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24 CHAPTER FOUR REVIEW OF NO-SHOW AND LATE CANCELLATION POLICIES NO-SHOW AND LATE CANCELLATION POLICY transit service programs. Specifically, 49 CFR 37.125(h) OVERVIEW states that As a supplement to the survey, respondents were asked to The entity may establish an administrative process to suspend, submit copies of their no-show and late cancellation policies, for a reasonable period of time, the provision of complementary sample letters, and related materials. A total of 63 transit paratransit service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals who establish a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips. agencies provided no-show policies and/or supporting mate- rials; 61 of the 63 were provided by transit agency survey respondents and 2 were from transit agencies that did not Several transit agencies provided no-show and late can- cellation policies that included a reward system for passen- complete the survey. gers who do not incur no-shows/late cancellations during a certain period of time. The idea originated with the Regional These documents were used to clarify the policies Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada described in the survey responses and to highlight innovative based in Las Vegas, followed by Utah Transit Authority practices related to no-show/late cancellation policies and (UTA), based in Salt Lake City (both are discussed here). practices. Of particular interest were policies that appear to Other programs, including ACCESS Paratransit in Pitts- balance the needs of the transit agency to run an efficient burgh, Pennsylvania, and C-TRAN in Vancouver, Washing- operation with the needs of its customers to be able to access ton, also have passenger incentive programs. needed transportation. Particular attention was paid to iden- tifying policies that incorporate incentives for passengers not to incur no-shows and late cancellations. Additionally, the RTC of Southern Nevada policies were screened to ascertain whether they appeared to meet the ADA regulatory requirements for no-show policies In 1999, the RTC recognized that it was experiencing a prob- and for consistency with FTA findings published in recent lem with passengers booking five or six trips a day and then ADA complementary paratransit compliance reviews and canceling them at the last minute. The system believed that letters of findings in response to no-show-related complaints. it had a problem trying to balance its ADA requirement for no-trip denials with its public duty to operate an efficient The no-show and late cancellation policies were analyzed transit system. The transit agency tried to incorporate FTA's to identify innovative elements to highlight in this chapter. concern about frequent versus infrequent riders when devel- Transit agency representatives were contacted to elicit addi- oping the policy, and it worked with its Citizens Advisory tional information, as needed. This information will be used Committee to come up with a policy intended to balance the in chapter five to identify elements that should be considered various concerns. It also wanted to provide a "good citizen when developing a no-show/late cancellation policy. incentive" to reward passengers who did not incur no-shows. Additionally, the agency focused on looking for patterns and The following elements are highlighted in this chapter: practices of no-shows, not just occasional no-shows. Passenger incentives Under RTC's policy, after the first no-show the passenger Alternative approaches is contacted by phone. At this time, the RTC will attempt to Technology as a tool educate the person about its no-show policy. If the no-show Documentation and record keeping was determined to be beyond the control of the passenger Beyond the rider's control (e.g., they were in the hospital, there was a driver error, they Passenger information. were suddenly ill and unable to contact the RTC), then the no-show points will be reversed. Computer software has been developed to produce a letter for every no-show, so that HIGHLIGHT 1: PASSENGER INCENTIVES passengers are made aware of no-show points assigned to them within a couple of days. From 1 to 5 penalty points are The U.S.DOT regulations implementing the ADA address assessed, depending on how much advance notice is given the issue of no-show policies in ADA complementary para- for the cancellation or no-show. Suspension notices are sent