July 30, 2013

Wheel-Trans Not a Reliable Source for Disabled Transit Services

The following is from an email conversation between Wheelchair Accessible Transit Inc. and a local citizen concerned with the unreliable services offered by Wheel-Trans. All information here within this blog post is unedited. We are posting this in hopes that the people in charge of Wheel-Trans will take notice and make the needed changes to the Wheel-Trans service, as it is currently inadequate to assist the majority of Torontonians who rely on it.

Dear Sirs:

My husband underwent emergency quintuple bypass surgery in Florida in March. Five days later, while still hospitalized, he suffered a cerebellar/lateral medullary stroke. He has serious mobility and speech issues.

He was an inpatient at Bridgepoint Health Care in Toronto from March 25 until May 29. He has been an outpatient there since June 7.

We are having terrible problems with Wheel Trans. On Friday, they did not show up at all for our pick up from St. Joseph’s Hospital. I pushed Todd home 5 km in his wheel chair in 42 degrees C with the humidex. I am 65/he is 79. It was brutal for the both of us, and dangerous as well for both of us.

Yesterday, as another example, WT picked him up at 7:50 a.m. and dropped him off at Bridgepoint at 9:40. He was 40 min. late for his 9:00 a.m. rehab session, and so he had none.

Today, on his return trip home from Bridgepoint, he was picked up at 2:05 and not returned home until 3:50. He was frustrated and furious, and of course, I am bearing the brunt of his anger. I am getting close to the end of my rope.

Please tell me what the cost is for his transport from 55 Oakmount Road to Bridgepoint Health three times weekly, and returned. He has other appointments intermittently as well. I need a reliable service.

We are not rich people, just two struggling pensioners. I am trying to find a reliable service at a reasonable cost.

Kind regards,
Lili Hrabchak

Dear Mrs. Hrabchak;

I have communicated with the TTC Advisory Council on your issues that your husband has been dealing with. The advisory council would certainly like to assist you if you are willing. With you permission, I can forward your email to our company to a member of the committee. He would than take the next step in seeing why your husband is having these problems, and how they will or could resolve it for you.

Hopefully this would help, but our company would always be here to assist you and your husband should you get stranded or just need our services.

Please let me know if you would like me to send your information to the member of the advisory committee? I will wait for your response. Should you not wish to take that route, we will certainly assist your with our services when needed.

Jack Matrosov
Wheelchair Accessible Transit Inc.

Dear Mr. Matrosov,

Thank you for caring. I very much appreciate that you sent my email to a city councillor. His assistant connected me with my ward’s councillor contact information. I was even contacted by Patricia Pearce whose son was one of my pupils in 1994-95 at Wedgewood School. She is Gloria Luby’s assistant. She contacted Dean Milton and Ross Visconti at Wheel Trans as well as Andy Byford, CEO of the TTC, with a request that they look into the service problems we are experiencing and address them.

I have heard from none of them.

I welcome any assistance and intervention you are able to provide. I do believe, however, that they have been well-apprised of Todd’s issues. Let us hold off on this until Wednesday of next week and see if his next three rides work out.

Todd has a one-way trip today to the doctor’s office. I pushed him there and back last Wednesday but had difficulty getting the wheel chair up their ramp. Someone helped me and we got in. I asked for a ride today so the driver would help me get Todd up the ramp. I will push the wheel chair home.

He has round trip on Monday and Tuesday. If there are problems with those, then I will ask you to involve the advisory council.

Once again, thank you. I felt very much alone in this battle until you got involved. I am deeply grateful.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Lili Hrabchak (I’m an academic doctor not a medical doctor)

Dear Mrs. Hrabchak,

It is my pleasure to try and assist where I can. We understand that there is a lack of options and although we try to keep our prices as low as possible from the private sector, it still leaves a lack of options for individuals like you and your husband.

I would like to know if we can post our discussions on our website as we have many issues like yours that we post. Hopefully if we have enough, someone in politics will see the concerns and begin to address them.

In the meantime, I will wait and see if you require any support from our company with the TTC, politicians and even media. We are fortunate enough to be able to have such abilities when required, and I would be happy to pass them on to you.

I wish you good luck and hope everything will work out.

Jack Matrosov
Wheelchair Accessible Transit

Dear Mr. Matrosov,

Feel free to post my email on your blog.

The disabled are at everyone’s mercy. They need advocacy.

Our driver this morning was wonderful. She arrived on time, has a jovial and caring demeanor and she pushed the wheelchair up the ramp and into the medical building with a smile.

Thank you again for your kindness. I will keep you posted on feedback.

Dr. Lili Hrabchak

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