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4 Third, this synthesis identifies certain practices and tech- however, the wording and sequence of the questionnaire are nologies that are still under development or have not under- identical. gone extensive testing. They merit discussion in this report because they have great potential to become common within APTA and CTAA provided e-mail addresses of their the areas of paratransit or fixed-route accessibility. One exam- respective memberships. From these two lists, on December ple of a technology that is in the pilot stage at several agencies 1, 2006, more than 900 transit agencies received an intro- is on-line booking of paratransit trips. ductory e-mail requesting participation and providing a link that directed them to the website that contained the question- naire. A reminder e-mail was sent on December 14, 2006, to STUDY APPROACH agencies that had not completed the survey. This synthesis presents the state of the art in this area of Appendix B presents a list of the 124 transit agencies that study. Information on the topics cited in the scope of work responded to the survey. A summary and analysis of the data was gathered in the following ways: collected from the survey appear in chapter three. Review of the literature; Survey of transit agencies; Telephone Interviews and Collection Collection of written documents, brochures, and view- of Sample Documents ing of websites; and Telephone interviews with transit agency staff. The survey requested that the transit agencies provide addi- tional information on their policies and practices. Some respon- The literature review provided baseline information. Even dents submitted written material, which generally fell into one though some of the cited documents are more than 10 years of the following categories: old, they remain valuable because they represent the definitive studies in their respective areas and/or they brought together Sample fliers, brochures, or manuals for riders; much information in a single source. Policy memos; Agreements with other agencies; Statistical reports; and Survey of Transit Agencies Research reports or other internal documents that address the success of a practice. The survey of transit agencies was the primary data collec- tion technique for gaining information from many transit sys- In addition, 17 transit agencies participated in telephone tems on all the topics covered in this study. Although recent interviews. During these interviews, which ranged in length innovations in ADA paratransit and fixed-route accessibility from 15 min to 95 min, the agencies provided further details have been identified at a number of well-known transit agen- on certain policies and practices that they believed to be cies, the survey was able to identify additional state-of-the-art innovative and/or potentially useful for other transit agen- policies and practices from some less known transit agencies, cies. They also sent additional material related to some of particularly small and medium operations. these polices and practices. Appendix C presents a list of the transit agencies that were interviewed. The telephone inter- A survey questionnaire consisting of 7 sections, with a views provided the most detailed and current information on total of 42 questions, was developed and administered by selected policies and practices and also allowed for the intro- means of the Internet. Some of these questions had multiple duction of additional information not included in the survey. parts: The telephone interviews are the key source of the informa- tion presented in chapter four. 1. Contact information (12 questions). 2. Characteristics of paratransit service (11). 3. Organization and management of paratransit service (1). REPORT ORGANIZATION 4. Paratransit policies and practices (12). 5. Inquiry concerning whether respondent will also answer There are four additional chapters in this report. Chapter two questions about fixed-route services (1). reviews relevant literature in the research topics. There are 6. Contact information for fixed route (1). summaries and analyses of the responses to the survey con- 7. Fixed-route policies and practices (4). ducted for this study in chapter three. Highlighted in chapter four is a discussion of specific policies and practices used by Appendix A presents the survey questionnaire. The ques- transit agencies to meet ADA paratransit demand. Chapter tionnaire has been reformatted from how it appeared on-line; five presents conclusions and suggestions for future research.