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5 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW INTRODUCTION 2000. Because of these changes, it was estimated that new applicants were being added to the registration rolls at half To determine the state of the practice of effective and efficient the rate they would have been under the previous process, paratransit service, the initial task was the literature review. and the agency is estimated to have saved $1.5 million in trip The search included a comprehensive study of information reductions in 2002. In 2003, Metro conducted a comprehen- published through the Transportation Research Information sive evaluation of the effectiveness of all aspects of the pro- Service (TRIS), conference proceedings, and consultant and gram, which is the core of this paper. agency publications. Several relevant documents were identi- fied. Of these, 12 publications were selected for review. Highlights of the eligibility program evaluation include: effectiveness of a unique pre-application process; phone inter- SELECTED PUBLICATIONS views with 100% of the applicants; use of a team of eligibility analysts with varying degrees of expertise in the field; pro- Eligibility Policies vision of a costly but very effective travel training program (and how referrals to the program occur); and effective col- Thatcher, R.H., Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lection of information to allow implementation of trip-by-trip Paratransit Eligibility Manual, Federal Transit Adminis- eligibility screening. tration, Washington, D.C., Sept. 1993. Since this study took place, King County Metro has con- This manual provides guidance to transit providers in the devel- tinued to refine its eligibility determination process. Chap- opment and implementation of ADA paratransit eligibility ter 5 discusses its current policies and procedures for applying determination processes. It starts with the basics of the regu- conditional and trip-by-trip eligibility determinations to daily latory definitions of the three categories of eligibility. It dis- operations. cusses all the elements of the determination process, including the application form, review of applications, making the deter- minations, appeal process, and relevant timelines for each step. Operating Policies and Practices The manual also provides sample application forms and dis- cusses optional elements of the determination process. Multisystems, Inc., Innovative Practices in Paratransit Services, Easter Seals Project ACTION, Washington, D.C., Since the publication of this manual, the paratransit com- 2002, 50 pp. munity has many more tools available to make eligibility determinations. However, the manual's clear explanation of This report is organized into four main sections representing the requirements and suggestions for good policies continue elements deemed critical to the successful operation of para- to make this document the single best source for understand- transit systems including: ing and carrying out the eligibility determination process for ADA paratransit. 1. Paratransit Service Operations--techniques and strate- gies for achieving greater efficiency in day-to-day Weiner, R., N. Poultney, and B. Perrone, "King County operations. Keeps Moving: Evaluating Best Practices in ADA Para- 2. Paratransit Service Management--methods for deter- transit Eligibility," Proceedings of the American Public mining quality and performance standards and mea- Transit Association Bus & Paratransit Conference, Den- suring all aspects of daily operations. ver, Colo., May 26, 2004, 7 pp. 3. Paratransit System Design--structures for organization and management, types of services provided by para- King County Metro in Seattle, Washington, has been seen as transit systems, procurement options and strategies and a leader in the evolution of paratransit practices and proce- a quick-reference troubleshooting guide for maximiz- dures. Faced with dramatic projected increases in paratransit ing service quality and productivity. demand and costs, the agency implemented significant refine- 4. Supplementary and Associated Programs--programs ments to their paratransit eligibility procedures in November that can be developed and implemented in existing

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6 systems and community resources to provide trans- paper topics was a study of the potential impact the ADA reg- portation to entire communities. ulations on non-disabled seniors; the paper concluded that a portion of senior transportation services would be eliminated Follow-on work, including the development of a national because of the need to fund ADA-complementary paratransit paratransit database, is described featuring the input of 28 sur- service. vey participants representing the large urban, small urban, and rural transit systems. Taxis and Other Flexible Capacity This document offers many simple, practical tips for paratransit operations and management--whether ADA Dalton, D. and K. Wolf-Branigan, Moving Forward service or more general paratransit service. It would be very Together: A Workbook for Initiating and Increasing Acces- helpful for an operations manager as well as paratransit staff sible Taxi Services in Your Community, Easter Seals Proj- such as dispatchers, schedulers, and street supervisors. ect ACTION, Washington, D.C., 2005. "Solving ADA Paratransit Problems; How to Cope With In this document, Easter Seal Project ACTION acquired as Reality," Proceedings of a Transportation Research Board much information as possible from practicing taxi systems Conference, Committee on Paratransit and Committee on about their real experiences and arrangements in a variety of Specialized Transportation, Phoenix, Ariz., May 2729, communities. This workbook is "a compilation of the gath- 1993, 162 pp. ered information presented in a form useful to communities pursuing improving and/or expanding the provision of acces- This conference focused directly on the range of operational sible taxi service to people with disabilities." The workbook problems and opportunities created by the complementary is organized into nine sections as follows: paratransit requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The conference was designed to identify the best 1. Public Policy provides information on the ADA sec- practices and state-of-the-art solutions to some of the most tions that pertain to taxi services. Information on several pressing problems facing communities struggling to provide local taxi industry regulations is also included. complementary paratransit services. In particular, the con- 2. Motivation and Market Demand offers ideas for assess- ference focused on the following themes: ing the potential of accessible taxis in your community and encouraging a common drive to improving services. Establishing appropriate eligibility criteria--and sticking 3. Vehicle Design and Costs discusses the various design to them; options and financial implications that should be con- Ensuring community participation and avoiding litigation; sidered when determining vehicles for use in providing Organizing cost-effective and equitable certification accessible taxi services. methods; 4. Incentives provides assistance with developing strate- Developing practical ways to achieve the "no-refusal" gies that can make accessible taxi services profitable standard; and sustainable and therefore more appealing. Dealing with client displacement; 5. Contracts and Operating Agreements presents ideas for Establishing and monitoring service standards; developing arrangements that may meet human service Using the private sector to increase cost-effectiveness; transportation needs more efficiently and provide the Finding new and creative financing mechanisms; taxi industry with potential financial resources to expand Achieving meaningful coordination--with the human accessible services. service sector, other public agencies, and other jurisdic- 6. Successful Partnerships provides ideas for identifying tions; and stakeholders, building relationships, and developing col- Shifting demand from paratransit to fixed-route service. laborative strategies to improve accessible taxi services. 7. Training offers guidance for identifying, developing, The proceedings contain a conference overview, work- and implementing training programs to support imple- shop reports, papers presented at the conference, the confer- mentation of accessible taxi services. ence program, and a list of participants. 8. Information Sharing provides help with educating your community about the benefits of accessible taxi ser- This conference took place during the early stage of the vices, marketing services to the public, and informing establishment of ADA-complementary paratransit service other community leaders and organizations about your across the country. There was an emphasis in the presenta- efforts to improve accessible taxi services. tions on attracting persons with disabilities to fixed-route ser- 9. Licensing, Voluntary Standards, Evaluation, and Recog- vice (eight papers) and "raising revenue and reducing costs" nition offers assistance regarding options that customers, (five papers). Overall, the conference focused on policy and taxi companies, drivers, and government personnel can administrative issues over operations. One of the interesting consider.

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7 The primary audience for this document is leaders who The report cautions that for coordination to increase in use- want to introduce accessible taxis in their communities. It fulness as a management strategy for transportation services in provides examples of cities that have accessible taxi service local communities, more attention will need to be paid to how (Chicago, Austin, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Phoenix, and Berke- federal, state, and local governments can influence incentives ley). It is formatted so that a reader could use it as a working for and hindrances to coordination, particularly in terms of notebook as he or she is following all the steps to establish how funds are distributed. accessible taxi service. The difference in emphasis between this report and TCRP Koffman, D., TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice 53: Report 105 (the following reference), as implied by the title, Operational Experiences with Flexible Transit Services, is quantifying the economic benefits. One of the case studies Transportation Research Board, National Research Coun- in this report is the use of school buses for paratransit by the cil, Washington, D.C., 2003, 57 pp. Mason County (Washington) Transit Authority. Chapter 5 provides an updated discussion of Mason Transit. This synthesis was prepared for transit agency staff respon- sible for vehicle operations and planning and to those who TranSystems Corporation, Center for Urban Transporta- work with them in this regard. It documents and summarizes tion Research, Institute for Transportation Research and transit agency experiences with "flexible transit services," Education, and Planners Collaborative, TCRP Report 105: including all types of hybrid services that are not pure demand- Strategies to Increase Coordination for Transportation responsive (including dial-a-ride and ADA paratransit) or Services for the Transportation Disadvantaged, Trans- fixed-route services, but that fall somewhere in between those portation Research Board, National Research Council, traditional service models. The report documents six types of Washington, D.C., 2004, 76 pp. flexible transit service: request stops, flexible route segments, route deviation, point deviation, zone routes, and demand- The goal of this research was to identify strategies for initiat- responsive connector service. ing or improving coordination of publicly funded transporta- tion services for transportation-disadvantaged individuals-- The first conclusion of the synthesis is "each flexible ser- older adults, people with disabilities, human services agency vice is unique. There is as yet little standard practice that oper- clients, and others--that could be implemented on the regional ators can turn to in designing flexible services." That is why or local level. The Resource Guide is intended for public and this synthesis is useful, documenting the range of services and private transportation and human services organizations that placing them into the six categories. The synthesis has three fund, operate, purchase, or use transportation services for the conclusions directly related to paratransit: coordination with transportation disadvantaged and are interested in improving paratransit is an important feature of most flexible services; coordination with other providers. Based on case studies of flexible service as a complete substitute for fixed-route service public and private organizations that have recently undertaken removes the requirement for ADA-complementary paratransit coordination activities, the Resource Guide describes current service in that service area; and trip sharing between flexible trends in the coordination of transportation services for the service and paratransit has the potential to reduce dependence transportation disadvantaged and identifies several ongoing on paratransit. challenges that coordination partners have faced. One of the challenges in preparing this report was identi- Coordination fying recent innovative strategies and practices, and then determining the reasons for success and the potential for other Burkhardt, J.E., D. Koffman, and G. Murray, TCRP organizations to adopt these strategies and policies. Most of Report 91: Economic Benefits of Coordinating Human the Resource Guide is contained on an accompanying CD, Service Transportation and Transit Service, Transporta- which allows for the presentation of much detailed material tion Research Board, National Research Council, Wash- with numerous case studies covering political and adminis- ington, D.C., 2003, 172 pp. trative issues, funding, operations, and technology. This report demonstrates that the potential economic bene- Multisystems, Inc., Transit Plus, K. Martin, T. Tull, and fits of coordination are substantial (estimated at more than IBI Group, TCRP Report 56: Integrating School Bus and $700 million annually in 2003). The most cited economic Public Transportation Services in Non-Urban Communi- benefits include the availability of additional funding, ties, Transportation Research Board, National Research increased productivity, and increased efficiency. Coordina- Council, Washington, D.C., 1999. tion improves mobility, which has both indirect and direct economic impacts. Other benefits include improved service This report explores the coordination of student transporta- quality, increased transportation options, larger service areas, tion and public transportation services in non-urban areas. centralized oversight and management, and better reporting The study included a research component and a survey to opportunities. determine the scope and breadth of this type of coordination

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8 across the country. Case studies were also conducted to obtain There are many low-cost solutions included in the report, information about communities that have successfully coor- most continuing to be valuable. Perhaps the most cited idea dinated or integrated some aspect of student and public trans- in the report is from MiamiDade Transit. Its Metrorail portation. Although this phenomenon is not widespread, those system has a number of stations with center platforms. communities that are coordinating services are doing so using "MDTA has a subtle yet clear way to let waiting passengers a number of different strategies. know the direction of the incoming train: MDTA uses a male voice to announce the southbound trains that are arriv- In some non-urban communities, school districts are trans- ing at the station, and a female voice to announce the north- porting students--particularly in high school--by means of bound train." public transit. In other areas, the public is being transported on school buses when the buses are not in use for student trans- Incentives to Use Fixed-Route Service portation. In addition, in a few communities, students and the public are riding on school buses at the same time. Balog, J., TCRP Report 24: Guidebook for Attracting Paratransit Patrons to Fixed-Route Services, Transporta- Although there are success stories in the United States, tion Research Board, National Research Council, Wash- there are many barriers to accomplishing coordinated ser- ington, D.C., 1997. vices. These include legislative and institutional barriers, restrictive funding requirements, turf battles, attitudes (espe- Research was undertaken to identify the characteristics of cially with respect to safety concerns), and operational issues. paratransit riders with and without disabilities who could be TRB sponsored follow-up research to this study, which at this attracted to ride fixed-route service, the features they value in writing was still in progress [TCRP Project A-19A(2), fixed-route services, and the physical and institutional barri- "Vehicle Guide for Integrating Non-Urban School and ers that hinder such efforts. The research is based on con- Public Transportation Services"]. According to the TCRP sumer surveys of people with disabilities who do not use website, the objectives of this new "research are to develop fixed-route services, as well as those who do. Survey results a selection guide for specifying requirements and features indicate that the top four features that can make fixed-route for vehicles for public and school transportation uses in transit attractive to paratransit users are (1) low fares, (2) easy non-urbanized areas, and to assess the effects of multiple- access (i.e., no big roads to cross) to the bus stop, (3) drivers use vehicles on policies, operations, maintenance, and who announce all stops, and (4) no transfers. funding of participating riders and providers." To aid implementation, case studies were conducted of suc- cessful projects, thereby providing information on good oper- Improvements to Fixed-Route Service ational practices. Route design, bus stop location, budgeting, advertising, partnerships, public involvement, and market Chia, D. and H.N. Ketola, Assessment of ADA Research research are all discussed in detail. A chapter of the Guidebook and Development Needs, Federal Transit Administration, is devoted to driver training. Many transit riders--especially Washington, D.C., 1997. passengers with disabilities--rely on the driver. The third highest factor for making passengers with disabilities com- FTA sponsored this study of technology and techniques used fortable on fixed-route buses is announcing of stops. Another by fixed-route operators to comply with the ADA. It is full of chapter is devoted to travel training for passengers. Knowl- ideas collected from 32 transit agencies (29 site visits and edge is essential to making passengers with disabilities com- 3 telephone interviews) seeking to understand how transit agen- fortable on fixed-route transit. cies met the requirements, given the unique operating envi- ronments, ridership, and facilities. The ideas are organized by A demand forecasting methodology was developed using the activities a traveler would take to make a trip on transit the survey data and peer systems. Systems with transit service (plan, find the vehicle, enter the vehicle, ride on the vehicle, were grouped by geographic location, population density, cli- alight the vehicle, leave the station/stop). In providing these mate, and topography to create peer systems. Procedures to practical ideas, the transit agencies answered these questions: estimate the volume of riders who might switch from para- transit to fixed-route service are provided for the peer systems. What was working prior to the ADA? This methodology has been supplanted by recent TRB What are the sources for the new solutions? research (TCRP Project B-28, "Improving ADA Complemen- What determines the balance between the use of tech- tary Paratransit Demand Estimation"). Although this report nology and labor in creating the solution? covers a wide range of important issues for attracting riders to What are the costs to install and maintain the solution? fixed-route service, it includes only a small amount of docu- Is the change taking place on a systemwide or as-needed mentation of success achieved from using the techniques. basis? What problems have proved unexpectedly difficult to Kachmar, B., "Travel Training in Indiana," Proceed- resolve? ings of the American Public Transit Association Bus &

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9 Paratransit Conference, Columbus, Ohio, May 1518, include people with disabilities, older adults, youth, students, 2005, 3 pp. persons with low income, and those who do not drive auto- mobiles. An Indiana Community Transportation Initiative is This paper summarizes examples of customized travel train- discussed, as are the programs of Bloomington, Muncie, ing curriculum materials that were developed by Indiana Indianapolis, Johnson County, Lafayette, and Fort Wayne. transit agencies for various target audiences. An evaluation The program, which includes a train-the-trainer element, of the benefits and effectiveness of these efforts is described. leads to cost savings by reducing the demand for paratransit The goal of travel training is to teach people to use public and reserving resources for those with the greatest need for transportation safely and independently. Target populations paratransit assistance.