Metro Mobility Management Group under microscope

Bus co.'s history of county complaints

Metro Mobility Management Group serves Palm Beach County's most vulnerable population: the elderly and the disabled.

Since the county renewed its contract with the paratransit company last summer, Metro Mobility has repeatedly been called out by Palm Beach County Commissioners for failing to perform.

Since 2011, customers have lodged thousands of complaints against Metro Mobility, accusing drivers of late pick-ups or not picking them up at all. 

According to county commissioners, the company also has a history of safety violations with its fleet of vans.

The problems with Metro Mobility reached such a boiling point earlier this year, commissioners threatened to cancel its 5 year, $90 million contract with the company.  On Tuesday, one of its drivers was fired after video surfaced showcasing the driver cussing as he tried to strap in an autistic man. 

"Thank goodness the company realized right away this was not appropriate behavior and fired the driver.  If the company had not taken the types of steps then I would be very concerned," said Mayor Dan Abrams, who represents District 4.

As of July, 2013, Metro Mobility claimed its county-contracted service had improved . But Commissioner Shelly Vana disagrees. She recently made an unannounced visit and discovered more complaining customers and more safety hazards on one of the company's vehicles.

In response to this latest incident, Vana called it, "shameful.  This continues to confirm my belief that this company continues to have problems."

To date, Metro Mobility is facing more than $2 million worth fines for violating its contract with the county.

By November, commissioners are requiring a second transportation company be in place since, they agree, Metro Mobility has proven it can't handle the workload on its own.

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