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T R A N S I T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M TCRP REPORT 163 TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2013 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation Subscriber Categories Public Transportation Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities Russell Thatcher Caroline Ferris TranSySTemS Corp. Boston, MA i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h David Chia Jim Purdy The CollaboraTive Boston, MA Buffy Ellis Beth Hamby Jason Quan KFh Group, inC. Bethesda, MD Marilyn Golden DiSabiliTy riGhTS eDuCaTion & DeFenSe FunD (DreDF) Berkeley, CA
TCRP REPORT 163 Project B-40 ISSN 1073-4872 ISBN 978-0-309-28396-0 Library of Congress Control Number 2014936495 Â© 2013 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to intro- duce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213âResearch for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administrationânow the Federal Transit Admin istration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and success- ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooper- ating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research orga- nization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identi- fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project state- ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- cal guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activ ities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without com pensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- ing material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Published reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars 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 technical 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 Academy 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 achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., 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 Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, 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 scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., 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 Transporta- tion Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs 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 departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individu- als interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 163 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Dianne S. Schwager, Senior Program Officer Jeffrey L. Oser, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Scott E. Hitchcock, Editor TCRP PROJECT B-40 PANEL Field of Service Configuration Lauren L. Skiver, Delaware Transit Corporation, Wilmington, DE (Chair) Rosemary B. Gerty, Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago, IL Jay A. Goodwill, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL Cynthia W. Lister, Milligan & Co., Philadelphia, PA Crystal Lyons, Crystal Fortune Lyons, LLC, Corpus Christi, TX Elaine R. McCloud, McCloud Transportation & Associates, LLC, Odessa, FL Donna P. McNamee, The Write Way Communications, Willoughby, OH Young H. Park, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District, Portland, OR Frank N. Roth, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC Debbie Ruggles, Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority, Tulsa, OK Christopher G. White, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, Ann Arbor, MI Dawn Sweet, FTA Liaison Jane Hardin, CTAA Liaison Patricia Monahan, National RTAP Liaison
TCRP Report 163: Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities is a comprehensive resource that provides useful information, prac- tical steps, and logical strategies for public transit providers seeking to better serve people with disabilities with fixed-route bus and rail transit services. This Strategy Guide will ben- efit public transit agencies and local communities responsible for pedestrian infrastructure seeking to better provide transportation options for people with disabilities. The Strategy Guide, which is composed of nine chapters and four appendices, will help transit agencies fulfill the primary goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) by making mainstream fixed-route bus and rail systems accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. While the research recognizes that some individuals with disabilities will not have an equal opportunity to benefit from fixed-route public transit services and will require complementary paratransit services for some or all trips, the focus of the Strategy Guide is to offer guidance on providing public services in the most integrated setting possible. Following the Introduction, the Strategy Guide presents information on the current use of transit servicesâboth fixed route and ADA complementary paratransitâby people with disabilities. It also presents the results of a nationwide survey of almost 2,000 people with disabilities that identified the main factors that affect their use of fixed-route transit services. This foundational information sets the stage for the critical steps and strategies that could be pursued by transit agencies seeking to better serve disabled people with fixed-route bus and rail transit services. â¢ Steps. Transit agencies can begin by gathering ridership data for people with disabilities and setting system-wide goals to ensure that the entire organization is working toward the same end of enabling and promoting greater use of fixed-route transit services by people with disabilities. The next critical step is ensuring that fixed-route transit services are accessible, usable, and reliable. â¢ Strategies. Five broad strategies are presented that may be individually or collectively pursued by transit agencies to enable and promote the use of fixed-route transit by people with disabilities. The strategies address (1) improved access to bus stops for all passen- gers; (2) marketing, public information, and travel training for people with disabilities; (3) fare incentives for using fixed-route transit rather than complementary paratransit; (4) more inclusive transit service designs for all riders; and (5) ADA paratransit eligibility determination. F O R E W O R D By Dianne S. Schwager Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
The appendices to the Strategy Guide provide sample materials that transit agencies may wish to use related to conditional eligibility for ADA paratransit and evaluation methodologies. In addition to this Strategy Guide, other products of the research include: â¢ A Final Research Report that includes a summary of the literature, description of the research methodology, copies of the survey instruments used, and detailed tabulations of the survey responses. â¢ Information Briefs that summarize key findings and findings of the research in the fol- lowing five areas: â The overall strategy that is suggested, â Current use of fixed-route transit by persons with disabilities, â Bus stop and pedestrian infrastructure improvement efforts, â Fare incentive programs, and â ADA paratransit eligibility determination programs. These additional research products are available online on the TRB website at http://apps. trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=3083.
1 Chapter 1 Introduction and Suggested Strategies 1 Goals of the ADA 2 ADA Implementation: Accessibility Improvements to Fixed-Route Transit 2 Increased Demand for Complementary Paratransit Services 3 1.1 Research Goals and Approach 4 1.2 Suggested Strategies for Enabling and Promoting the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities 6 Chapter 2 Current Use of Transit Services by People with Disabilities 7 2.1 Current Fixed-Route Transit and ADA Paratransit Use 7 ADA Paratransit Ridership at Selected Transit Agencies 8 Fixed-Route Transit Ridership by Persons with Disabilities at Selected Transit Agencies 9 Relative Use of Each Mode 10 Findings and Conclusions 11 2.2 Input on Use of Transit Services from Persons with Disabilities 11 Interviews and National Survey 12 Interest in Using the Fixed-Route Transit Service 14 Factors That Affect Use of Fixed-Route Transit 18 Chapter 3 Getting Started: Understanding Current Use of Transit Services and Creating a System-wide Policy 18 3.1 Developing an Understanding of Current Use of Transit Services 18 Tracking Ridership 19 Community Input 20 3.2 Establishing a System-wide Accessibility Policy 23 Chapter 4 Operating Accessible and Usable Fixed-Route Transit Services 25 4.1 Accessible, Usable, and Reliable Vehicles and Equipment 25 ADA Requirements for Fixed-Route Transit Vehicle Accessibility 26 Maintenance of Accessibility Features on Fixed-Route Transit Vehicles 26 Transit Agency Efforts to Accommodate Riders with Mobility Devices and Rider Feedback 27 Trends in the Transit Industry and Mobility Device Manufacturers 27 Ensuring Accessibility 28 Transit Agency Approaches to Accommodating Riders with Mobility Devices C O N T E N T S
35 4.2 Stop Announcements and Route Identification 35 Tips for Transit Agencies on Both Stop Announcements and Route Identification 36 Tips for Transit Agencies on Stop Announcements 37 Tips for Transit Agencies on Route Identification 38 4.3 Employee Training 39 General Vehicle Maintenance Training 39 Vehicle Operator (Driver) Training 40 Stop Announcement Training 40 4.4 Service Monitoring 41 Transit Industry Practices 41 Highlighted Service Monitoring Efforts 44 Chapter 5 Accessible Bus Stops and Pedestrian Infrastructure 45 5.1 BackgroundâThe Bus Stop and Beyond 45 The Bus Stop 45 Beyond the Bus Stop 46 Common Problems 46 FTAâs S. 5310/Enhanced Mobility Program Now Funds Access for Fixed-Route Transit Improvements 46 5.2 Current PracticesâFindings of the Research 46 The Perspective of Riders with Disabilities 47 From the Perspective of Transit Agencies 47 Bus Stop and Pedestrian Infrastructure Accessibility Studies and Improvement Programs 51 5.3 Strategies to Improve Bus Stops and Pedestrian Infrastructure Accessibility 51 Comprehensive Bus Stop Inventory and Assessment 57 Other Strategies Toward Bus Stop and Pedestrian Infrastructure Improvements 59 5.4 Outcomes, Costs, and Benefits 59 Maryland Transit Administration 60 Montgomery County, Maryland 60 Link Transit, Wenatchee, Washington 60 Intercity Transit, Olympia, Washington 61 TriMet, Portland, Oregon 63 Summary 63 5.5 Implementation Issues and Lessons Learned 64 Implementation Issues 64 Lessons Learned 65 Summary 66 5.6 Evaluation of Bus Stop and Connecting Pedestrian Infrastructure Improvements 66 Ridership Changes at Improved Stops by Riders with Disabilities 66 Ridership Changes at Improved StopsâAll Riders 66 Ridership Changes at Improved Stops by Riders with Disabilities Contrasted with Change in ADA Paratransit Ridership within Catchment Area of Improved Stops 67 Cost Analysis 67 Evaluation Summary
69 Chapter 6 Marketing, Public Information, Trip Planning, and Travel Training 69 6.1 Marketing and Public Information 70 Current Practice 70 Information from Research Efforts 76 Conclusions 77 6.2 Trip Planning Services 78 Survey Results 78 Information from Mini Case Studies 83 Conclusions 83 6.3 Travel Training Services 83 Literature Review 86 Survey Results 87 Information from Case Studies 90 Conclusions 91 Chapter 7 Fare Incentive Programs 91 7.1 Types of Fare Incentive Programs 91 FTA Half Fare Requirement 92 Purposes of Fare Incentive Programs 92 7.2 Prior Research and Current Use of Fare Incentives 92 Prior Research 93 Current Use of Fare Incentives 94 7.3 Selected Fare Incentive Programs 95 Ann Arbor (MI) Transportation Authority 96 Arlington (VA) Transit 96 Fort Worth (TX) Transportation Authority 97 Hernando County (FL) 97 Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 98 San Mateo County (CA) Transit District 99 Utah Transit Authority 99 7.4 Outcomes and Analysis of Selected Fare Incentive Programs 102 7.5 Findings and Implementation Issues 102 Findings 102 Implementation Issues 103 7.6 Evaluating Fare Incentive Programs 105 Chapter 8 Alternative Transit Service Designs 105 8.1 Route Deviation Transit Service 107 Service Characteristics That Meet the Needs of People with Disabilities 107 Applicability and Implementation Considerations 107 8.2 Point Deviation Transit Service 109 Service Characteristics That Meet the Needs of People with Disabilities 109 Applicability and Implementation Considerations 109 8.3 Request Stop Transit Service 110 Service Characteristics That Meet the Needs of People with Disabilities 110 Applicability and Implementation Considerations 111 8.4 Community Bus Transit Service 113 Service Characteristics That Meet the Needs of People with Disabilities 113 Applicability and Implementation Considerations
113 8.5 Paratransit-to-Fixed-Route Feeder Service 113 Service Characteristics That Meet the Needs of People with Disabilities 113 Applicability and Implementation Considerations 115 8.6 General Public Demand Responsive Service 115 Service Characteristics That Meet the Needs of People with Disabilities 115 Applicability and Implementation Considerations 118 Chapter 9 ADA Paratransit Eligibility Determinations 118 9.1 ADA Paratransit Eligibility 119 Conditional and Trip Eligibility 120 Current Use of Conditional and Trip Eligibility 121 9.2 Common Processes for Determining ADA Paratransit Eligibility 123 9.3 Suggested Strategies 123 Important Considerations 125 Strategy Option 1âEmphasize Abilities and Travel Options Rather Than Limitations 127 Strategy Option 2âGrant Conditional Eligibility and Identify When Fixed-Route Transit Can Be Used 131 Strategy Option 3âLink the Process to Travel Training Efforts 133 Strategy Option 4âApply Conditions of Eligibility to Trips Requested or Made By Riders 145 9.4 Outcomes, Costs, and Benefits 145 More Thorough Eligibility Determinations 150 Trip-by-Trip Eligibility Determination Outcomes, Costs, and Benefits 160 9.5 Implementation Issues, Lessons Learned 162 9.6 Evaluating Eligibility Efforts 162 Evaluating General Eligibility Determination Improvements 163 Evaluating Trip-by-Trip Eligibility Efforts 165 References 168 Appendix A Examples of ADA Paratransit Eligibility Conditions 172 Appendix B Task and Skills Lists for ADA Paratransit Eligibility 174 Appendix C Sample Conditional ADA Paratransit Eligibility Determination Letter (Courtesy Seattle Metro) 178 Appendix D Evaluation Methodologies Note: Many of the photographs, figures, and tables in this report have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the Web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.