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23 "We ask that you take every step possible to ensure that an With a no-show, no. With a late cancel, sometimes assumed `no-show' is in fact an actual `no-show' before can- there is enough time available to insert a ride if there is celing the return trip." a compatible same-day ride request. The system is "batched" several times before the actual day of service so late cancellations at least can be addressed in the scheduling process. No-shows on the Using Slack Time Created by No-Shows day of service are simply lost time to the system. and Late Cancellations Transit agencies were asked whether they were able to reas- Based on the comments, it appears that systems with more sign the slack time created by passenger no-shows or late can- flexible scheduling and dispatching practices are more able cellations. Of the 128 agencies responding to this question, and willing to use the slack time that may be opened up by 13.3% said "yes," they could use the time and 11.7% said late cancellations and sometimes no-shows. "no," they could not make use of the opening in the schedule. Another 75.0% indicated that they sometimes are able to make use of the time. When asked how the time was used, responses SUMMARY could be divided into the following categories: The survey respondents represent a broad cross section of transit agencies from very small to very large. The survey Dispatchers reassign trips or allow drivers to catch up results provide information about how ADA complementary on schedule (55%). paratransit systems are managed and operated. The survey Use time for will calls, same-day service, or to clear results provided insight into how ADA paratransit personnel wait list/unscheduled trips (29%). and contractors are used to monitor and manage no-shows. Breaks, reassign from taxi, assist other services in sys- Certain operating policies also were identified that might help tem (11%). to improve service efficiency and effectiveness, such as des- Use late cancellation time but not no-show time to reas- ignating paratransit pick-up locations at large activity centers sign trips (5%). with multiple entrances (e.g., a hospital complex or mall). The responses also suggested that some systems are able (with assistance from some technological tools) to rearrange trips in Some of the comments on the use of slack time are listed real time and in response to late cancellations (in advance of here: the pick-up time), as well as with some no-shows. The survey also provided insight about how ADA com- We use MDCs that enable immediate communication plementary paratransit no-show and late cancellation policies of trip changes as well as trip-by-trip updating of driver have been developed and implemented around the country. manifests, yielding improved scheduling decisions. It has been suggested that some of the policies do not appear We allow same-day calls on a space available basis, so to be fully consistent with the ADA regulations or with recent if a passenger happens to call after a late cancellation FTA interpretations of the regulations, as described in chap- and they are in the same area of town, we will pick them ter two. For example, some no-show policies appear to trig- up soon rather than having them wait 1 to 2 h. ger suspensions after a relatively small number of passenger Some of our contractors perform a second batch rout- no-shows (e.g., three in 30 days). As reflected in the regula- ing each day at approximately 11 a.m., because most tions and in recent ADA compliance reviews, such no-show no-shows and cancellations occur during the morning policies do not demonstrate a pattern or practice of no-shows hours. In some cases, they can fill in these empty spots and are, therefore, unacceptable. The survey also revealed with the limited same day service that we offer. that some of the respondents mentioned that they automati- We use private contract companies to handle our over- cally canceled any trips remaining on the schedule after a flow to avoid denying any rides. In cases of no-shows passenger is declared a no-show. As described in chapter or cancellations, we pull rides from the contractors (if two, FTA has indicated that automatically canceling a return any) to fill the openings. In addition, our paratransit trip is not acceptable and that agencies must "take every step runs have variable on/off times, so we could pull rides possible to ensure that an assumed `no-show' is in fact an from the end of one run to fill openings on other runs. actual `no-show' before canceling the return trip."