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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 SYNTHESIS 133 Subject AreAS Public Transportation â¢ Administration and Management â¢ Passenger Transportation Administration of ADA Paratransit Eligibility Appeal Programs A Synthesis of Transit Practice conSultAnt David Chia the Collaborative, Inc. Boston, MA Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation 2018
TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmen- tal, 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, adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and introduce 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 Administration (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 successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes various 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 outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooperating organizations: FTA; the National Academies of Sci- ences, Engineering, and Medicine, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research organization estab- lished 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 respon- sibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identifying 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 TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests for propos- als), select contractors, and provide technical 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 programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired effect if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- nating TCRP results to the intended users of the research: transit 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. TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. TCRP SYNTHESIS 133 Project J-7, Topic SB-28 ISSN 1073-4880 ISBN 978-0-309-39020-0 Â© 2018 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, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC 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 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 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessar- ily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 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. Cover figure: An applicant for ADA complementary paratransit service undergoes a physical assessment. Courtesy: St. Cloud (MN) Metro Bus. 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 by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied committees, task forces, and panels 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 individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
CRP STAFF FOR TCRP SYNTHESIS 133 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Gwen Chisholm Smith, Manager, Transit Cooperative Research Program Mariela Garcia-Colberg, Senior Program Officer Demisha Williams, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications Sharon Lamberton, Editor TCRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT J-7 CHAIR Brad J. Miller, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, St. Petersburg, FL MEMBERS Donna DeMartino, San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Stockton, CA Michael Ford, Consultant, Camas, WA Bobby J. Griffin, Griffin and Associates, Flower Mound, TX Ronald Kilcoyne, North County Transit District, Oceanside, CA Jeanne Krieg, Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, Antioch, CA Paul J. Larrousse, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick David A. Lee, Connecticut Transit, Hartford Elizabeth Presutti, Des Moines Area Regional Transit AuthorityâDART, Des Moines, IA Robert H. Prince, Jr., AECOM Consulting Transportation Group, Inc., Boston, MA Jarrett W. Stoltzfus, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA Faith Hall, FTA Liaison TOPIC PANEL SB-28 Cecilia Feeley, Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, Piscataway, NJ Rosemary B. Gerty, Pace Suburban Bus, Chicago, IL Tammy Haenftling, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX Jeanne Krieg, Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, Antioch, CA Cynthia W. Lister, Milligan & Co., Philadelphia, PA Kathy Miller, TriMet Transit Mobility Center, Portland, OR Frank N. Roth, Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, Washington, D.C. Carol Tyson, D.C. Department for Hire Vehicles Accessibility Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C. Dawn Sweet, FTA Liaison Stephen J. Andrle, TRB Liaison 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
ADA paratransit eligibility appeal programs allow appellants the opportunity to pre- sent new information not provided or available during the initial eligibility decision that may warrant a change in eligibility determination. At the same time, any appeal program must consistently apply the decision-making standards established by the agencyâs ADA paratransit certification program. As more agencies employ some form of conditional eli- gibility, eligibility appeal processes are emerging as a significant area of vulnerability. If the eligibility appeal process is not administered properly, transit agencies run the risk of violating applicantsâ civil rights under the ADA or Title VI requirements. Although several reports describe transit agency practices for determining eligibility for ADA paratransit service, little has been documented about how transit agencies manage appeals by applicants who are determined to be ânot eligibleâ or who are found âcondi- tionally eligible,â including temporary eligibility. This synthesis study, prepared by David Chia, identifies ADA eligibility appeal processes and documents current practices of tran- sit systems. This synthesis will assist transit agencies especially where there are gaps in resources or expertise available to address this topic. A literature review and detailed survey responses of 37 out of 45 transit agencies are provided (for an 82% response rate). An analysis on the state of the practice, emphasizing lessons learned, challenges, and gaps in information also is provided. Five case examples with varying approaches to eligibility appeals were also developed. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on page iv. This synthesis is an imme- diately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limita- tions 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. Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which infor- mation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- 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 Coopera- tive Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, âSynthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems,â searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented 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 report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE By Mariela Garcia-Colberg Staff Officer Transportation Research Board FOREWORD
AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author thanks the following individuals who contributed to the development of the transit agency case examples: Arleen Schenck, Paratransit Program Supervisor, Valley Metro Regional Public Transpor- tation Authority; Angela Budavari, ADA Certification Supervisor, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada; Kathy Miller, Manager of LIFT Eligibility and Community Relations, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon; Sara Sanford, Manager, Paratransit Eligibility, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority; and Spencer Cotton, ADA Certification Administrator, King County Department of Transportation, Metro Transit Division. The author also thanks the staff from the 32 other transit agencies whose responses to the online survey provided much of the information presented in Chapter 3.
1 Summary 4 Chapter 1 Introduction 4 Background 6 Methodology 7 Chapter 2 Literature Review 7 U.S.DOT Regulations and Other Publications 8 Research Publications 10 Advocacy Publication 11 Summary 12 Chapter 3 Survey Results 12 Paratransit Service Overview 16 Eligibility Overview 17 Appeal Program Structure and Administration 22 Appeal Committee Composition 24 Appeal Hearing Process 26 Appeal Documentation 27 Budget and Resources 28 Appeal Outcomes 31 Changes and Challenges 32 Chapter 4 Case Examples 32 Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority 35 Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada 37 Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon 39 Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority 41 King County Metro 44 Chapter 5 Conclusions and Suggestions for Future Research 44 Survey Results 45 Transit Agency Case Examples 45 Ongoing Challenges 45 Suggested Future Research 47 References A-1 Appendix A Excerpts from Literature Review Documents B-1 Appendix B Survey Questions C-1 Appendix C Sample Appeal Committee Member Confidentiality Agreement C O N T E N T S
D-1 Appendix D RTC of Southern Nevada Letter for âAppeal Remandedâ E-1 Appendix E TriMet LIFT Eligibility Appeal Policy and Appeal Procedure F-1 Appendix F Capital Metro Paratransit Eligibility Appeal Determination Form G-1 Appendix G King County Metro Paratransit Eligibility Appeal Brochure