Cobb County Paratransit | 11alive.com
With only five of 30 paratransit vehicles in service, Cobb County is working to reverse service outages by adding rented and borrowed vehicles to the fleet.
MARIETTA, Ga. — For Cobb County and its thousands of mobility-impaired residents, it’s been a transportation nightmare with broken down CobbLinc Paratransit vehicles and long waits for those running.
With nowhere to find answers, one resident contacted 11Alive for help.
For Michael Pike and thousands of other residents who rely on CobbLinc Paratransitthis has been an almost insurmountable challenge as most vehicles are broken down and idle.
“Buses are constantly breaking down, 3-4 hour waits sometimes,” Pike said.
Pike said the long wait times have forced him to adapt, adding that it’s more than an inconvenience.
“I had to miss doctor’s appointments and reschedule doctor’s appointments because they couldn’t pick me up or didn’t even show up,” he added.
Pike said he tried to contact many people but no one responded.
“I’ve called members of Congress, senators, my commissioners, the chairman of the commission, and they’re not even answering my phone calls,” he said.
For CobbLinc Paratransit, it was almost the perfect storm with staffing issues caused by the pandemic; vehicles breaking down and the impossibility of obtaining parts, even in the dumps, and up to two years of waiting for the delivery of new vehicles.
Only five of the 30 paratransit vehicles are currently operational.
Supply chain issues also delayed the delivery of 22 new vehicles for up to two years.
However, steps are being taken to resolve the issue.
CobbLinc reconfigures three borrowed senior service vans to accommodate passengers with disabilities. Eight rented buses with ramps and lifts are on the way, along with six rented minivans.
Additionally, Cobb County Assistant Transportation Director Karl Von Hagel offered Pike a promising update.
“We have 14 vehicles coming in starting June 1, and we’ll start to see that fleet come into service, and we have vehicles being driven from Indiana right now,” Von Hagel said.
11Alive plans to check on progress in Cobb County in early June.