MetroAccess suspends service
MetroAccess officials decided to stop taking reservations at 2 p.m. Friday and not make any trips after 4 p.m. as a result of the storm. That decision caused consternation among some care providers who were worried about their patients who depend on the paratransit service.
Jody Gordon, a social worker at Capitol Dialysis in the District, said one of her critical dialysis patients was less than a mile from her clinic when MetroAccess decided to return the patient to his home. The patient, who requires dialysis three times a week, could experience respiratory distress as a result, she said.
"I don't see why they would need to return him home," she said.
Jay Ocuin, medical director of Capitol Dialysis, said the patient, James Henderson, could suffer serious health problems as a result. "Are they just going to have the patients stay at home and die?" said Ocuin, who said given the light snowfall at the time Henderson's trip to the clinic should not have been aborted. "Right now it's only a little flakes," he said of the weather.
Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said that MetroAccess made a decision that any trips after 4 p.m. on Friday could mean that customers would be stranded due to the worsening weather. "You could have someone sitting at a dialysis center with no way home -- that is the flip side," he said.
Taubenkibel said that MetroAccess informed customers of the cancellations by sending out alerts and automated phone calls, and returned customers home who were already out on trips.
-- Ann Scott Tyson
February 5, 2010; 3:50 PM ET
Categories: Advisories , Commuting , Metro , Safety | Tags: MetroAccess, metro, metro safety
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