Shared-ride program improves performance
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
After a bumpy road, the Westmoreland County Transit Authority's reconfigured shared-ride program for senior citizens is running more smoothly, officials said this week.
Telephone delays that have frustrated thousands of participants seeking the subsidized taxi rides are slowly being reduced, and customer service has improved, according to Larry Morris, authority executive director.
“The phone-line problems have been resolved, and the call wait times have been improved. They're getting better,” Morris said.
The transit authority this month took over scheduling and oversight of the shared-ride program, in which seniors can receive reduced-fare transportation.
Seniors previously scheduled their rides directly with taxi companies, but starting in July the system is being coordinated through the transit authority offices.
A new computer software system was put in place to log the calls.
Initially, outside phone lines were insufficient to handle the deluge of calls. Morris said that problem was corrected, but the volume of business the share-ride ride program generated overwhelmed the authority staff.
Staffers who fielded calls spent longer times on the telephone than first thought in order to gather information about passengers and their destinations.
As a result, some callers have had trouble reaching authority staff to schedule rides.
The authority is scheduling about 1,200 shared rides every day.
“We're just asking for everyone's patience. We are doing everything we can to reduce the amount of time it takes to reach us,” Morris said.
The authority has added staff to answer calls. Eight operators will man the phones on Monday, the busiest day of the week for the program.
Morris said passengers can schedule rides 24 hours in advance. Passengers seeking rides later in the week may have more luck attempting to reach the authority on days other than Monday, he said.
The authority staff is on duty to schedule rides from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Judge rules Delmont man was not aggressor in assault outside Wal-Mart
- Hempfield Area superintendent, business manager quit
- Vandalizing locks at judge’s office could land man in prison
- Students visit Franklin Regional days after mass stabbing
- Mt. Pleasant taking steps to keep citizens safe
- Easter egg hunt planned at Norvelt field
- Franklin Regional staff try to return to normal for students’ return
- Ligonier Township farm owner says parties did not violate judge’s consent order
- West Newton Council approves seismic testing for natural gas — without trucks
- City approves deal to supply Greater Latrobe with school resource officer