Issues with Sun Metro 'Lift' bus leaves thousands waiting for service

Issues with Sun Metro 'Lift' bus leaves thousands waiting for service

POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013 - 5:45pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 5:16pm

A service meant to help disabled El Pasoans get around town -- isn't working. One family is demanding answers. Sun Metro offers a lift service -- allowing passengers who have trouble getting to a bus stop on their own -- to be picked up from their home instead. One Lower Valley father says the vehicles are never on time -- and he said that has created big problems for his family.

Daniel Fuentes has relied on Sunmetro's lift service to help ease the burden of driving his family around town. He said he has been trying to find out why Lift is habitually late in picking his daughter up from his home in the Lower Valley to her appointments. Sun Metro said -- it's because their radios have not worked.

Sun Metro's Lift is a life line for El Pasoans like Daniel Fuentes. "They used to pick up their patients at the time they were supposed to,” Daniel Fuentes explained. Used to being the operative word -- because now the father of four says the curbside service is unreliable. "The lift has been showing up late, lately."

Fuentes claimed his seven-year-old daughter uses the service and most times they have to wait anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to get to her rehabilitation appointments. "Her lower extremities are weaker than her upper extremities. She also has a speech impediment."

He told us they've noticed the change when the service privatized and it's caused major havoc on the family schedule. "I'm the only one that drives, my wife has epilepsy and so she can't drive."

Sun Metro, explained they can't speak on the specifics of Fuentes' case. But they do admit they have noticed a decline in their performance.

"Our on-time performance for the Lift has gone down." They admitted, their radios are on the fritz. "Part of that reason is because of what is known as the MDT's which is communication equipment that we have." Sun Metro is working on replacing the radios. "that will significantly improve our on-time performance across the board. "

And they'll also reach out to the Fuentes family to work with their schedule. "I just want them to improve their services so that way patients will get to their destinations like they used to on time and on schedule,” Fuentes exclaimed. So the family can get back to their lives.

Sun Metro says replacing the radios should take about a month.

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