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Darius Pridgen leads effort to ferry health care employees to work

When about two dozen housekeeping workers at Erie County Medical Center called in Wednesday to say they couldn't make it to work because of the weather and an inability to access public transportation, Markeith Pridgen, a patient advocate at the hospital, was concerned.

“That’s about a quarter of the Environmental Department,” which is in charge of housekeeping, said Pridgen.

Then Pridgen called his dad, Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen.

When the Council president heard about the problem, he and four other volunteers with all-wheel-drive vehicles began making the rounds at bus stops on main streets to transport health care workers to their jobs at city hospitals for the afternoon shifts, the elder Pridgen said.

The number of volunteers is growing, he added.

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Originally, he had posted on Facebook that he would transport health care workers to their jobs if they live and work in the city and take public transportation, and gave those needing rides until 2 p.m. to respond.

But after realizing that he wasn't getting any messages because only Facebook "friends" could respond, he and the others began driving to bus stops to ferry health care workers to their afternoon shifts.

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