In a new report published by the Office of the State Comptroller, statistics show that a popular program run by the MTA is linked to a disturbing increase in the number of car accidents in New York.
The MTA’s Access-A-Ride program is designed to help New Yorkers with mobility issues make use of the public transportation system. Essentially third party “carriers” contract with the MTA to provide rides (via vans, taxis, and “black cars”) to those in need. Dubbed “paratransit,” these vehicles make roughly 6,560,000 trips in this MTA program. The demand for the service has grows yearly.
The report, entitled Metropolitan Transit Authority New York City Transit Paratransit Division Access-A-Ride Accident Claims, shows that between 2008 and 2010 the number of car accidents on New York streets involving these third party paratransit contractors steadily increased. Strangely enough, between 2010 and 2011 the number dropped significantly. A further investigation revealed that misreporting or failure to report accidents may be at fault for the skewed numbers.
In 2008 just over 2,900 accidents and “incidents” were reported. That number grew over the next two years to just shy of 4,000, resulting in over $23 million worth of monetary claims for property damage and personal injuries. However, in 2011 the total number of accidents and incidents reported barely topped 2,600.
This discrepancy prompted investigators to dig deeper. They uncovered a disturbing trend: car accidents resulting in damages that these service providers were able to repair or pay for themselves were not being reported. This resulted in a potential 1,400 accidents flying under the MTA’s radar. In addition, the investigation uncovered lackadaisical reporting when it came to drug and alcohol violations of “black car” drivers.
New Yorkers with mobility issues depend on this MTA service on a daily basis; receiving rides to and from work, doctor’s offices, and errands. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, contact a New York City auto accident attorney today to recover for pain and suffering, unpaid medical and hospital bills and lost wages. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.