By Tara Vocino
MALDEN – A blind Malden resident recently voiced her displeasure about her struggles taking the MBTA’s The Ride, feeling abandoned while waiting for her return pickup back to her Malden home.
“Being stranded for three hours isn’t okay,” Marie Hennessey said. “Other times, they are failing to show up or are late, maybe because they couldn’t find me, or they reassign drivers.”
Hennessey said she feels discriminated against and that isn’t acceptable. She said the security guards at North Station help her when she’s in Boston, but says it’s not their responsibility.
The Ride sent her a letter apologizing for the inconvenience. But she feels that more has to be done. They asked her to take an Uber, the mobile app, but she doesn’t feel comfortable doing that, because she is blind.
“This has been going on for a few years,” Hennessey said. “The barriers have to be removed.” She said others have been in the same situation, but they haven’t filed action, so she feels she has to speak out on their behalf.
Hennessey takes The Ride several days a week into Boston from Malden for errands and work duties. She said the issue has been mostly in Boston trying to get back to Malden.
Special Assistant to the Mayor Maria Luise plans to set up a meeting with Mayor Gary Christenson to make sure that her voice is heard. “At this point, we’re still looking into it,” Luise said. “It’s awful to hear this.”
Hennessey said she is never late and always available. “I don’t feel safe because of their error,” Hennessey said. “People have to get where they want to go.”
The Ride didn’t return telephone calls as of press time.