ZIPS Employees and Clients Talk Issues, Ask R&S Transit for Changes | KAALTV.com
ZIPS Employees and Clients Talk Issues, Ask R&S Transit for Changes
November 06, 2017 05:52 PM
(ABC 6 News) – At only $3 a ride, the Zumbro Independent Passenger Service (ZIPS) helps the elderly and people with disabilities get where they need to go.
However, in October, clients and drivers with ZIPS came to the Rochester City Council to voice their concerns about how R&S Transport has been managing their program.
"If it's not done correctly, then you run late," ZIPS driver Shelley Kiefer said.
ZIPS is a para-transit service at a convenient price, but according to drivers and riders, recently the buses have been consistently late for individual pickups, sometimes by one or two hours.
"The bus can pick you up ten minutes before your scheduled time,” ZIPS client Judi Williams said. “And they can also be 10 minutes after your pickup time."
Williams needs a knee replacement, and recently battled a sickness that attacked her joints and tendons. She’s been riding with ZIPS since March and said those inconsistent pickups have caused her to be late to work multiple times.
"It's not good. It shouldn't happen at all, let alone twice,” Williams said. “The second time, I had to drive up to work and walk a distance to get into the office."
"I mean, we're working long days," Kiefer said.
Other than scheduling, Kiefer said it's also difficult for ZIPS to maintain and attract drivers when the starting wage is just over $12 an hour.
"Because of our lack of drivers, we put in 12 hours a day repeatedly trying to have at least four buses out there every day,” Kiefer said.
She said they're currently short one driver on staff, and that they have so many clients they need a fifth or possibly even a sixth bus to keep up with the demand.
"I'm meeting people who are new to ZIPS daily," Kiefer said.
Kiefer also said she and others have spoken with R&S about the issues, but nothing has happened yet. Both she and Williams said something has to be done to improve the ZIPS community.
"I just keep hoping with us talking, now that things will get changed very quickly," Williams said.
Kiefer said she'd like to see a dispatcher specifically assigned to ZIPS in the future. ABC 6 News contacted R&S Transport to comment on the matter. They said appreciated the call, but did not want to comment on the situation.
Created: November 06, 2017 05:52 PM
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