Monday, December 16, 2013

Image: The Ride. Courtesy MBTA

About a month ago I received a very large postcard from "THE RIDE Eligibility Center" informing me that my eligibility to use THE RIDE will expire soon.

To continue to schedule rides I would need to renew my eligibility.

In addition, they informed me that new procedures have been implemented by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. An in-person interview with a mobility-coordinator is now used to determine eligibility for THE RIDE.  Free transportation to and from the interview would be provided.

Years ago if you were a senior or a person with a disability you could  apply for THE RIDE by having a doctor Fill out a form which explained why that individual qualified for that service.  

I did that, was approved, and have used THE RIDE to take me to places like Boston, where the traffic can be horrendous and the roads are unfamiliar.  

All these years I have never heard a peep out of them.

I call in advance, make a date and time, pay the required sum and hope that they don't pick me up long before the time requested.  Many times there are other people on the bus so it can take a LONG time getting where I want to go.

It's not perfect but it does get me where I want to go!

I just couldn't believe they were requiring me to appear in-person.

I hadn't heard anyone tell me that they received the same postcard.

Living here at Brooksby Village,  there is a social worker that you can talk to about whatever is troubling you, so I called, asked about the supposed new way to renew your eligibility.

YES, she said, that's how you have to do it now!

Once she confirmed the message I had received, I called, was informed that the interview could take up to NINTY MINUTES and THE RIDE would provide free transportation to and from the interview.

The driver arrived 20 minutes late, no apology, and I had the bumpiest ride I ever experienced.

Finally we arrived at our destination!

What a huge building and what a huge set of stairs!

I informed the driver that I do not do stairs!

"OK",  he says and drives over to a location where there is a long, steep ramp.  I had no problem getting up that slope, BUT I'm sure there are plenty of people that would find that difficult. 

And this is where seniors and people with disabilities have to go to renew their eligibility?  

The long and short of this tale is the interview lasted close to ninety minutes where I had to answer FORTY questions!

I should hear from the MBTA by December 30.  

If I qualified for THE RIDE years ago, I certainly qualify now.

I was taken for a ride.

One never knows.

I hope I get taken for more rides in the future!

You wonder if these people even know the concept of getting old. I would have been very put out about their treatment if I were you. Jay , my husband, uses MTA to get to dialysis three times a week. it is a grat thing especially in the winter. I hope all goes well and your transportation continues.
Interesting to hear about your experiences. There have been times when--due to an autoimmune disease--I would have needed such services if I weren't married. At those times, I probably would not have been able to make it up that ramp, and a ninety-minute interview would have tired me so much that I would likely have been incoherent by the time it finished.
There is something similar in my area. Children far away and I did not feel comfortable driving to the big city or once for a hospital procedure and saved children time as they just met me at my destination - I used the ride and loved it and daughter brought me home.
You have to let them know 24 hours before and for me the two times used - it was perfect.
Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger