Pueblo para-transit passenger worried delays will cost her a job

Local

After getting her new job, one passenger of the para-transit bus in Pueblo is concerned that she won’t be able to keep it due to the buses inconsistent schedule. 

Citi-Lift is a City of Pueblo service that advertises themselves as a door-to-door service for those who qualify. They said they aren’t a taxi service but people can schedule appointments 24 hours in advance to be picked up. 

A woman – who spoke on the condition of anonymity and will be referred to as Sarah – uses the service and said that the buses are late and sometimes don’t come at all. 

Sarah is worried that the bus problems could jeopardize her chance of maintaining her new position, to help her build her resume, something she says is difficult. 

“I’m partially disabled. I have nearsightedness and other issues with my vision,” said Sarah. “I use [Citi-Lift] weekly. I go to a volunteer job at a daycare and PCC and I use it four days a week.”

Citi-Lift bus is her only mode of transportation, but she’s been having some problems, with one example happening just last week. 

“They didn’t come and I called and nobody answered,” she said. “It’s pretty frustrating, they should improve their communication.”

Acting Transit Director of Citi-Lift, Pepper Whittlef, said their phone lines were down last week but riders with appointments were still picked up they just weren’t able to schedule or change rides during the outage.

Whittlef admitted they did not let riders know that the phones were down.  

“That day the phone line was down they could have maybe texted people if they had a cell phone,” said Sarah.  

The organization has 11 buses that are tasked with picking up thousands of eligible riders in the city. 

“We have several hundred new passengers, qualify for the para-transit service so there has been a huge influx of new clients this year,” said Whittlef. “We do run into issues, with traffic and bus breakdowns and overloading of a schedule.”

Whittlef added when scheduling they give riders a 30 min window for pick-up.

“It’s very inconvenient and not fair to people when they are depending on people to go places,” Sarah noted.

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