Lord Urges MARTA Board to Improve Paratransit Service

At a MARTA Board meeting held a few days ago, Georgia Lord urged Board members to get serious about remedying performance problems in the system’s paratransit service, MARTA Mobility. Simply privatizing parts of the system will not solve the current performance problems, she argued. Ms. Lord and attorneys Bill Nabors and David Ates represent a group of MARTA patrons with disabilities. They are pressing for MARTA to come into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and with a federal district court injunction previously entered against the system.

MARTA Mobility provides transit service for riders whose disabilities make it impractical for them to use the fixed route system. The MARTA Board of Directors is considering outsourcing (privatizing) portions of the paratransit service.

An Atlanta Journal Constitution article describing the meeting reported that Lord told the MARTA Board, “We want to help you bring the system into compliance,” and, “I urge you to tackle the responsibility of genuinely improving compliance rather than hand off this obligation to a for-profit vendor.”

Contempt Motion Filed Against MARTA Mobility

Advocates pressing for adequate, accessible public transit for persons with disabilities charge in a federal court action that MARTA is in contempt of court. The action sets out evidence that MARTA’s paratransit service — MARTA Mobility – fails to provide the level of service required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and by an injunction previously entered against the system. They argue that MARTA has failed to take reasonable steps to improve the system’s performance. As a result, they say, those who rely upon the system for transportation to work, to medical appointments, or to special occasions are often left stranded. MARTA Mobility’s own statistics regarding whether its vehicles show up on time — or even show up at all – show that the system’s performance has recently been worse than it has been at any point in the past twelve years. [Read more…]