Submitted by on Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:31

MCTA shared ride program needs to be fixed

Regarding the MCTA’s shared ride program, it is a good program but it is horribly implemented and terribly managed.

Please see the April 21, 2018, Times News article about MCTA for details, which tells of the terrible treatment and horror that the Pocono Pony is inflicting on Monroe County’s elderly people, senior citizens, invalids, handicapped, infirm, ill, poor and disabled citizens who rely on the Pocono Pony shared ride program to get to medical appointments, dialysis treatments, therapy, stores and so forth.

Please tell the Pocono Pony people you want them to immediately stop the horrors complained of in the April 2018 Times News article, and similar horrors.

I will presume that you have not already done this because you have not read this article, or Richard Schlameuss, Peggy Howarth or Guy Labar are deceiving you about what’s going on.

If you analyze what Schlameuss is saying in that article, he is saying he is aware of the problems and intends on doing nothing about it. He has not done anything about it. For example, he offers as a deceptive excuse the fact that the Pony has 617 square miles to cover in Monroe County. However, Schlameuss failed to mention that he has about 35 buses to do it. That’s roughly 20 square miles per bus. That’s pretty good coverage.

There are roughly 20 municipalities in Monroe County. That is roughly 1.5 shared ride buses for each municipality. If you take the five West End townships of Hamilton, Chestnuthill, Ross, Polk and Eldred, that is approximately 7.5 buses for the West End. That is more than enough buses to adequately service the problems identified in the April 21 article.

If you analyze each response made by Schlameuss, you will find they are deceptive and distract from solving the problems.

The shared ride buses do lots of doubling back and follow wasteful routes. This means unnecessary extra mileage on the buses and unnecessary driver time. That’s costing the Pocono Pony money because of inefficiency.

An example of this: One route in the afternoon takes people home from the Fresenius dialysis clinic on South Courtland Street in East Stroudsburg, and puts three to four people from the Brodheadsville area and a woman who lives on Harrow Lane between Reeders and McMichaels on the same bus. The way they often run that route is to first go up to Tannersville, then down to 715 to Harrow Lane and then 715 to McMichaels and then Brodheadsville to drop off the Brodheadsville area people. Then the bus doubles back to 715 to Tannersville to get to the garage in Scotrun.

The route here should be to go directly to Brodheadsville, drop off the people in that area, then go down to 715 to Tannersville, dropping the Harrow Lane woman off on the way back to the garage in Scotrun. That adds about 10 or 15 miles to the bus mileage and adds 15 minutes to half an hour to driver time, thus wasting MCTA money. It also adds 30 to 40 minutes to the trip home for the people that live in the Brodheadsville area, wasting their time unnecessarily. The woman from Harrow Lane should be taken home on a different bus completely.

In that April article, it mentions Ron Seemon at times does not get home until 8 p.m. Ron is usually done with dialysis between 4 and 4:30 p.m. There’s absolutely no valid reason that it should take four hours to get a sick person home from his dialysis treatment. And as Alma Cordova and Theodore Fenstermaker mention, the Pocono Pony shared-ride buses sometimes miss or are substantially late for pickups.

Mike Vianello