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CARE van riders raise concerns: ‘I called 12 times. 3 times I was hung up on’

RICHMOND, Va. – Loretta Hill, who depends on GRTC CARE Van services to get her to where she needs to be, said she has several complaints with the service.

For example, Hill said drivers are constantly late when picking up or dropping off passengers. In fact, she said she even had to wait outside in the extreme heat for five hours.

“Each time I called, 'We’re trying to get a van. We’re trying to get a van,'” Hill recalled.

Hill was one of several riders at a CARE Advisory Committee Meeting Thursday morning who expressed concerns with the current services and the drivers running late.

Loretta Hill

Loretta Hill

“I called 12 times. Three times I was hung up on,” Hill told leaders at the meeting.

GRTC has a contract with MV Transportation to provide the drivers for the service.

Those at Thursday’s meeting acknowledged that late pick up times are not acceptable and said a mass exodus of drivers was to blame for the problem.

To fix that, officials have been actively recruiting drivers and have classes going on until they are fully staffed.

“I think finding out why they keep leaving would help, so it could be a little more proactive than reactive,” said Shelly Montante, who has a son who rides the CARE van.

CBS 6 spokes with Nikki Frenney, a spokeswoman for MV Transportation over the phone.

Frenney said the company apologizes to any rider who has suffered a late or missed trip.

She said some drivers end up leaving because of the low pay and amount of work.

However, she said they are working with GRTC to combat the issue.

“I think it’s an amazing service," Montante said. "And once it’s fixed, it’s going to be incredible because so many people can benefit from all it has to offer.”

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