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31 CHAPTER 4 TRANSPORTATION SERVICES AND OPERATIONS Because they serve a wide variety of special transportation with limited mobility options may want to go shopping, to a needs and are planned, funded, and operated by many differ- movie, or to church. ent types of organizations, transportation services for the Specialized transportation services might be needed because transportation disadvantaged come in all shapes and sizes. To an individual does not have access to an automobile or is better understand the range of service alternatives, transpor- unable to use fixed-route public transportation because of a tation services for the transportation disadvantaged can be disability or because of the nature of the trip he/she needs to described from five different perspectives: make. Especially at night, on weekends, or in low-density suburban or rural areas, public transportation is often either Mobility needs unavailable or very inconvenient. Providers Types of service Service delivery methods PROVIDERS Models for coordinated services Transportation services for the transportation disadvan- In addition to providing an overview of the different kinds taged may be provided--that is, funded, purchased, managed, of services that currently operate throughout the country, this or operated--by a wide variety of entities, including tradi- chapter includes tional public transit operators and other transportation orga- nizations, human services agencies, and many types of com- Case study examples illustrating noteworthy operational munity organizations. (See Figure 3 for examples of the types of the different types of providers.) and service delivery practices Lessons relating to the delivery of transportation ser- vices learned by organizations participating in recent Transit Agencies coordination efforts Guidance on inventorying local providers of transporta- Public transit systems such as city, county, or RTAs typi- tion services for the transportation disadvantaged cally count transportation-disadvantaged individuals among References to other resources on the topic of transporta- their customers in addition to other members of the general tion services and operations public. As required by the ADA, most public transit vehicles and systems are now accessible to, and used by, people with disabilities through the provision of fixed-route service using MOBILITY NEEDS accessible vehicles and complementary paratransit service. Accessible services benefit seniors as well; transit agencies Specialized or human services transportation is generally may also provide paratransit service for senior customers who developed in response to several different types of transportation do not meet ADA eligibility requirements. Transit providers needs. One significant category of needed trip is employment- may also contract with human services agencies to operate related--a means by which transportation-disadvantaged indi- paratransit services for clients. In many areas, transit agencies viduals can reach job opportunities. This might include job act as brokers of service for Medicaid recipients and clients training, job interviews, regular employment, or vocational of other human services agencies. rehabilitation. Another need often served is access to medical services. Other needs include helping people reach various human services programs or facilities. For example, transpor- Human Services Agencies tation may be provided by senior centers to enable seniors to participate in nutrition programs or by Head Start programs People using transportation services for the transporta- so that parents are able to get children to a Head Start center. tion disadvantaged are often clients of a public or not-for- Sometimes the need is simply a general purpose one. People profit human services agency. These agencies may operate