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Windsor, ON Thursday July 5th, 2018 at 12:08 AM

Checker Cab unconcerned about stranded disabled patron

So, on Monday i was dricimg headed west on tecumseh east when I noticed a gentleman in a motorized wheelchair who was stuck in the rut between the road and the sidewalk trying to cross the intersection near the tim hortons. I was surprised by the people driving by/ around him and walking past him. I pulled over into the parking lot to see if he was ok. At the same time another gentleman was walking over to help with his little dog and we were able to get him onto the sidewalk.

Long story slightly less long, buddy was just about out of juice and kept getting stuck when his chair required a little more umph to get through the dips in the intersections from sidewalk to road and back up again.

After getting him onto the sidewalk, he said he was ok. I then got back in my car and started to head back down tecumseh when I noticed he got stuck in the next intersection. I pulled over again. We did this a few times before I finally pulled him back onto the sidewalk and said we had to figure something else out. He wasn't going too far, several blocks maybe but we had no way to get him and his chair into my SUV and it was for sure too far for me to push it all that way as everyone knows those chairs are quite heavy lol. I asked if he knew which cab company was accessible. He said checker cab but he didn't have much cash on him. With no other option I called checker but the driver who he usually calls was off and sonwe called the main line. I explained the situation to them. I told them i'd be happy to prepay the fare to the location he was going to on my credit card. They said they didn't do that. Assuming that the reason for that was because they didn't have the ability to guesstimate what the fare would total to, I said that was fine, I'd be happy to wait for the cab, help get him loaded and then follow him home and I'd pay with my card once he got there. They wouldn't allow for this either. They said I had to ride inside the cab with this gentleman and pay when we got to his destination. I tried to explain that my car was on tecumseh with my four-ways on and couldn't just leave it there and it was too far to walk back and it seemed kind of stupid to me to pay for a cab back to my vehicle. The girl I spoke with was unphased. So i asked if there was another cab company I could call. She said I could call Vet. Are they accessible? No. THEN HOW DOES THAT HELP ME!?!? So finally I was like so you're just going to leave him stranded in the middle of tecumseh? Yes that's not our problem . So I politely thanked them for being absolutely no help and with no other option left, called the WPS non-emergency number. I felt bad because I realize that's not what they usually do, but I didn't know what else to do for him and I couldn't just leave him. After trying several avenues herself, the lady-officer finally got ahold of Handi-Transit and they were there within 15 minutes (shoutout to WPS and Handi-Transit for that).

Afterwards, I spoke to a friend who works at an assisted living place very similar to the one this gentleman was headed home to. She explained that this is a common occurrence, where companies; namely, Checker Cab are leaving people stranded with no way home and no option to get there. Someone else told me that Checker is employed or partly employed by the city to offer these services? I'm not sure if that is true or accurate but if it is, it's an area of services that desperately needs to be revisited. I don't expect them to work for free but when I'm there and willing to cover the cost and they can't even try to work something out because they can't be bothered, It makes me angry. I can't underatand why people who are on a severely fixed income most times are left stranded in the middle of the city with nobody to help them and no alternative city-provided service to come get them should something happen.

I was disheartened to see Checker so blaise, and dare I say annoyed with the situation. They acted as if they were the ones who'd been stranded or had spent the last hour (after having gone paddle boarding and were dripping wet still) trying to help a frustrated gentleman with no support resources to contact. The poor guy was a bit ornery with me lol but getting a glimpse into what he has to deal with on a daily basis, I honestly don't even blame him. I guess I expected more compassion from Checker considering they're in the business of helping people get around who require special access. Or at the very least, a little common courtesy would have gone a long way.

It's my understanding that they are often paid at the end of the fare by someone else who isn't the customer so I don't get why they gave me such a hard time. The whole situation just baffles me. This is a service sorely lacking and if I were the city and i did have a contract with Checker Cab, I would seriously be re-evaluating that relationship. My next plan is to contact the city tomorrow and file an actual complaint if they do indeed have a working relationship. Anyone who has any information or could direct me to a point of contact would be greatly appreciated & lt;3

Sorry if the post is long, it was a long day.

Thank you in advance,
(For funsies, I'm adding a pic from their site showing cab parked on sidewalk at jackson park just for stuffs and giggles and to show how awesome they are! :D)

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