Five counties in Pennsylvania (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia) rely heavily on its public transit system—Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Millions of people and many BAYADA’s caregivers depend on the network of buses, trolleys, subways, and regional rail services, so there was great uncertainty when SEPTA went on strike Tuesday, November 1, suspending all transportation.
“We have more than 900 caregivers in our division who are mostly all reliant on public transportation,” says BAYADA Division Director Kevin Kuzmick. “Although it would be tough, we knew we needed to get caregivers where they needed to be.”
Exhibiting BAYADA’s core value of reliability, the teams worked diligently to prep and strategize routes and rides throughout the crisis. This included rescheduling any employees so they could walk to their clients’ homes, arranging for cabs or Ubers, as well as having many office staff members leave the office to drive caregivers to and from their clients’ homes.
“We were blessed to have help from Associate Tyler Noreika drive the BAYADA van,” says Kuzmick. “Area Director Maureen Wright and Division Director Kristin Kingery helped us tremendously, as well.”
While the strike lasted a little less than a week, starting on a Tuesday and ending the following Monday, meeting caregivers' travel needs took a huge effort. Volunteers provided transportation in the pre-dawn hours, late at night, and all throughout the weekend, all while dealing with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Despite challenges, the division offices were able to keep commitments as promised.
“The hard work and dedication shown by everyone was incredibly humbling and heartwarming,” says Kuzmick. “It truly was The BAYADA Way in action.”