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53 agency's "tourism/commuter routes allow for more bag- at peak hours. However, implementing restrictions would be gage/skis," and another notes that vehicles with "under-floor very, very difficult and also counterproductive in a system storage can accommodate more." NJ Transit's routes with which serves two airports." a designated luggage rack allow passengers to bring larger items on their vehicles that serve airports. Driver Assistance Figure 47 shows that many agencies have policies in place enabling driver flexibility in assisting passengers with lug- gage. The only agency that requires its drivers to provide assistance is NJ Transit. MiamiDade commented that the "operator has flexibility to provide any requested assistance FIGURE 49 How effective do you think the agency's policy if he/she deems it safe and not against policy." Of the 11 agen- regarding luggage, grocery carts, and parcels is (n =18)? cies enabling drivers to provide assistance when requested, eight (73%) allow drivers to extend the ramp or use the bus Only one agency out of 40 respondents reported that it lift, eight (73%) allow drivers to get out of their seat and had considered amending its luggage, grocery cart, and par- help carry luggage and other items on or off the bus, and six cel policy. It offered a thorough explanation of the process: it (55%) allow drivers to get out of their seat and provide assis- attempted to "limit the number of bags on paratransit vehi- tance with storing luggage on the bus (Figure 48). cles; [the] problem is some grocery bags are so flimsy, it's hard to limit them--you penalize the rider when the grocery only puts one or two things in the bags--and it costs the agency more to transport a person twice." ONE AGENCY'S EXPERIENCE: ROADRUNNER TRANSIT, LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO--A DIFFERENT WAY TO DEFINE LARGE ITEMS FIGURE 47 Luggage, grocery carts, and parcels: Which of the following is true about bus drivers (n = 23)? Many of the agencies surveyed have limits on the number of items that may be brought on board trains and buses, but one agency described a policy that quantifies and compares allowable items, defining them in terms of paper grocery bags, of which passengers are allowed to carry four on regu- lar buses or paratransit vehicles. Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit implemented the policy systemwide based on the policy it originally developed for its paratransit vehicles. FIGURE 48 Luggage, grocery carts, and parcels: Which of the According to the transit administrator (M. Bartholomew, following types of assistance may operators provide (buses) Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit, Apr. 12, 2010), before (n = 12)? 2005 RoadRUNNER Transit "never had any specific state- ments with regard to what was allowed on buses" and now Luggage, Grocery Carts, and Parcels Policy that it does, the "policy works pretty well." Bartholomew Effectiveness said, "Originally, it was unlimited with regard to what peo- ple could bring on buses. We had people bringing 25 bags of Figure 49 shows 11 of 18 agencies (61%) rated their lug- groceries, 60-lb bags of dog food, lawnmowers--all kinds of gage, grocery cart, and parcel policy as "effective" or "very things." Because of concerns about safety and delays, as well effective" (4 or 5). The one agency that gave itself a low as passenger expectations for driver assistance, RoadRUN- score noted that its "drivers are inconsistent with enforce- NER Transit did an initial survey to see what other agencies ment." One agency provided an explanation of its moderate were doing, and discovered "most of them required that you score--an apparent disconnect between policy and practice: keep your belongings on your lap or on your seat." "The service provide[s] transport to grocery stores and other major retailer[s] but the service does not allow bulk items on The agency first implemented its policy on paratransit, board." Another acknowledged the difficulties surrounding because most of the problems it faced with regard to large num- luggage restrictions in large urban systems: the policy "gen- bers of items were on its paratransit service. The problem was erally works well although luggage is sometimes a problem not as widespread on the fixed route buses, though the transit