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TRANSIT TCRP SYNTHESIS 74 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by Policies and Practices for the Federal Effectively and Efficiently Transit Administration Meeting ADA Paratransit Demand A Synthesis of Transit Practice
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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2008 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* SELECTION COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS ROBERT I. BROWNSTEIN AECOM Consult, Inc. Chair: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Vice Chair: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, MEMBERS Berkeley ANN AUGUST Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority JOHN BARTOSIEWICZ MEMBERS McDonald Transit Associates J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY LINDA J. BOHLINGER HNTB Corp. ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg PETER CANNITO JOHN D. BOWE, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA Metropolitan Transportation Authority--Metro LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson North Railroad DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern GREGORY COOK Corporation, Norfolk, VA Veolia Transportation WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles NATHANIEL P. FORD DAVID S. EKERN, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond San Francisco MUNI NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, FRED M. GILLIAM Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority University of Virginia, Charlottesville KIM R. GREEN JEFFREY W. HAMIEL, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN GFI GENFARE EDWARD A. (NED) HELME, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC JILL A. HOUGH WILL KEMPTON, Director, California DOT, Sacramento North Dakota State University SUSAN MARTINOVICH, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City JOHN INGLISH MICHAEL D. MEYER, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Utah Transit Authority Institute of Technology, Atlanta JEANNE W. KRIEG Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority MICHAEL R. MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, DAVID A. LEE Arlington Connecticut Transit NEIL J. PEDERSEN, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore CLARENCE W. MARSELLA PETE K. RAHN, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Denver Regional Transportation District SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson GARY W. MCNEIL TRACY L. ROSSER, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR GO Transit ROSA CLAUSELL ROUNTREE, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, MICHAEL P. MELANIPHY Atlanta Motor Coach Industries FRANK OTERO HENRY G. (GERRY) SCHWARTZ, JR., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO PACO Technologies C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of ROBERT H. PRINCE, JR. Texas, Austin DMJM+Harris LINDA S. WATSON, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando JEFFREY M. ROSENBERG STEVE WILLIAMS, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR Amalgamated Transit Union MICHAEL SCANLON San Mateo County Transit District EX OFFICIO MEMBERS BEVERLY SCOTT THAD ALLEN (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT JAMES S. SIMPSON FTA REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, FRANK TOBEY Smyrna, GA First Transit PAUL R. BRUBAKER, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT FRANK WILSON GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC County J. RICHARD CAPKA, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT EX OFFICIO MEMBERS SEAN T. CONNAUGHTON, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT WILLIAM W. MILLAR LEROY GISHI, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department APTA of the Interior, Washington, DC ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR. EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC TRB JOHN H. HILL, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT JOHN C. HORSLEY JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway AASHTO and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC J. RICHARD CAPKA FHWA CARL T. JOHNSON, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT J. EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS LOUIS SANDERS WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC APTA NICOLE R. NASON, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT SECRETARY JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS JAMES S. SIMPSON, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT TRB ROBERT A. STURGELL, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT ROBERT L. VAN ANTWERP (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of January 2008. *Membership as of January 2008.
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 74 Policies and Practices for Effectively and Efficiently Meeting ADA Paratransit Demand A Synthesis of Transit Practice CONSULTANT DAVID CHIA Planners Collaborative, Inc. Boston, Massachusetts S UBJECT A REAS Public Transit Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2008 www.TRB.org
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 74 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environ- Project J-7, Topic SB-15 mental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit ISSN 1073-4880 systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of ISBN 978-0-309-09803-8 upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, Library of Congress Control Number 2008925352 and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is nec- © 2008 Transportation Research Board essary to solve operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Pro- COPYRIGHT PERMISSION gram (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for meet demands placed on it. obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce Report 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, pub- material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. lished in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Federal Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or recognized the need for local, problem-solving research. TCRP, practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document modeled after the longstanding and successful National Coopera- for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment tive Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the technical activities in response to the needs of transit service provid- material, request permission from CRP. ers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, fa- cilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and ad- NOTICE ministrative practices. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Coop- TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. erative Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Coun- authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Effi- cil. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the project ciency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum concerned is appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the National Research Council. the three cooperating organizations: FTA, the National Academy of The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this Sciences, acting through the Transportation Research Board project and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly com- petence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropri- (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a ate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are nonprofit educational and research organization established by those of the research agency that performed the research, and while they APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent govern- have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not nec- ing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selec- essarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the Transit Develop- tion (TOPS) Committee. ment Corporation, the National Research Council, or the Federal Transit Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodi- Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. cally but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the re- panel according to procedures established and monitored by the Transporta- search program by identifying the highest priority projects. As tion Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding National Research Council. levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, ap- pointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests The Transportation Research Board of The National Academies, the for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance Transit Development Corporation, the National Research Council, and the and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative developing research problem statements and selecting research Research Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative re- essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. search programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the re- Published reports of the search: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. are available from: APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and Transportation Research Board other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban Business Office and rural transit industry practitioners. 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can coop- eratively address common operational problems. The TCRP results and can be ordered through the Internet at http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore support and complement other ongoing transit research and train- ing programs. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academys í p urposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scien- tific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Insti- tute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Board's varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation depart- ments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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TCRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT J-7 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research FRANK T. MARTIN Programs PBS&J, Tallahassee, FL EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications MEMBERS TCRP SYNTHESIS STAFF DEBRA W. ALEXANDER STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Information Services Capital Area Transportation Authority, Lansing, MI JON M. WILLIAMS, Associate Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies DWIGHT FERRELL DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority DON TIPPMAN, Editor MARK W. FURHMANN CHERYL Y. KEITH, Senior Program Assistant Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN ROBERT H. IRWIN TOPIC PANEL Consultant, Calgary, AB, Canada ELIZABETH H. ELLIS, KFH Group, Inc. DONNA KELSAY DWIGHT FERRELL, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Stockton, CA LEX FRIEDEN, Baylor College of Medicine PAUL J. LARROUSSE W. JOE KING, JR, Access Services Inc. National Transit Institute, New Brunswick, NJ PAUL J. LARROUSSE, National Transit Institute WADE LAWSON JAMES LAUGHLIN, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris South Jersey Transportation Authority, Atlantic City, NJ County (Texas) DAVID A. LEE MAUREEN MCCLOSKEY, Paralyzed Veterans of America Connecticut Transit, Hartford, CT LYNNE MORSEN, American Public Transportation Association DAVID PHELPS KRISTI ROSS, Easter Seals Project ACTION LTK Engineering Services, Moneta, VA PETER SHAW, Transportation Research Board HAYWARD M. SEYMORE, III PARK WOODWORTH, King County (Washington) Metro Transit Q Straint, University Place, WA STEVEN R. YAFFE, Arlington County (VA) Department of PAM WARD Environmental Services Ottumwa Transit Authority, Ottumwa, IA DOUG BIRNIE, Federal Transit Administration (Liaison) JOEL R. WASHINGTON Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC FTA LIAISON LISA COLBERT Federal Highway Administration TRB LIAISON PETER SHAW Transportation Research Board
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FOREWORD Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which in- By Staff formation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and Transportation practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- Research Board quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee au- thorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, "Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, doc- umented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP report series, Synthesis of Transit Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each re- port in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those mea- sures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE This synthesis covers a wide range of policies and practices that transit agencies use to provide service to persons with disabilities more effectively and more efficiently. As demand for paratransit continues to increase in many communities, transit agencies are looking for innovative ways to serve the individuals who must use paratransit, while also operating more efficiently to contain costs and/or provide more service for the available resources. Information is presented here for transit agency managers and paratransit man- agers and their staffs, as well as other professionals involved in paratransit service deliv- ery. This synthesis highlights policies and practices that transit agencies would be able to apply to their own services, often without the need to devote significant funds, personnel, or other resources. It also identifies certain practices and technologies that are still under development or have not undergone extensive testing. They merit discussion because they seem to offer great potential. This synthesis includes a literature review that provides a baseline of information stud- ies, of particular value in representing definitive studies in their respective areas and/or bringing together much information in a single source. It documents 124 transit agency responses to a selected survey effort and summarizes the findings from 17 transit agency telephone interviews where staff provided further details about certain policies and prac- tices that they believed to be innovative and/or potentially useful to others. David Chia, Planners Collaborative, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, collected and synthe- sized the information and wrote the paper, under the guidance of a panel of experts in the subject area. The members of the Topic Panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 3 Objectives, 3 Study Approach, 4 Report Organization, 4 5 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction, 5 Selected Publications, 5 10 CHAPTER THREE SURVEY OF PARATRANSIT PROVIDERS Characteristics of Survey Respondents, 10 Paratransit Policies and Practices Used by Survey Respondents, 12 Fixed-Route Policies and Practices Used by Survey Respondents, 15 Summary, 17 18 CHAPTER FOUR CASE STUDY HIGHLIGHTS Introduction, 18 Eligibility Policies, 18 Operating Practices, 21 Taxis and Other Flexible Capacity, 22 Coordination of ADA Paratransit with Other Transportation Services, 24 Improvements to Fixed-Route Service, 25 Incentives to Use the Fixed-Route System, 26 28 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS 30 REFERENCES 31 APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 38 APPENDIX B SURVEY RESPONDENTS 41 APPENDIX C TELEPHONE INTERVIEW PARTICIPANTS 42 APPENDIX D KING COUNTY METRO CONDITIONAL ELIGIBILITY WORKBOOK
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47 APPENDIX E KING COUNTY METRO WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE TAXI DEMONSTRATION PROJECT 51 APPENDIX F EXCERPTS FROM TRANSIT AUTHORITY OF RIVER CITY'S TRANSIT STANDARDS MANUAL: A REFERENCE GUIDE