On Your Side: Concerned daughter contacts News 3 for help with elderly mother’s paratransit problem


Left out in the cold—

That’s what one Savannah woman says happened to her mother while using a special Chatham Area Transit service.

She was concerned for her safety, so she reached out to News 3’s Courtney Cole for help.

This is how Barbara Jones gets to the Liberty City Community Center.

She depends on the Chatham Area Transit (CAT) Paratransit system to pick her up every morning.

Her daughter, Sabrina Craft, says it’s the time they pick her up…that can be a problem.

“They were picking my mother up at 7:30 a.m. and the center doesn’t open until 9:00 o’clock.”

The Liberty City Community Center is only about 10 minutes away from her pick-up site. This means when Jones arrives early, she’s forced to wait outside until the center opens.

“Some drivers would stay with them–but most of the time they were just dropped off and they had to sit there or stand there…because some of them don’t have wheelchairs that have seats on them,” Craft told News 3.

Jones says the longest she’s had to wait outside, for the center to open, is between 30 and 45 minutes.

Today, the driver waited with Jones until the place opened.

But it’s the days the driver can’t wait that worries her mother—because of the isolated location of the community center.

“It’s in a very, to me, like a deserted type of area–because there’s a lake there, there’s trees going back, but it’s nobody there,” said Craft.

Which makes Craft concerned for her mother’s safety.

“At that age, if somebody came and tried to rob them or do something to them–nobody would find them until after 9:00 o’clock, when everybody got there,” Craft said.

We went down to the Chatham Area Transit Executive Offices to get some answers on Thursday.

Following my visit, the Outreach Manager called me to say they’ve talked to the Control Center and now pick-up times for Jones have been adjusted.

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