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26 Transit Authority of River City Design Manual RTC Washoe has a fare incentive for ADA riders who use its Citilift paratransit to or from a Citifare fixed-route bus. The The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) in Louisville, regular ADA-complementary paratransit service fare is $1.70, Kentucky, has prepared the Transit Standards Manual: A Ref- which is the same as the fixed-route bus fare. Half fare on the erence Guide (2006). TARC's website states that: bus is 85 cents. However, if a paratransit rider takes a feeder trip to or from a fixed route, then RTC charges only 55 cents TARC works with planners and developers throughout the com- for the entire trip. munity to ensure that new developments can accommodate transit riders. When a new development is constructed, or when a prop- erty is redeveloped, there are requirements in Louisville Metro's Land Development Code for transit amenities. Travel Training Travel training is not a new idea. Among the survey respon- The Transit Standards Manual is a companion document to dents, 56% stated that they had a travel training program. the Land Development Code. Although this document is not Excluding the group of the smallest operations (those provid- prepared solely for issues of accessibility, it incorporates the ing fewer than 250 daily paratransit trips), the proportion accessibility requirements for accessible paths, stops, and bus increases to 73%. The primary benefit of travel training is shelters. Appendix F presents excerpts from the Standards giving riders the chance to take advantage of the flexibility of Manual that includes design guidance related to accessibil- fixed-route service. Some travel training programs are directed ity. The entire Standards Manual is available at http://www. toward ADA riders with cognitive disabilities. The travel ridetarc.org/inside-tarc/transit-standards.asp. training they receive is often for a specific round trip; for example, between home and work or home and another com- INCENTIVES TO USE THE FIXED-ROUTE SYSTEM mon destination. Under the ADA, the primary goal for public transportation Other travel training programs are broader in scope. Many is to make fixed-route service accessible to the greatest older individuals who apply for ADA-complementary para- number of potential riders. ADA-complementary paratran- transit service have rarely used public transportation; they sit service comes into play only when a transit agency and have traveled by private automobile all their lives. If transit a rider determine that, as a result of the rider's disability, it agencies are referring potential paratransit riders to fixed-route is not possible for the rider to use fixed-route service. In service, they must realize that riding a bus (or train) is a new general, fixed-route service offers riders two incentives experience for many of these individuals; therefore, travel over paratransit: training should include teaching these individuals the basics of public transportation. 1. Greater flexibility in scheduling and traveling. Although some transit agencies are providing paratransit trips on · How to read a map and bus schedule, a same-day basis, most agencies require reservations at · Where to wait for a bus, least one day ahead, as permitted in the regulations. · How to board and pay the fare, and Using fixed-route service requires no such planning. · How to signal for the desired stop. Flexibility in planning a trip is limited to service fre- quency on the fixed route. The Sandy (Oregon) Area Metro (SAM) has developed a 2. Lower fares. The fare on an ADA-complementary para- travel training program, Transit Adventures, directed to these transit trip may be as much as twice the fare on a com- new users of public transportation. Sandy's fixed-route service parable fixed-route trip. began in 2000. Located 35 miles southeast of downtown Port- land, Sandy had previously been part of the TriMet (Portland) transit district. Later in 2000, Sandy began general public dial- Fare Incentives a-ride, which served several purposes: ADA-complementary paratransit service; feeder to fixed route, both for general pub- The FTA requires grantees to charge no more than half fare lic and ADA riders; and local door-to-door service. To help to persons with disabilities (as well as senior citizens) during introduce all of its residents to the fixed route, staff began off-peak times on the fixed route. Many transit agencies have offering Transit Adventures each month. The city's trainer instituted fare incentives for ADA riders that go beyond this. (guide) leads a group of between 4 and 15 participants on a day- They are allowed to ride for free on the fixed route. Further- long trip using several transit modes. The training is open to more, an increasing number of transit agencies also permit everyone, although most participants are 55 or older. The guide the ADA rider's personal care attendant to ride for free. This selects a "fun" destination in or near Portland; for example, a is an important addition, because some ADA riders would museum, historical site, marketplace, or tourist destination. not be able to (or would not feel comfortable) riding the fixed route unaccompanied. This double fare incentive removes By traveling into Portland, the participants also use the light this barrier. rail and streetcar. Sandy's transit manager estimates a monthly
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27 cost for Transit Adventures of $200 to $300. This includes After completing training, of the 71 trainees, 44% (31) used time to research and plan the trip, eight hours to guide the trip, RTC Ride only, 34% (24) used RTC Access only, and 7% (5) and expenses to market the program and pay for non-SAM used a combination of Ride and Access. The remaining 15% fares. There is no cost to SAM operations, because the partic- (11) did not complete the travel training. The 31 trainees who ipants ride on regularly scheduled fixed-route service. only rode RTC Ride took an average of 264 rides weekly, or 13,728 rides yearly. The participants enjoy the training, with as many as 50 indi- viduals taking part multiple times. Several participants have During calendar year 2004, a total of 921 training hours become comfortable with using transit on their own for longer were used, with an average of 13 h per person. The cost to trips to medical appointments. Several participants have since RTC was $31,287 and the average training cost per trainee become trainers themselves. According to the transit manager, was approximately $441. The cost of providing those 13,728 "seniors take ownership of SAM and become transit users." trips on RTC Ride was estimated at approximately $36,000. The comparable cost of Access rides would have been more Although a majority of transit agencies provide travel train- than $300,000. Thus, the net savings of this program to RTC ing, there are few quantitative analyses of the benefits of travel was approximately $233,000 annually. training to a transit agency. There were two transit agencies that provided estimates of their savings. The first, RTC The second reporting agency, Intercity Transit (Olympia, Washoe, analyzed its travel training program in 2004. The Washington), conducts its travel training in-house. They con- Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living had travel centrate on regular riders; for example, people with jobs or instructors who worked with 71 individuals with disabilities. who regularly go to the senior center or community center. In They evaluated the individuals' abilities to use public trans- 2006, its trainer trained 97 individuals who used its Dial-A- portation and taught those with the ability to use RTC Ride Lift paratransit program. According to the Dial-A-Lift man- fixed route (previously called Citifare) or a combination of ager, the cost savings per trip diverted from paratransit to fixed route and RTC Access (previously called CitiLift). The fixed route is $27 to $30 versus $3. A very conservative mobility training program worked to identify which form of estimate of trips per rider is 10 per month. This yields a public transportation best met the ability and needs of the per- savings of $314,280 annually (97 riders × 10 trips/rider/ son with a disability. If someone was unable to use RTC Ride, month × 12 months/year × $27 savings/trip). he or she was eligible for the more costly paratransit service. The cost for travel training, which includes a full-time The age range of the trainees varied, with 20% between trainer, travel, materials, and supplies, is approximately the ages of 18 to 22, 54% between 23 and 59, and 27% age $55,000 per year. That yields a net annual savings to Intercity 60 and over. Transit of $260,000.