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32 CHAPTER FIVE FEATURES TO CONSIDER WHEN DEVELOPING NO-SHOW AND LATE CANCELLATION POLICIES The following features of no-show and late cancellation Consider developing an alternative approach based policies are provided to assist agencies in setting up or on frequency of use rather than absolute numbers of evaluating their own programs and policies. These fea- no-shows and/or late cancellations. tures were identified from the agency survey done for this ADA paratransit eligibility and the administrative pro- synthesis and the review of the program description pro- cess used in imposing sanctions should provide ade- vided by transit agencies. The features are divided into quate due process. three areas: Before sanctions are imposed for no-shows and late cancellations, notify riders in writing and list, Policy development, in detail, the no-shows that have been recorded Policy content, and against them. Policy implementation. Provide an informal hearing process for riders to dispute the no-shows recorded or to offer reasons that the missed trips were beyond their control. POLICY DEVELOPMENT Provide transportation to this hearing, if needed. After this informal hearing, if sanctions are to be The following possible features of no-show/late cancella- imposed, notify riders in writing of the sanctions tion policy development identified from agency survey and give the specific reason(s) for the decision. results may assist transit agencies that are developing and Allow riders to request a formal appeal (under reviewing their own policies. appeal procedures similar to those used when applicants are denied eligibility). Establish a public process to review and comment on Continue access to the ADA complementary para- the no-show policy. transit service through the hearing and appeal Educate customers and caregivers about the effect processes. of customer no-shows and late cancellations and Develop realistic expectations about passenger and what they can do to minimize no-shows and can- driver behavior. cellations. Educate customers about what drivers can and can- A "pattern or practice" of missed trips involves inten- not do (e.g., wait time and on-time pick-up and tional, repeated, or regular incidents. Review ADA regulations and FTA letters of find- drop-off windows). ing for guidance. Educate drivers about what is realistic to expect Define when a late cancellation is considered the from passengers--especially passengers who may functional equivalent of a no-show. be developmentally disabled, vision impaired, or Define a pattern or practice of no-shows (and late have other disabilities that make it difficult to use cancellations). the system in the first place. Missed trips related to sudden emergencies that make Understand that imposing sanctions on this popu- it impracticable for riders to keep scheduled pick-ups lation must be done with due process and concern or to call and cancel in a timely manner are to be con- for individuals who may rely on ADA paratransit sidered "beyond the rider's control." as their only source of transportation. Review the ADA regulations for guidance. Determine the operational effect of late cancellations Work with the public to develop a list of "excused" at various times to decide what would fairly consti- no-shows. tute a late cancellation that is the functional equiva- Missed trips caused by scheduling errors or vehicles lent of a no-show for a particular system. arriving late for pick-ups should not be held against Identify the costs of various options for establishing the rider. a no-show/late cancellation policy.