Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The July 15 Cam-burger: DATS going in reverse with new policy

The recent announcement from the Disabled Adult Transportation System about a new policy coming into effect Sept. 1 is a sad reflection in today’s society. DATS is changing their late cancel policy from 30 minutes to two hours.
The reasoning: DATS officials say they can schedule a ride for someone who cancels But two hours prior in advance? C’mon. Let’s be real. And, if you do not cancel within that two-hour time frame you get marked a no-show: even if you cancel, say, 60 minutes before your ride. And if you get three no-shows, you could be suspended from the service.

How lovely. This is an insult to the independence of people with disabilities in Edmonton. So we have questions. Does that mean if you’re working, you have to go to the boss 2 1/2 hours before you’re scheduled to go home to see if you have to work late? Does that mean you can’t go the extra mile and stay when the boss gives you a project they need done at the end of the day? Does this mean if you’re having such a good time at a social outing that you want to stay, you have to make that decision two hours in advance? Where’s the spontaneity here?

And what if you are on one of those 90-minute DATS rides, getting to your destination a half hour before you’re scheduled to return? Does this mean you only have 30 minutes at your destination because you didn’t call in the two-hour window? It is indeed most curious, considering we live in a society where we can get updated information by the second and DATS is going in reverse, asking their clients for an unreasonable amount of notice. Someone within the City of Edmonton needs to apply the brakes to this, sooner than later.



Anonymous said...

When I was working full time and taking DATS every day (I'm retired now but still use it intermittently) if I was feeling lousy I may not have even been out of bed two hours prior to my ride. Two hours ahead is far too long for the occasional cancel. One possibility might be a demerit system where you get more demerits the closer to the departure time you cancel and then you get blacklisted after some reasonable number of demerits.

Anonymous said...

You have made some very valid points on why there is a need to have the policy remain as it is. I think this is a problem that I see all a time. The bureaucracy makes changes that suits their needs but not the needs of those that are affected by their changes. When will they start to learn that you need to consult with the people you are affecting.

Anonymous said...

The DATS policy change is not reasonable or logical. Your suggestions and the suggestions above have merit. Our government needs to get better at soliciting suggestions before just acting.