Hofstra student with cerebral palsy says NICE bus often leaves her stranded

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HEMPSTEAD -

A handicapped Hofstra student who relies on NICE Bus's Able-Ride to get to and from class says the service leaves her stranded too often.

Gina Barbara, of Wantagh, has cerebral palsy. She says she has to use a powered wheelchair and a personal care attendant, and she relies on Able-Ride to get to and from school and her doctors.

She says the bus has stranded her multiple times this semester, including on Dec. 1, when the bus failed to show up at a designated pickup spot outside Hofstra's student center. She says she called for help and was placed on hold by customer service for 48 minutes only to be told the bus had left without her.

"The buses have not been coming to this location," she says. "I'm not real clear as to where they've been going, but they have not been coming here."

She says a second bus left without her as well, and when she called for help again an Able-Ride employee told her the company called her two times.

"I did not receive such correspondence," she says she told the employee.

"You are lying," he allegedly replied.

She says a bus finally came for her three hours later, on a cold December day.

For its part Able-Ride says the confusion began when Barbara requested a new pickup spot. But she says that never happened -- the student center has been a designated pickup spot for the past three years.  

Barbara says she has to rely on her father when the bus strands her, but he's not always available.

"Without them, I have no other means of getting to and from campus," she says.

More recently, she had to cancel a doctor appointment Friday because Able-Ride could not guarantee her a ride at the time she needed, she says.

But after she canceled the bus, one showed up at her house anyway.

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