National Academies Press: OpenBook

Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies (2019)

Chapter: Appendix D - 2016 USDOT Dear Colleague Letter

« Previous: Appendix C - Transit Interview Protocols
Page 155
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D - 2016 USDOT Dear Colleague Letter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25425.
×
Page 155
Page 156
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D - 2016 USDOT Dear Colleague Letter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25425.
×
Page 156
Page 157
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D - 2016 USDOT Dear Colleague Letter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25425.
×
Page 157

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

APPENDIX D 2016 USDOT Dear Colleague Letter

THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON. DC 20590 December 5, 2016 Dear Colleague: The U.S. Department of Transportation encourages innovation and welcomes the interest of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and other private entities in meeting the travel needs of riders through partnerships with transit agencies. I applaud the transit industry for embracing the use of innovations in technology and new mobi lity concepts to c reate a more traveler-centric mobility environment that empowers travelers to make smart mobility decisions that address their individual needs, while contributing to desirable system outcomes. With that in mind, I am writing to remind you of your obligation to ensure equ ity and access as you partner with TNCs and continue to develop relationships with other private entities that offer the potential to provide improved service at a lower cost. At the Department, we believe it is important to balance teclmological innovation with the basic civil rights principles of equity and accessibility inherent in the provision of transit service. There are basic Federal requirements that apply to transit service, includ ing partnerships with TNCs and service operated under contract or other arrangement or relationship with private entities. Some of these are conditions of eligibility for Federal assistance (Title VJ of the Civil Rights Act of 1964), while others apply independently regardless of whether Federal funding is involved (the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990). For example, TNC services typica lly rely almost exclus ively on the use of a smartphone linked to a credit or debit card to arrange for service, which presents a s ignificant barrier to lower income and limited English proficiency individuals who do not own a smartphonc and/or who do not have a credit card or bank account. Given that communities of color are disproportionall y low-income, each public transit agency has an ohligation under Title VI to ensure that alternative methods of both payment and reservations are available. Most TNCs currently lack accessible vehicles for persons with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. When your agency enters into a covered partnersh ip with a TNC, however, you must ensure that your service is accessible to and usable by persons along the fu ll spectrum of di sabilities, including both physical and intellectual disabilities. Unlike many other requirements, the transportation requirements under the ADA apply regardless of whether Federal funding is involved. The specific provisions of the Department's ADA regulations vary accord ing to type of service provided, such as whether it is fixed route or demand-responsive. Currently the majority of partnerships with TNCs involve demand-responsive service. As such, you should be aware of two important po ints. First, under DOT ADA Regulations (49 C.F'.R. sect ion 37.77), public entities operating a demand-responsive service must either acquire accessible vehicles or otherwise ensure that such services provide equivalent service to persons with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs and/or have intellectual disahilities.

2 The need for your transit agency to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles could be met in a number of ways, such as requiring the TNC to provide a sufficient quantity of vehicles as a condition of entering into an agreement with the transit agency; entering into a separate agreement with another entity tlrnt is capable of providing accessible vehicles; or relying on accessible vehicles that are already part of the paratransit fleet. Second, service is considered equivalent when persons with disabilities, including wheelchair users, are provided with the same level of service according to the following criteria (sec 49 C.F.R. section 37.77(c)): 1) Response time; 2) Fares; 3) Geographic area of service; 4) Hours and days of service; 5) Restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose; 6) Availability or information and reservations capability; and 7) Any constraints on capacity or service availability. Some transit agencies have explored integrating TNCs into their paratransit service. The Department believes that TNCs have the potential to improve the provision of paralransit service, with the possibility of lowering costs while improving service to paratransit-el igible riders. Yet, it is important to emphasize that any such service improvements must benefit all paratransit riders. It would not be appropriate, for example, to offer real-time service to ambulatory paratransit riders, while leaving wheelchair users with next-day service. Finally, it is important to ensure that TNC personnel are highly trained in professional and respectful interactions with persons with disabilities. All personnel should be familiar with requirements concerning the accommodation of service animals, for example, and personnel operating accessible vehicles must know how to operate boarding and securemcnt equipment. Where TNCs are used to provide paratransit service, personnel should be familiar with the paratransit service criteria and the requirement to provide origin-to-destination service. As long as all passengers arc receiving service according to the service criteria or in the same manner, there is nothing to prevent transit agencies from engaging the services of TNCs- including for provision of paratransit services. Once again, I commend the transit industry for embracing technology and innovation as a means to expand and improve the provision of transit services. As we embark on a new era in personal mobility, together we will ensure that our transportation system continues to provide effective mobility for all. Anthony R. Foxx

Next: Appendix E - Inventory of Transit Agencies Involved in TNC Partnerships (known as of January 2018) »
Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 204: Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) is designed to help transit agencies that have decided to pursue partnerships with one or more TNCs. The report provides information on where, when, and how partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs should be considered and pursued.

As new mobility service providers emerge, many public transit agencies have partnered, or are in the process of partnering, with such providers. Among these providers are TNCs. While partnerships between transit agencies and private mobility providers are not new, partnerships with TNCs create unique opportunities and challenges as both parties work toward mutually beneficial program models.

TCRP Report 204 provides 20 in-depth case studies of partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs. Its Partnership Playbook synthesizes lessons learned from these case studies and provides step-by-step practical guidance for transit practitioners on how they should be considered and pursued.

The report provides an up-to-date guide on partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs in all stages of development and realization. It covers partnerships developed with several target markets in mind, including:

  • First/last-mile connections to transit;
  • Customers of ADA Paratransit and Demand-Response Services;
  • People traveling in lower density environments;
  • People with late night travel needs; and
  • People with occasional trip needs (e.g. guaranteed ride home).
  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!