National Academies Press: OpenBook

ADA Paratransit Service Models (2018)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Introduction

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Page 12
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." 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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Page 12
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." 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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Page 13

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12 Project Goals As ADA paratransit demand continues to grow, transit agencies nationwide have implemented small to wholesale changes in their service models to more effectively meet present and future demand. Moreover, in the case of larger ADA paratransit systems where the use of contractors— for service delivery as well as for call and control center functions—is more prevalent, these changes have also brought about new and varied ways in which contractors are used and retained. Thus, the primary objectives of this synthesis were (1) to document the various ways in which ADA paratransit services and contracts are structured; (2) to document how these structures have been used to help transit agencies achieve their desired balance between cost efficiency and ser- vice quality; and (3) to identify the underlying reasons for the evolution of the paratransit service models, especially: • Why a transit agency established and kept a particular service model • Why a transit agency decided to modify its service model and whether the associated benefits/ goals were realized. A fourth objective of the synthesis was to determine whether there appears to be any correla- tion between particular service models and how contractors are procured and paid. Also of interest was to identify: • Whether service models stem from the governmental structure of the transit agency and/or the size of the service area • How service models have been affected by new and emerging technologies and services • How service models have been affected by labor issues • How the number, type, and responsibilities of the contractor(s) affect the level of transit agency oversight. Methodology The methodology employed to undertake this effort included: • Conducting a literature review • Preparing a summary of service model “archetypes” based on the literature review and the synthesis team’s industry knowledge • Compiling a preliminary list of possible ADA paratransit services to survey that collectively represented the archetypes • Developing a survey instrument that fulfilled the project goals • Refining both the list of services and survey instrument based on input from the project panel C h a p t e r 1 Introduction

Introduction 13 • Contacting representatives from each service to gauge their willingness to participate in the project • Setting up the survey in SurveyMonkey and sending instructions to each of the contacts • Scheduling and conducting follow-up and clarification calls with each contact as needed • Transferring the survey data into a spreadsheet • Preparing mini-profiles of each respondent and analyzing the survey results • Preparing a draft report, which was submitted to the panel for review and later discussed with the panel • Incorporating panel feedback into this second draft. Report Organization The report is organized as follows: • Summary • Chapter 1: Introduction • Chapter 2: Literature Review • Chapter 3: Service Design Archetypes and Contracting Strategies • Chapter 4: Survey and Service Profiles • Chapter 5: Survey Analysis Summary • Chapter 6: Conclusions • References • Appendix A: Glossary of Paratransit Terms • Appendix B: List of Acronyms and Abbreviations • Appendix C: Survey Questionnaire • Appendix D: Survey Responses by Question

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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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