We are demanding an independent investigation of Transit Plus/Transit First, the company that is contracted through Milwaukee County Transit System. Chester J. Bande was a client of Transit Plus since January 2012. Mr. Bande was a hospice patient who used Transit Plus/First Transit to attend St. Anns Intergenerational Care, Monday thru Friday during the day. Mr. Bande had limited speech and could not carry on a conversation due to the progression of his dementia and hydrocephalus.
We have discovered that Transit Plus is poorly run and the treatment of their disabled clients is despicable. They have many poorly trained drivers not knowing the companys policies and procedures. Chester J. Bandes last fourteen weeks with Transit Plus was far from stellar. My mother was unable to pay out of pocket for another van service. She had no other choice then to use Transit Plus. We called Transit Plus on several different occasions complaining about the drivers dropping Mr. Bande off at wrong locations, not picking Mr. Bande up from St. Anns, long hours on the bus ride home (sometimes two hours of driving) and not assisting him on and off the bus to his residence. Some of the drivers had an attitude; it was their way or no way. It seemed like we never had the same drivers, they were always different and in most cases had no clue of where and what their job entailed.
On the evening of 4/9/12 my nephew James Jashinsky met the Transit Plus bus to assist his grandfather off the vehicle in his wheelchair. He did this on a daily basis. My nephew knew something was wrong because a half hour earlier Transit Plus dispatch called him and asked that he meet the bus immediately upon arrival. When the bus arrived, James found his grandfather out of wheelchair sitting on the floor being hung by his neck with the seat belt. James was very upset with the driver and asked why the driver didnt assist him. He was the last passenger on the bus. The driver stated it was against company policy to assist the passengers on the bus. The driver then assisted James in helping Chester Bande back in his wheelchair and off the bus. That night, Chester Bande became unresponsive and hospice was called in. He was breathing but he was unable to be aroused and awaken.
Tuesday April 10, 2012, James J and I called Transit Plus and spoke to Lisa, the Manager of Safety Relations of Transit Plus. We informed her about Mr. Bandes mistreatment. She stated that she had no record of the incident the evening of April 9, 2012 but she did inform us about a similar incident that happened that morning to Chester Bande on his way to St. Anns. We were informed he was out of his wheelchair that morning hanging by his neck with the seatbelt. The safety coordinator stated to James Jashinsky that she was at the scene and assisted that driver in placing him back into his wheelchair. After Mr. Bande was then taken into the front lobby at St Anns without notifying anyone at St. Anns about what happened and left there. I, Michelle B, spoke with Mary from St. Anns and confirmed they were not informed. Transit Plus should have contacted the family directly about this very serious incident. We requested from Lisa the incident reports, names of the drivers, policies, procedures and any camera/video footage of these incidents and we received nothing as of 5/03/12. What are they covering up?
April 11th and 12th was the same for Chester Bande, he remained unresponsive not eating, drinking and unable to take his pills. He was also put on oxygen. Chester J. Bande died the night of April 12th. We know that he had limited time; even so, no one should be treated as poorly as he was in his final days. NO ONE SHOULD BE LEFT HANGING FROM A SEAT BELT BY THEIR NECK WAITING FOR TRANSIT PLUSs SAFETY RELATIONS TO SHOW UP WHEN THERE IS A PAID EMPLOYEE ON THE BUS TO ASSIST IN A SERIOUS SITUATION THAT COULD RESULT IN SEVERE INJURY OR EVEN DEATH. THE EMPLOYEE STATED THAT HE COULD NOT HELP MR. BANDE BECAUSE IT WAS AGAINST TRANSIT PLUS POLICY WELL THIS POLICY IS GOING TO CHANGE.
We want a thorough investigation done on Transit Plus. Milwaukee County needs to step up and make changes concerning this company and its poor policies and procedures and lack of training of its employees. Many elderly and disabled use Transit Plus daily, how many other complaints are being swept under the carpet. Mr. Bande no longer has a voice so we will be his voice so that no other disable person will be mistreated and abused in this fashion through Transit Plus again.