News 12 at six o'clock, March 5, 2008
Augusta, GA---"We have no rights as handicapped citizens in the CSRA," said Tim Hollobaugh. He has a bone disease and uses an electronic scooter to get around.
He says he's fed up because there is nothing fair about his local cab fare. "I'm angry. I get angrier every time one of the other consumers call me and say I can't get to the doctor. I can't get to food." He claims Radio Cab is charging the disabled and elderly a flat $40.00 each way. "I didn't see how that could be done. They said the county approved their fees and that was that. Either get a ride or don't get a cab at all," said Hollobaugh. "The fees are set by the commission. It does not allow a fee this high," said Rob Sherman who is director of the License and the Inspections department.
The approved rate is $2.50 for the first mile and $1.80 for each additional mile. That is a long way from $40.00. "This is elder abuse. This is plain and simple financial elder abuse," said Hollobaugh.
Tim Hollobaugh took his fight to the Augusta commission. License and inspections says they learned about this at the first of the year. "It's probably time that we have another meeting with the cab companies and cab drivers."
"It makes me feel like Deke is telling us to go to the back of the bus," said Hollobaugh. "It is on our radar screen. We've been pro-active with it, and I'm sure we'll come to a resolution," said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. Meanwhile, Tim says at times he's forced to take to the streets on a scooter. "The citizens are often times hollering....get off the road...get off the road are you crazy! And I don't blame them. It looks crazy, but I was desperate."
Tim says he was so desperate he had to speak out. "To strip our independence by allowing crimes to be committed against the handicapped is inexcusable both of the owners of the cab company and the county government," said Tim.
News 12 called Radio Cab for comment. The director says he got our messages but that he was not interested in talking with us. It looks as if the next move will be up to the city.