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‘We’re suffering’: Louisvillians miss medical appointments due to continuous TARC3 problems

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 11:06 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The transit services offered by TARC3 for the disabled continue to face delays and interruptions of service.

“Going to dialysis, sometimes I bleed, sometimes it runs late, and sometimes I’m a little late,” TARC3 passenger Aprile Cooper said. “And they have left me on occasion.”

Fighting kidney failure, diabetes, and congestive heart failure, Cooper said waiting for another ride from TARC3 after a dialysis treatment results in dangerous health-threatening delays that can leave her bed-ridden. She also said she feels like her complaints to TARC are ignored.

“Going in one ear and out the other,” Cooper said. “I don’t think they’re listening, but we’re suffering.”

Cooper is not alone. Community activist Shedrick Jones called a Tuesday press conference after TARC3 was unable to bring him home from an appointment Saturday. Jones said the round trip took 13 hours.

“The thing is so messed up that when two routes get behind by like 30 minutes or something, it throws everything else out of wack,” Jones said. “It’s not like I’m going to cinemas or nothing. You got the medical or legal appointment or something and you call somebody. They say, ‘We don’t have a driver, and right now on the screen it looks like it’s going to be an hour and a half before we can get there.’ What the hell is that?”

TARC officials told Louisville Metro Council it is short about 100 drivers right now and needs 50 just for TARC3 passengers. TARC has requested an 18% budget increase from Metro Council in order to meet operational and staffing needs.

In a statement provided to WAVE 3 News, TARC Executive Director Carrie Butler said: “Moving forward post-COVID, it is vitally important that our supply of drivers meets the rising customer demand. When you are short on bus operators, it affects service, and when it affects service, unfortunately, our customers are impacted. We continue to monitor TARC3 service and work with MV Transportation daily to ensure contractual obligations are met. We are fully committed to our customers and are working hard to provide the service they deserve.”

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