in my opinion has a questionable track record.
Francis Moeller, an ADA adviser to the state of California, who dealt with MV Transportation after complaints arose over its service for the Santa Rosa transit system in 2003 says, “We have had unbelieveable battles with these people, they treat the disabled like cattle.”
Wendy Klancher, a transportation planner at the federally designated planning agency for the D.C. metro area, has heard similar stories and said, “Their modus operandi is to be the low-bid contractor and outbid other competitors and then actually end up getting more money because it turns out they can’t operate within the bid.”
In Washington, D.C., Metroaccess ended up spending over $6 million on top of MV’s original $204-million contract to help them maintain the standard of service, according to Klancher and published reports.
Complaints included the same litany of stranded riders, long trips and inconsiderate behaviour, she said.
In the spring of 2006, an independent audit of the company’s service in D.C found that MV overstated its on-time performance and undercounted the number of times riders were left stranded, according to news reports.
A review of news reports and lawsuits in other jurisdictions, as well as interviews with paratransit riders and advocates, suggest that along the way to becoming America’s largest provider of paratransit services, MV Transportation has not always put passengers first.
Does any of this sound familiar?