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ADA Paratransit Service Models (2018)

Chapter: Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Glossary of Paratransit Terms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. ADA Paratransit Service Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25092.
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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.

141 Authors’ note: Some of the definitions that apply to terms associated with ADA complemen- tary paratransit are borrowed in whole or in part from FTA Circular C 4710.1 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidelines 2015. Reference for these are noted as “See ADA Guidelines.” Readers are encouraged to seek more information about each term in the ADA Guidelines; addi- tional explanation of these terms and other terms are based on the authors’ knowledge and experience in the industry. Abandoned Calls Reservations calls that are put on hold (manually or by an automated telephone system) and that are subsequently terminated by the customer. The number of abandoned calls, if tracked by a telephone MIS, can be used as a service quality measure. A high rate of abandoned calls may indi- cate that there is an insufficient number of call takers or telephone lines. ADA Complementary Paratransit A paratransit service that transit agencies are obligated to provide to persons who cannot access or use its fixed-route bus or rail service because of their disability or disabilities. Under the ADA, the transit agency must provide the service where and when it operates fixed-route bus and rail transit service. The service area for ADA paratransit service is defined by three-quarter-mile corridors on either side of bus routes or a three- quarter-mile radius from a train station. At a minimum, service must be provided on a next-day request basis. Fares may not be more than twice the regular fixed-route bus/rail fare. Service cannot be prioritized by trip purpose. Transit agencies must provide service in such a way that there is no pattern or practice of denials, late service, missed trips, excessively long trips, telephone access, or other operational practices that suggest capacity constraints. Specific vehicle and lift/ramp specifications are also provided. See a more expanded definition in the ADA Guidelines, Chapter 8, Comple- mentary Paratransit Service. Commonly referred to as “ADA Paratransit.” Advance Request Period The period of time (before the day of the trip) when a trip request may be placed. For example, 7-day in advance, 14-day in advance, next- day. For ADA paratransit services, transit agencies must provide, at a minimum, next-day service. This means that customers can request service for a Wednesday trip by calling during normal business hours on Tuesday. This requirement also means that transit agencies must provide a way for customers to request service for Sunday or Monday if the administrative offices are closed on the weekend. The ADA Guide- lines note that same-day service is not required, although some systems do provide same-day service, most are on an “as available” basis and/or in response to request for will-call returns. A P P E N D I X A Glossary of Paratransit Terms

142 ADA Paratransit Service Models Alternate Service A transit-subsidized mobility option offered by a transit agency to ADA paratransit customers. The service must be compliant with the ADA but does not fall under the service criteria governing ADA Complementary Paratransit. This is because: (1) the decision to use the alternative service is totally up to the customer; (2) while the transit agency can offer/suggest the alternative service option, the customer may still choose to use the ADA paratransit service; (3) a customer choosing to use the alternative service does not impact the customer’s ADA paratransit eligibility or right to continue to request trips on the ADA paratransit service; and (4) none of the vehicles used are owned, operated, or controlled by the transit agency. In the industry, these alternative services are sometimes referred to as “non-ADA-paratransit alternative” services. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 contains provisions for the acquisition of accessible vehicles by public and private entities, requirements for ADA complementary paratransit service by public entities operating a fixed-route transit system, and nondiscriminatory accessible transportation service. See USDOT 49 CFR Part 37, as well as the ADA Guidelines. Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) System Computer-based vehicle tracking systems based on location tech- nology, such as the Global Positioning System. Transmitter devices on board vehicles (or in smartphones or tablets) are used in conjunc- tion with location technology to transmit the location of the vehicle to the dispatching software or app. In conjunction with some paratransit scheduling software and on-board equipment, the AVL system in con- junction with other software can be used to record the arrival and depar- ture time data at each stop. The AVL system is also integral to dispatchers verifying the vehicle location as part of processing a no-show request from the driver or in response to an accident or emergency. AVL systems can also provide navigation assistance to the driver. Batch Scheduling An automated process available with most paratransit schedul- ing systems to schedule all or a designated set of trips onto scheduled runs, based on a set of scheduling parameters established by the transit agency or contractor. Similar “optimization” processes can later refine the initial batch scheduling results to respond to trip cancellations and any other changes that occur in between. Brokerage A paratransit brokerage serves as a middleman between one or more trip-sponsoring (funding) agencies and a complex (multi-carrier) ser- vice delivery network. Typically, the broker enters into a main agree- ment with a transit agency but also with other funding sponsors, and also contracts with and pays each service provider. The broker’s respon- sibilities may also involve organizing the service delivery network, and other functions more typically associated with the funding agencies (e.g., eligibility determination, fare media or account management, and customer service functions). • Administrative Broker: A broker that provides oversight and service provider monitoring, but does not perform any of the call center or service delivery functions.

Glossary of Paratransit Terms 143 • Operational or Full-Service Broker: A broker that provides oversight and service provider monitoring, but also performs some or all of the call center functions. • Partial Broker: An operational broker that also is permitted by the contracting transit agency to provide some of the dedicated service. Call (and Control) Center Manager A call (and control) center manager is similar to an operational broker; however, the contractor who is retained to perform some or all of the call center functions does not contract with the service providers. Instead, the transit agency directly contracts with the service providers. Thus, there is no contractual relationship between the call and control center manager and the service providers. The term “control” is typically added to a call center manager’s role when the role includes scheduling and dispatching. While there are many iterations of the exact functions of a call and control center manager, the two most common versions of this model are: 1. The contractor performs all four of the call center functions (reser- vations, scheduling, dispatching, and handling customers’ same-day issues/ETA calls), with service delivery performed by the service pro- vider contractors. This is more commonly referred to as a call and control center contractor, as the contractor is controlling the move- ment of the vehicle via dispatching. 2. The contractor performs all center functions except for the dispatch function, which is assigned to the service providers. Companion A passenger who is allowed to accompany a paratransit customer. For ADA complementary paratransit systems, a customer is permit- ted to have one accompanying companion, as long as the trip time and the trip’s origin and destination of the companion’s trip is exactly the same as the ADA paratransit customer’s. A companion fare is the same as the customer fare. Additional companions may accompany the ADA paratransit customer on the trip on a space-available basis. Confirmation Calls/Texts Calls or texts made by paratransit staff or automated calls/texts sent via an interactive voice recognition (IVR) system that are sent to customers the evening before the trip to remind customers of the trip details of each trip scheduled for the next day. Confirmation calls/texts are generally a good idea, and can help reduce no-shows, but are essential where a transit agency elects not to specify a confirmed scheduled time or pick-up win- dow immediately after a trip request is booked and while the customer is still on the telephone. In such cases (e.g., in which the scheduling process is completed after the reservations hours and the scheduling process may shift requested times within specific parameters), the confirmation call serves to provide the confirmed pick-up time/window to the customer. Contract Rate Structure A contract rate structure defines how a broker, call center manager, or service provider contractor is paid. For brokers and call center managers, contract rates typically are based on a per-trip rate, or can be based on annually negotiated “cost- plus” arrangements. If the latter, and in the case of brokers, carriers’ costs are usually a “pass-through” cost. Call center managers are some- times paid by the call, especially in cases where the call center manager does not provide scheduling or dispatching.

144 ADA Paratransit Service Models For carriers providing dedicated service, contract rates typically rate structures for paratransit include per revenue vehicle hour or per trip. Revenue vehicle hours often begin with the first pick-up and end at the last drop-off of a run, although they sometimes are calculated from pull-out to pull-in, and, in the case of revenue hours, sometimes exclude lunch breaks and/or breaks of a predetermined minimum length. For carriers providing non-dedicated service, contract rates are typi- cally based on a per-trip amount, a per-mile rate (or a trip distance or zone-based system), or both. Contract rates might also be split into a monthly fixed amount cov- ering expenses that do not change significantly with the change in ser- vice volume, and a variable rate (per revenue vehicle hour, per revenue mile, or per trip) to cover costs that could change significantly with a change in service volume. Coordinated Transportation Services where customers or clients from more than one program (e.g., ADA and HST) are served through one service or network, with ADA and HST customers commingled in vehicles. Cost Efficiency Cost efficiency for paratransit systems is usually measured in terms of cost per trip, although it can also be measured in terms of cost per mile, and for dedicated service, cost per hour. The lower the cost per trip, the more cost efficient the system. Service productivity, typically measured in trips per hour, can serve as a surrogate measure for cost efficiency, but only for dedicated service. Curb-To-Curb Service A level of demand-responsive service where the pick-ups and drop-offs of passengers are performed at the curb or roadside nearest their origin or destination. Passenger assistance is not provided other than for actual boarding and alighting. For ADA paratransit, a transit agency may provide ADA paratransit in a curb-to-curb or door-to- door mode. However, if an ADA paratransit system is provided in a curb-to-curb mode as its primary means of providing service, it must provide assistance to those passengers who need assistance beyond the curb in order to use the service, unless such assistance would result in a fundamental alteration or direct threat. This is called “origin- to-destination” service, and is a requirement under the ADA. Transit agencies that do operate their ADA paratransit services primarily on a curb-to-curb basis will provide driver assistance beyond the curb when requested by the customer, either as a default or as-needed trip- by-trip request. Dedicated Service A service where the vehicles in operation are only used to serve customer trips of a specified service (ADA paratransit) or a coordi- nated set of programs) during a specified period of time. (See also Non-Dedicated Service.) Most ADA paratransit services are served in a 100% dedicated fashion, although several also have a non- dedicated service component. Demand Curve or Demand Profile A graph depicting the volume of trip requests (or trips served) during the service day, typically broken down by hour or half-hour segments.

Glossary of Paratransit Terms 145 Demand-Response Transportation (DRT) Any transportation system, including the provision of designated public transportation service by public entities or the provision of trans- portation by private entities, which is not a fixed-route system. (See Fixed Route Transit). In essence, these are services where vehicles are routed based on customer-requested pick-up and drop-off locations and where customers request service on an advance-request, same-day, or immediate, on-demand basis. DRT services can be designated for a specific set of customers or for the general public in a designated area. Most DRT services provide service on a door-to-door or curb-to-curb basis. Some provide pick-ups and drop-offs only from specific points. Demand-Responsive Feeder or Connector A DRT service (or element of a larger DRT service) in which vehi- cles operate in a demand-responsive mode, typically within a zone or defined area, and connect customers to a fixed-route transit network. In ADA paratransit systems, a transit agency may provide such services to customers who are able to use the fixed-route service once they are at an accessible station or stop on the fixed-route transit system, but cannot otherwise get to/from the station or stop because of barriers in the pedestrian environment. This also includes taking customers to/from nearby accessible stations and stops if the closest to them are not accessible. These services or service elements are sometimes also referred to as “feeder/distributor” systems. Denial For ADA paratransit, a trip denial is when a next-day trip request is not accepted. Examples include: (1) when a next-day trip request cannot be accommodated, presumably because of a capacity constraint; (2) when the only way to accommodate that trip is to negotiate a pick-up time beyond the “useful” hour (1 hour on either side of the initial request time, as long as it is possible for the customer), whether or not the cus- tomer accepts the trip booking at that time; and (3) when one leg of a round trip cannot be accommodated. In the latter case, if the customer does not take the offered one-way trip, both legs of the requested trip are to be documented as denials. Under the ADA, a transit agency shall not exhibit a pattern or practice of denials for its ADA paratransit service. Dial-A-Ride A form of demand-responsive public transportation without fixed stops or fixed schedules in which vehicle routing is determined entirely in response to passenger service requests made by telephone or similar means. While the term Dial-A-Ride is sometimes used as a synonym of DRT, paratransit, and even ADA paratransit, it is more commonly used by industry practitioners to distinguish a DRT system that has an eligibility that is broader than ADA paratransit (e.g., general public, seniors, and disabled). Dispatching The dispatching function is divided into Radio Dispatching and Window Dispatching. Both involve activities that are associated with the control of vehicles on the day of service. Radio Dispatching is the process of monitoring vehicle operations and issuing voice instructions (via radio or cell phone) or text messaging (via MDTs or tablets or smartphones) to drivers to make adjustments to a pre- planned schedule. This may involve making sure that the drivers are keep- ing up with their schedules, responding to no-shows, assisting drivers with incidents and emergencies, communicating late cancellations to the

146 ADA Paratransit Service Models drivers, scheduling same-day add-on trips to vehicle runs and commu- nicating these add-on trips to the drivers, switching trips from one run to another in response to vehicles running late or to vehicles that have become disabled and communicating these changes to the drivers, assist- ing lost drivers, responding to the ETA/WMR calls from customers, and, where the system has MDT/AVL capabilities, ensuring that the proper pick-up/drop-off times are being entered into the system, and ensuring that the vehicle is in the right place. Generally, paratransit practitioners use the term “dispatching” as a substitute for radio dispatching. Window Dispatching involves assigning vehicle drivers and vehicles to scheduled vehicle runs, providing the driver manifests for each vehicle run to the assigned driver, recording shift start and end times, and pull- out and pull-in times and mileages. Door-to-Door Service A level of demand-responsive service where the driver escorts or physically assists passengers between the vehicle and door of the ori- gin or destination. Door-to-door service provides a higher level of assistance than curb-to-curb service. For ADA paratransit, a transit agency may provide ADA paratransit in a curb-to-curb mode or door- to-door mode. However, if an ADA paratransit system is provided in a curb-to-curb mode as its primary means of providing service, it must provide assistance to those passengers who need assistance beyond the curb in order to use the service unless such assistance would result in a fundamental alteration or direct threat. This is called “origin-to- destination” service, and is a requirement under the ADA. Transit agen- cies that do operate their ADA paratransit services primarily on a curb-to- curb basis will provide driver assistance beyond the curb when requested by the customer, either as a default or as-needed tip-by-trip request. Driver Manifest, Trip Manifest, or Trip Sheet A printed or electronic driver/trip manifest/sheet includes the list of trips or stops in the proper sequence for a specific vehicle run, along with needed information about the customers to be transported (name, mobility device used, disability, etc.). The manifests also provide spaces or capabilities for the driver to document actual service data that per- tain to each trip and stop (that is not captured automatically), and run-level summary information. Driver Wait Time The number of minutes a driver is instructed to wait for a customer after arriving at the pick-up location (and within the pick-up window), before calling the dispatcher to indicate a no-show and to get instructions as to whether the driver should wait longer or proceed to the next stop. Drop-Off Window A policy established by the transit agency to gauge on-time versus late trips for trips that are requested based on a stated appointment time or drop-off time. Typically, the drop-window is bounded on the later end by the stated appointment or drop-off time and on the earlier end by a fixed number of minutes in advance of the stated appointment time or drop-off time. Dwell Time The time it typically takes to load or unload a passenger. Includes Driver Wait Time, use of the lift or ramp, and securement of the pas- senger. Computerized scheduling systems often accommodate different dwell times for ambulatory and non-ambulatory customers.

Glossary of Paratransit Terms 147 ETA Calls Calls placed by the customer prior to the vehicle arrival to get an esti- mated time of arrival of the vehicle to which their trip has been sched- uled or dispatched. Transit systems typically have policies which direct customers to only make these calls after the end of the pick-up window if the vehicle has not yet arrived. These are sometime called “trip status” calls and “Where’s my ride” calls. Excessively Long Trip The duration of a paratransit trip is often called ride time, travel time, on-board time or in-vehicle time. For ADA paratransit services, there shall not be a pattern or practice of trip durations that take longer than the same trip made on transit at the same time, includ- ing travel time to/from bus stops or rail stations, wait times at those stops, and transfer times. Transit agencies are obligated to ensure that there are no patterns or practices of excessively long trips. However, contributing factors that are beyond the control of the transit agency are not a basis for determining that a pattern or practice of excessively long trips exists. Fixed-Route Transit Any transportation system, including the provision of designated public transportation service by public entities or the provision of transportation by private entities, on which a vehicle is operated along a prescribed route according to a fixed schedule. Geographic Information System (GIS) A system that is used to display service areas and other locations. GIS systems interface with automated paratransit systems to locate addresses and distances for scheduling purposes, and with AVL sys- tems to locate vehicles. Global Positioning System (GPS) Technology using signals transmitted from a network of satellites in orbit to determine locations on the earth. Hold Time The period of time that a caller is placed on hold. Some telephone systems track and differentiate between initial hold time (up until a customer first speaks with a call taker) and total hold time. Average hold time and maximum hold time can be used as a service quality measure. Many systems track hold times for different functions (e.g., reservations and responding to ETA calls). Human Service Agency A public or not-for-profit organization that provides services for essential needs such as medical care, income support, housing, edu- cation, training, and public health, typically for people requiring help due to age, disability, low income, or similar reasons. Human Service Transportation (HST) Transportation provided by or on behalf of a human service agency to bring people participating in the agency’s programs or services to those programs or services. Imminent Arrival Call (or Text) A call or text, enabled by IVR technology, that is automatically sent to the customer when the vehicle to which the customer’s trip is assigned is a certain distance from the designated pick-up location (e.g., a half-mile) or is due to arrive within a specified period of time (e.g., 5 minutes away). These calls/texts can also be triggered manu- ally by the driver. Its purpose is to provide an advance notice that the vehicle is due to arrive soon. This type of technology is particularly helpful for systems with broad pick-up windows.

148 ADA Paratransit Service Models Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Advanced technologies applied to various aspects of transpor- tation to enhance mobility, energy efficiency, and environmental protection. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) A software system that accepts a combination of voice telephone input and touch-tone keypad selection and provides appropriate responses in the form of voice, fax, callback, e-mail, text, or other media. IVR is usually part of a larger application that includes data- base access. Many paratransit systems use the IVR system in conjunc- tion with their paratransit scheduling system to (1) allow customers to look up the details of their trips; (2) to directly book or cancel a trip; (3) to call or text a confirmation notice the evening before a trip is to be made; and/or (4) to call or text an imminent arrival call, which can be automatically triggered by the actual vehicle location or by the driver. Late Trip A vehicle is considered late if the vehicle arrives after the pick-up window and the trip is completed by the customer. Some systems also include in the late trip definition if the customers was dropped off after the drop-off window (or after the requested drop-off time or stated appointment time). Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) On-board monitors/keyboards or computers that are used to com- municate data between the vehicle and the dispatch office. Some- times also refers to an integrated on-board device that combines a mobile data terminal with a vehicle logic unit and other devices such as GPS, a communications interface, or smart card reader. MDTs are typically used to display today’s schedule (driver manifest) for that vehicle, taking the place of a paper driver manifest. Much of the information typically entered onto the driver manifest by hand (e.g., pull-out and pull-in times and odometer readings, actual arrival time and departure time at each stop, the odometer reading at each stop, break times) is instead entered into the MDT by the push of a button. The drivers can transmit codes back to the radio dispatcher, rather than by voice, for standard communications. Also, radio dis- patchers can transmit add-ons, late cancellations, and changes to the drivers via the MDTs. More recently, many systems are now using e-tables instead of MDTs. Also sometimes called Mobile Data Com- puters (MDC). Missed Trip This is a trip that was scheduled to be served but was not served due to provider or driver error or adverse operational circum- stances. This is not a customer no-show, where the customer was at fault. There are three types of instances that constitute a missed trip: (1) the vehicle never arrives at the designated pick-up location; (2) the vehicle does arrive at the designated pick-up location, but after the confirmed pick-up window and the customer is not pres- ent or cancels-at-door; and (3) the vehicle does arrive at the desig- nated pick-up location earlier than the end of the pick-up window, and the driver departs before waiting the required number of min- utes (see Driver Wait Time). If the vehicle arrives after the pick-up window and the customer agrees to still make the trip, it is consid- ered a late trip and not a missed a trip.

Glossary of Paratransit Terms 149 Negotiated (or Confirmed) Pick-Up Time and Window Pick-up times are typically confirmed immediately after the book- ing of the trip request is completed. This is most often done with the help of paratransit scheduling software, which can be configured to offer different pick-up time options for the customer. Once the customer chooses a specific pick-up time, the pick-up window (and drop-off window, if used) is confirmed for the customer while they are still on the telephone. In the case of ADA paratransit services, if no options are suggested by the software, transit agencies may negoti- ate an alternative pick-up time within a “usable hour,” meaning that the agency can seek an alternative pick-up time that will result in a confirmed pick-up time within an hour of the originally requested pick-up time, as long as this is possible for the customer. Some transit agencies simply accept the requested pick-up time or drop-off time at the time of the request, and perform scheduling later. In these cases, the scheduling system works to minimize any changes in the requested times and, after the scheduling has been completed the evening before the trip, sends out confirmation calls to the customer with the confirmed pick-up time or window. Non-Dedicated Service A type of service where the vehicles in operation are not solely dedi- cated to the transportation of customers of a transportation program (or coordinated set of programs). One example includes a taxi that can be a resource to provide an ADA paratransit trip, but is otherwise serv- ing the general public or another contract. Another example is a carrier vehicle that carries an ADA paratransit service along with another pas- senger not sponsored by the transit agency or otherwise connected with a coordinated service. Non-dedicated service is used in conjunction with dedicated service to meet peak demands or other situations where the use of additional dedicated vehicles may not be cost-effective or possible. On-Demand Service A DRT service that is available on an immediate request basis. On-Time Trip A trip is typically considered on-time if the vehicle arrives within the pick-up window and the trip is completed by the customer. Some systems also include in the on-time trip definition if the customers was dropped off within the drop-off window (or by the requested drop-off time or stated appointment time). Paratransit Most commonly refers to specialized demand-responsive transpor- tation (DRT) service provided for seniors and people with disabilities, especially ADA paratransit. Historically used to refer to a variety of shared-ride transportation services other than conventional fixed-route transit service, and usually using small vehicles. ADA Complementary Paratransit (also often referred to as just ADA Paratransit) is a type of paratransit. Partial Shift See Split Shift. Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Individuals who accompany an ADA paratransit customer on a trip, at the same time and the same pick-up and drop-off locations, but are needed by the customer for the customer to be able to make the trip, regardless of whether that assistance is performed in the vehicle and/or between the vehicle and the origin or destination. PCA fares are free.

150 ADA Paratransit Service Models Pick-Up Window A window of time, constructed from the negotiated pick-up time, in which a vehicle may arrive for a pick-up and not be deemed early or late. For example, a common pick-up window is ±15 minutes from the negotiated pick-up time. Many systems do not quote a confirmed pick-up time to a customer, but instead quote a pick-up window, with the understanding that if the vehicle arrives within the pick-up window, it is on-time. Some systems also have a Drop-Off Window. Productivity A measure of the quantity of desired results produced per unit of resources applied. In paratransit (and especially for dedicated service), productivity is commonly measured using passenger trips per hour. Unfortunately, systems do not all define “passenger trips” and “hours” the same way. With some systems, trips are defined as total passen- ger trips, including personal care assistants, companions, etc. In other systems, trips are defined as just the program-eligible passengers. As the denominator for the productivity calculation, most systems use Rev- enue Vehicle Hours. The National Transit Database defines revenue vehicle hour as first pick-up to last drop-off less breaks, whereas Total Vehicle Hours also includes the breaks and the deadheading to and from the yard, and hence pull-out to pull-in. Many systems with both dedicated service and non-dedicated service report productivity separately for each because RVHs on taxis do not include deadheading time or downtime. Reservations The process of receiving and booking requests for same-day, advance- reservation, and/or subscription (standing order) trips. In many sys- tems, the staff that receive reservations also receive process cancellations and change-orders, and provide general information about the system and other customer service functions. Often reservation agents also han- dle ETA calls. For ADA paratransit services, next-day reservations are required, at a minimum. See the related discussion above under Advance Request Period. Revenue Vehicle Hour (RVH) For DRT services, the span of time when a vehicle is available for carrying passengers but excluding deadhead time to and from a vehicle storage location and lunches or other scheduled breaks. Ride Time or On-Board Travel Time The time a customer is on board the vehicle. Many paratransit sys- tems have established a maximum ride time as a scheduling parameter and service quality measure. Transit agencies are obligated to make sure that there are no patterns of excessively long trips, as measured against the time it would take for the customer to make the same trip on transit at the same time. Run A piece of work in dedicated service, bookended by a start and end time when the vehicle departs from the garage (or base or storage loca- tion) and returns to the garage, i.e., the piece of work that a driver performs between pull-out and pull-in. Trip requests are scheduled onto specific vehicle runs. Also called a “vehicle run.” Run Structure The set of dedicated vehicle runs that are constructed in such a way as to provide adequate capacity at various times of the service day. The run structure may include a combination of straight runs, split runs, and/or partial or part-time runs, with staggered start and end times, and accom- modations for deadheading and breaks, and are generally constructed to match the demand curve. Run structures are often depicted with bar graphs for comparison with the demand curves for the same day.

Glossary of Paratransit Terms 151 Scheduling In a demand-responsive service, the process of determining the path and schedule of vehicles in the system so that they serve the trips that have been requested. Also, the process of assigning a booked trip request to a specific vehicle run, and determining in the vehicle run the scheduled (as opposed to requested) pick-up time and drop-off times for the trip. In some systems, trip requests are initially scheduled onto a vehicle run immediately after the trip request is booked and while the customer is still on the phone; this is called real-time or immediate scheduling. Some of these systems also have automated batch scheduling capabilities, where the system schedules all trips to be scheduled as efficiently as it knows how, noting most operations that utilize batch scheduling have schedul- ers review and further refine the schedule, as needed. In a system that permits trips to be requested on short notice, the process of scheduling may be merged with dispatching. This is known as dynamic scheduling. In cases where a system utilizes taxi contractors (or other non- dedicated service providers), the scheduling process also includes assigning the unscheduled trips to the non-dedicated provider for sub- sequent dispatching by the provider; this includes giving/sending the list of such trips to the provider. Computerized paratransit scheduling systems typically have auto- mated scheduling capabilities, which are based on GIS maps of the ser- vice area that underlie the system and are based on various parameters such as average vehicle speed, allowable pick-up window, dwell times, and maximum on-board travel time, suggesting one or more runs onto which the trip would fit. Semi-Dedicated Service Trips assigned to taxis (or other NDSPs) that are grouped (or clus- tered) into a mini-run that is typically between 2 and 4 hours prior to their being dispatched to a particulate driver or vehicle. Service Area, Days and Hours The service area within which a paratransit customer can make a trip and the span when a paratransit service is available. For ADA paratran- sit service, service area, days, and hours must complement that of the fixed route transit service. In general, if a person can travel to a given destination using a fixed route on a specific day and at a specific time, an ADA paratransit–eligible customer must be able to make the same trip on the ADA paratransit service. If the fixed-route service expands or contracts—spatially or temporally—so too can the ADA paratransit service area, days, and hours. The ADA paratransit service area that is minimally required is defined as three-quarter miles on either side of an operating fixed route; this is often referred to as the three-quarter- mile fixed-route corridor. Also included in the area are “small” areas that are surrounded by the fixed-route corridors. For transit agencies with rail systems, the ADA paratransit service area also includes the area within a three-quarter-mile radius of the stations. Service Equivalency Service equivalency is a condition of the provision of alternative ser- vices and general public services. There are seven service characteristics for determining equivalency for riders with disabilities: • Response time (see also Advance Request Period) and reservations hours must be the same for all customers.

152 ADA Paratransit Service Models • Fares must be the same for all customers. • Service area, days, and hours must be the same for all customers. • Restrictions or priorities on trip purpose must be the same for all customers. • Availability of information and reservations capability must be equivalent; for example, this means that transit agencies must pro- vide information in alternative formats (large print, Braille, audio, accessible electronic files for persons who use readers) and provide customers with hearing or speech difficulties with equal access to the trip reservations system. • Constraints on capacity or service availability shall apply equally to all customers. Service Mix Dedicated service can be combined with non-dedicated service as an efficient response to the demand. The combination of these two dif- ferent types of service is often referred to as a service mix, and is often expressed as the ratio of dedicated service to non-dedicated service (e.g., a 70%/30% service mix has 70% of the trips served by dedicated service vehicles and 30% service by non-dedicated service providers). Slack Time The amount by which the time scheduled for a process exceeds the time required for its completion. In DRT or flexible transit, slack time refers to time in a vehicle schedule that is available to schedule a deviation or an additional passenger stop without affecting the rest of the schedule. Split Shift A driver assignment that has two distinct pieces during a given day, with a period of non-paid, non-work in between. This is not to be con- fused with a straight shift with a lunch break. A split shift has two sets of starting and ending times in one day. If the two pieces are assigned to two different drivers, each piece is often referred to as a Partial Shift. Split Structure This is a service model where the transit agency and one or more contractors split the responsibilities for call and control functions and/or operations. Standing Order or Subscription Trip One and the same and typically defined as trips of a specific cus- tomer that recur in a regular pattern (e.g., at least once a week and that go to and from the same origin and destination at the same times). This might include a daily work trip, a senior nutrition trip, or a Monday/ Wednesday/Friday dialysis trip, for example. They involve a one-time request, and hence are booked automatically after the one-time request is processed. Customers call again only to cancel, or to arrange a tem- porary suspension. With automated scheduling systems, standing orders are scheduled onto runs in templates for each day of the week. When the template is used to create the schedule for a specific date, all the standing order trips that were scheduled into runs in the template are copied over into the respective runs for that date (unless there is a customer or trip suspension). This is done before the rest of scheduling process begins. If an ADA paratransit system is capacity-constrained, then the sys- tem, by law, is limited to having standing orders represent no more than 50% of the trips served at any time of day. However, if there is no capacity constraint during a specific day and period, a transit agency may exceed this limit during that time.

Glossary of Paratransit Terms 153 Straight Shift A driver assignment that has one starting time and one ending time in a given day. Total or Service Hours Includes all RVHs plus all other “gate-to-gate” hours when the vehi- cle is not at the garage or base or vehicle storage location; this includes all deadheading and breaks. It does not include the operation of the vehicle to a remote vehicle maintenance location. Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) Technological services enabling customers to request and pre-pay for rides with an app. This includes such companies as Uber and Lyft. Also called ride-hailing companies. Trip In the paratransit industry, a trip reflects a one-way and is usually synonymous with a “passenger trip,” which is a movement of a passen- ger from origin to destination. A round trip consists of two trips. Total trips usually include trips taken by customers, PCAs, and companions, whereas customer trips include just trips taken by customers. Produc- tivity figures can vary depending on what type is or is not included. See Productivity. Trip Time Negotiation The process in reservations of negotiating an alternative pick-up to the one requested in order to create a more efficient schedule or to be able to accommodate the trip request. For ADA Paratransit systems, negotiated trip times that are more than a “usable” 60 minutes before or after the requested pick-up time constitute denials, regardless of whether the customer agrees to the offered pick-up time or not. Turnkey Contract A contract to provide all operational functions, including reser- vations, scheduling, dispatching, handling ETA calls, operations, and maintenance. It can also include the provision of an operations/ maintenance facility, paratransit scheduling software (and hardware), and/or vehicles. It seldom includes, but can include, the eligibility determination function. Vehicle Run See Run. Where’s My Ride Calls See ETA Calls. Will Call Return Trips Round-trip requests that are booked with an unspecified return pick- up time. Some systems permit will-call return trips for medical appoint- ments and dialysis trips, where there is wide fluctuation (beyond the control of the customer) as to when the customer will be ready to go home. So, instead of scheduling the return trip pick-up time, the return is left open. When the customer is ready to be picked up, the customer calls and the dispatcher “live-dispatches” the trip to a vehicle, much like a taxi dispatcher. Systems with many will-call trips will typically enlist a NDSP resource to address these trips.

Next: Appendix B - List of Acronyms and Abbreviations »
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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 135: ADA Paratransit Service Models provides information about current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant paratransit service models and the underlying reasons why specific transit agencies have opted to keep or change their service model. ADA paratransit demand continues to grow while resources are dwindling. For that reason, transit agencies nationwide are exploring service models to more effectively meet present and future demand. This synthesis study explains available service delivery models to date, and documents the way various elements of the service and contracts are structured to enhance the likelihood of achieving certain results related to cost efficiency, service quality, or the balance of the two.

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