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47 APPENDIX E King County Metro Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Demonstration Project Procedure Manual Conditional Eligibility Goal Program Customer Responsive ADA Paratransit Program Cost Effective Policy During the ADA Paratransit Eligibility process, King County Metro will specify under which conditions a person's disability prevents them from taking regular fixed-route bus service if they are found to be conditionally eligible. The following conditions may be specified Conditions that occur while getting to and from a regular fixed-route bus : Seasonal conditions prevent a person from getting to and from a bus stop. They are caused by the change in seasons and can fluctuate day to day. There are several subcategories: 1. Extreme Heat Extreme heat conditions shall only apply when the daytime high is greater than 85°F. To assist our customers in planning their trips, Access has determined that between July 1 and August 31, when higher temperatures are most likely, Demand Response Trips may be booked up to the full Advanced Reservation Period. September 1 through June 30 trips may be booked the day before if the daytime high forecast for any area of King County is greater than 85°F for that day. No subscription service is available. 2. Extreme cold Extreme cold conditions shall only apply when the daytime high is lower than 40°F. To assist our customers in planning their trips, Access Transportation has determined that between November 1 and February 28, when lower temperatures are most likely, Demand Response Trips may be booked up to the full Advanced Reservation period. March 1 through September 30 trips may be booked the day before if the daytime high forecast for any area of King County is below 40°F for that day. No subscription service is available. 3. Extreme light Extreme light conditions shall apply when there is bright sunlight.
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48 Persons may book Demand Response Trips during daylight hours one day in advance when the forecast calls for sun. No subscription service is available. 4. Darkness Dark conditions shall apply between sunset and sunrise. Sunrise and sunset times are posted in local papers and the Internet. To assist our customers in planning their trips, Access Transportation will only change the hours of darkness monthly, using the longest period of darkness in each month. The sunset time will be rounded down to the nearest 5 minutes and the sunrise time will be rounded up to the nearest 5 minutes. Demand Response Trips may be booked up to the full Advanced Reservation period. Subscription Service will be available when any portion of a trip is within the hours of darkness all year round. The hours between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. are always in darkness. Each leg of the trip will be treated separately. 5. Snow and ice Snow and ice conditions shall apply if snow or ice is on the ground, or when Metro declares a Stage 1 level of response or higher. Demand Response Trips may be booked one day in advance under these conditions, subject to Access Transportation's Adverse Weather Policy. No subscription service is available. Variable Conditions prevent a person from getting to and from a bus stop. This condition varies from day to day. 1. Bad day This condition is present when a person's disability causes temporary fatigue. Persons may book a trip one day in advance when they know their disability will prevent them from taking the regular fixed-route bus the next day. Subscription Service is available if the trip is for a life sustaining medical appointment. Pathway Conditions prevent a person from getting to and from a bus stop. They are caused by architectural and environmental conditions not under the control of King County Metro and do not vary day to day. The pathway for requested trips will be reviewed to determine if any of the certified barriers exist. There are several subcategories: 1. Lack of curb cuts 2. Steep inclines 3. Uneven surfaces 4. Complex traffic 5. Distance. Subscription Service is available for all the Pathway Conditions once a determination has been made that a barrier exists. Conditions that occur while boarding or deboarding a regular fixed-route bus:
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49 Boarding Conditions prevent a person from boarding a fixed-route bus. 1. Lack of a boarding device This condition will apply when there is not a bus available with a lift or ramp. All Metro and regional buses have a lift or ramp so this condition would not apply for a person traveling regionally. 2. Lack of an accessible stop This condition will apply when no accessible bus stop is available. Conditions that occur while riding a regular fixed-route bus: Navigational Conditions prevent a person from navigating the regular fixed-route system. There are several categories: 1. Bus Transfer Demand Response Trips may be booked when the same trip on regular fixed-route would include a transfer. Subscription Service is available. 2. Not Travel Trained Free bus travel training will be provided. Demand Response Trips may be booked until travel training is completed for a specific trip. Subscription Service is available. King County (WA) Metro Wheelchair Accessible Taxicab (WAT) Demonstration Project Highlights Vehicles Eight American-made, side-loading, low-floor mini-vans that have been previously used by Metro, with these features: Seats three passengers. Holds one standard or power wheelchair. Passengers who are ambulatory enter the vehicle through the front passenger-side door. Passengers who use a wheelchair enter the vehicle through the rear passenger-side door (a manual ramp adjacent to the rear door folds down). King County Metro is responsible for the cost of major engine or transmission repair not related to operator negligence. In the event that a vehicle is totaled, the driver is responsible for replacement. King County is unable to replace the vehicle. The cost of general maintenance and repairs will be the responsibility of the Driver Group that operates the vehicles. Driver Incentives
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50 The acquisition of an accessible taxicab license (WAT) valid for one year with one-year extensions possible during demonstration project. The $300 licensing fee is waived during demonstration project. The use of accessible vehicles purchased and owned by King County . The opportunity to operate as a taxicab providing service to both ambulatory passengers and people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices that require an accessible vehicle. WAT Ridership: Mid-October to December 2006 Category Oct Nov Dec Totals Yellow Cab Dispatch WAT Trips 18 59 88 165 Hailed WAT Trips 3 10 8 21 Metro Access overflow WAT Trips* 35 83 58 176 Sub Total 56 152 154 362 Metro Access overflow Ambulatory Trips* 220 494 511 1,225 Total 276 646 665 1,587 *Inclement weather resulted in service cancellations and lower ridership. Changes Made to the Service To reduce customer no-shows and cancellations from customers who call Yellow Cab (automated dispatching company) to schedule a trip, customer phone numbers are now being provided to drivers so they can call customers to verify pickup times and discuss service needs (some people with disabilities requested WAT vehicles although they do not use a mobility aid). To speed up service delivery, the dispatching software used by Yellow Cab will be modified so that ride requests sent to suburban zones (where there are no drivers waiting and therefore no one to accept the ride) do not sit in the cue for 15 minutes and instead will be re-sent to all WAT drivers after 2 minutes (drivers waiting in urban zones will then claim the ride). Complaints and Commendations Received Five commendations were received regarding courteous service and proper securement procedures. Two complaints were received that cabs were late so the customers had to cancel their rides. Other Observations Drivers continue to meet all requirements for FTA Drug and Alcohol testing, including required screenings after accidents and random tests. Drivers work as a team to accept almost all ride requests in the broad service area (despite the fact that there are only eight accessible taxicabs in operation). The driver group is very dedicated to service quality. Drivers typically work 12 hours a day/7 days a week driving the taxicab, but also volunteer many hours running the business side of the office (access overflow scheduling, billing and data collection for the grant reports).