A regular passenger of the parabus service believes it has changed and now she is looking at other options for travel.
The elderly woman who wishes to remain anonymous, says the new company Voyago, which took over the parabus contract in September, is not providing the same quality service that used to be performed by PHARA.
See related: Voyago takes over Parabus contract
“They used to take you from door to door and now it is from curb to curb because they are not allowed to take you to the door,” said the rider.
According to the source, the Voyago drivers have told her they are not permitted to do door to door stops. She fears that snow and ice will make it very difficult for parabus passengers to get to their destination if they are not dropped off at the door or are assisted in some way.
“It’s going to be very difficult for anyone in a wheelchair or anyone that is less mobile than I am myself. I am not only thinking of myself. I am thinking about the person that is in worse shape than me,” she said.
The woman says she has now elected to take a taxi more often as that will allow her to get the door to door service again.
“The problem is, who is going to escort me from the van to where I need to go?” she said.
“If you take a taxi you get door to door service and the driver is very good to help you with your groceries?”
The parabus information on the city of North Bay website states, “Drivers will not assist with carrying groceries or similar packages.”
Remi Renaud, is the City of North Bay Transit Manager. He says the city has never had a door to door parabus policy with either Voyago or PHARA.
“First of all, there have been no changes, it has always been curb to curb with PHARA as well as our new provider now,” said Renaud when he found out about the complaint.
“That is what the service is, it is curb to curb.”
Renaud believes PHARA did more than required to assist parabus passengers.
“With PHARA, the operators were fantastic and at their own discretion they would assist the clients," he said.
"We did not ask them to do that, you know, maybe walk them to their door and stuff like that, but the service has always been curb to curb."
Renaud is concerned about the complaint and says they would never discourage a driver from assisting a passenger.
“We have had some conversations and we are saying to them that we are completely fine and at their discretion, they can lend a hand to help somebody out if they need some assistance to walk a certain distance to a door.”