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Riders with disabilities blame HART's rideshare service for late pickups, no-shows

Posted at 11:24 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 23:24:29-04

TAMPA, Fla.  — TAMPA, Fla. -- A group of public transportation riders are calling for improvements to a Tampa Bay service for people with disabilities.

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority offers shared rides and door-to-door cab service through HARTPlus paratransit.

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Bobby Biggs was born blind and has relied on the cab service contracted through Yellow Cab to get to and from work.

But lately, he says drivers stopped showing up, leaving him stranded and missing work and appointments.

“I basically can’t really plan to do anything," Biggs said.

Biggs has switched to only using the van rideshare program but again, he says the problems persist.

"It is very frustrating," Biggs said. “When you are dependent on one source of transportation, that just doesn’t make you very flexible.”

Another rider tells ABC Action News, the HART paratransit van was more than one hour late picking him up from work this week.

Biggs fears what will happen next time if and when severe weather strikes.

“Especially if there’s thunder and lightning, you know, they always tell you wait inside, but you can’t see the vans from inside the building.”

ABC Action News reached out to HART for comment.

The transportation agency says it will look into Biggs' complaints and vows to find a plan that won't keep him waiting.

"We just want people to do the things that make common sense," Biggs said.