NOTA has let him down

NOTA, North Oakland transportation authority, what is it good for? In 2000 I was able to utilize the services of NOTA On a one day notice and it was free at that time. It was free to me because I had become a paraplegic in the year 1999. I utilized their services for a year or two and then was able to start driving on my own. In this past year, I stopped driving and decided to start using NOTA again.
They have a rule that you have to call three days in advance and I have done that all three times I have requested rides. Two of my rides went smoothly but my recent request on June 30th, to be picked up in Leonard for my 8:30am appointment at a business in Rochester was turned down.
I was informed that I cannot be picked up on July 7, because there were other commitments in the morning taking people back and forth to work, I was informed a couple times that some people will call 30 days ahead.
I tried to get my information as to why I couldn’t be picked up to be at my 8:30am appointment in south Rochester. The dispatcher was so adamant about not being able to provide a ride for me then or even two weeks later at that time in the am and wouldn’t tell me why except there were no guarantee of rides, but she would put me on the waitlist.
Some times we have scheduled appointments, sometimes these appointments crop up and sometimes the weather changes and we want to go do something.
Addison Township provides a project for $16,600 every year plus riders pay two dollars each way. Orion Township chips in and Oxford Township also provides money along with each village. I live in the north east corner of Oakland County and I believe that what happens is that with each parcel paying property taxes towards supporting NOTA they become concentrated to their services that would mostly benefit compacted areas. It sounded to me as though their vehicles were contracted out and maybe set to pick up certain groups of people and that no other riders could apply. Not even special needs people like myself, 66 1/2 year old paraplegic with dwindling health.
When I became injured I lost a lot of my independence, using NOTA and paying for the services help me to regain some of my independence, but, when they can’t service me like all the other paying parcels, it seems very biased. It does not seem like equal opportunity to everyone in Orion and Oxford and Addison townships along with the actual downtown cities/villages. Providing the ride for me seems to be rather inconvenient to them and rather convenient to just tell me no, it cannot be done.
I called my Addison Township officials and expressed my concern to them, and also called Lisa at NOTA and explained and expressed my concern and disappointment with her. And then Lisa was able to find me a pick up time for 9:20am on July 7, 2016. Maybe I will be ok by being a little late since the meeting may not actually start till nine or 9:30am, maybe I won’t be ok? This is an appointment I had no control over concerning the appointment time.
It is my contention that NOTA can and should do a better job of ensuring that when people call in with three day notice, they get their ride when they requested in the time and day they requested.
As the population around here continues to grow so should the need for the services and the equipment. But remember Addison Township and the village of Leonard pays money every year ,over $16,000, for people in our community to get and use the services when we request it, especially, 66-year-old special-needs paraplegic 100% service-connected Vietnam veteran infantry soldier 1970.
John W. Hart
longtime Orion, Oxford and
current Addison Township resident