Outsourcing Impacts MetroAccess Riders

RECEIVED Sun., July 12, 2009

Dear Editor,
    In Lee Nichols' article about the outsourcing of jobs at Cap Metro, there was no mention of the impact on the riders at MetroAccess (formerly called Special Transit Service) by this policy [“Cap Metro Shifts Routes, Riles Drivers,” News, July 10]. Most of the riders on MetroAccess don't have another way to get where they want to go. If it were not for this service, most of these citizens would not be able to hold a job, and many would be homebound.
    Over the past couple of years, Cap Metro has been outsourcing this service to save money. The contractor, called PTS, pays its drivers less than union drivers at Cap Metro are paid, which makes the PTS drivers less likely to do quality work. PTS puts cars on our city streets that are visibly undermaintained and often dirty, inside and out. Some of our passengers have refused to ride with PTS even though that can limit their access to a ride.
    If the Chronicle really wants its readers to understand what is going on at Cap Metro, in relation to outsourcing, then do an in-depth story on the impact of this policy on people who can't defend themselves. Don't just talk to the Cap Metro managers or the union officers, but go out and talk to the riders whose tax dollars are paying for these services. Talk to the riders of PTS to see if they feel safe when they are riding in those vehicles. I have seen the quality and depth of the Chronicle's articles when it is mad about something. How about getting mad about something that affects some of our most needy citizens?
Clifton Smith
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