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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26860.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26860.
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Page iii
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26860.
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Page iv
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26860.
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Page v
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26860.
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Page vi
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26860.
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© 2022 by the National Academy of Sciences. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the graphical logo are trademarks of the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research for this document was conducted through one or more programs administered by the Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine:  Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) research is sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP) research is sponsored by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) research is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) research is sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation. 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 endorsement by TRB and any of its program sponsors 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. DISCLAIMER To facilitate more timely dissemination of research findings, this pre-publication document is taken directly from the submission of the research agency. The material has not been edited by TRB. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this document are those of the researchers who performed the research. They are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board does not develop, issue, or publish standards or specifications. The Transportation Research Board manages applied research projects which provide the scientific foundation that may be used by Transportation Research Board sponsors, industry associations, or other organizations as the basis for revised practices, procedures, or specifications. The Transportation Research Board, the National Academies, and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. This pre-publication document IS NOT an official publication of the Cooperative Research Programs; the Transportation Research Board; or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Recommended citation: KFH Group, Incorporated, and Texas A&M Transportation Institute. 2022. Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program. Pre- publication draft of TCRP Research Report 239. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.

| ii | Contents Summary Part 1 Alternative Service Guidance Chapter 1: Introduction to the Guidebook What is an Alternative Service? ....................................................................................................... 1-1 Alternative Service: It’s a Subsidy Program! .................................................................... 1-1 Background to the Research Project ............................................................................................ 1-3 Products of the Research Project ......................................................................................... 1-4 What’s in the Guidebook? ................................................................................................................ 1-5 Chapter 2: The Alternative Service Primer Start at the Beginning ........................................................................................................................ 2-1 Why Do Transit Agencies Implement Alternative Services? ................................................ 2-2 To Reduce the Cost of Providing ADA Paratransit Service ......................................... 2-2 To Provide Riders with Additional Mobility and Access .............................................. 2-3 To Enhance the Rider Experience ........................................................................................ 2-4 An Alternative Service’s Basic Characteristic: It’s a Subsidy Program! ............................. 2-5 How are Trips Requested and Dispatched? ............................................................................... 2-7 Requesting Service Directly from a Taxi Provider ......................................................... 2-7 Requesting Service through a Call/Control Center ....................................................... 2-7 Requesting Service through a TNC App ........................................................................... 2-8 How is the Service Delivery Structure Designed? .................................................................... 2-9 One Transportation Provider ................................................................................................ 2-9 Multiple Transportation Providers ...................................................................................... 2-9 Reporting and Data Sharing .......................................................................................................... 2-10 How is the Impact on Overall Cost Calculated? ..................................................................... 2-11 Chapter 3: Planning and Design of an Alternative Service Planning ................................................................................................................................................... 3-1 Define and Document Objectives ....................................................................................... 3-2 Learn from Other Transit Agencies .................................................................................... 3-4 Discuss with Advisory Group and Key Disability Community Stakeholders ........ 3-4 Ensure Policy Board Support ................................................................................................ 3-5 Recognize and Address Issues for Internal Follow-Up ................................................. 3-5 Budget and Funding ................................................................................................................ 3-7

| iii | Design ....................................................................................................................................................... 3-8 Provider-Side or User-Side Subsidy? .................................................................................. 3-8 Consider Potential Providers ................................................................................................ 3-9 The Regulatory Framework ................................................................................................. 3-11 Finalize Design and Policies for the Alternative Service ........................................... 3-17 Checklist ................................................................................................................................................. 3-22 Chapter 4: Implementation Procurement .......................................................................................................................................... 4-1 Seeking One Provider or More Than One? ...................................................................... 4-2 Issue RFP...................................................................................................................................... 4-2 Start Slowly ............................................................................................................................................. 4-7 Start Service as a Pilot ............................................................................................................ 4-7 Start with a Subset of Riders ................................................................................................. 4-7 Contract ................................................................................................................................................... 4-8 Contract Document ................................................................................................................. 4-8 Timeline ....................................................................................................................................... 4-9 User Information and Marketing Materials ................................................................................ 4-9 Service Start-Up .................................................................................................................................. 4-11 Checklist ................................................................................................................................................. 4-12 Chapter 5: Monitoring and Evaluation Monitor Data Trends ........................................................................................................................... 5-1 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................. 5-1 Rider Feedback .......................................................................................................................... 5-2 Evaluate .................................................................................................................................................... 5-3 Does the Alternative Service Achieve the Primary Objectives? ................................ 5-3 Report Back to the Board ....................................................................................................... 5-6 Should There Be Adjustments or Revisions? ............................................................................. 5-6 Modify Contracts as Needed ........................................................................................................... 5-7 Use the Data Tool to Estimate Cost Reduction ........................................................................ 5-7 Checklist ................................................................................................................................................... 5-8 Chapter 6: The Data Tool – “ASET” Background ............................................................................................................................................ 6-1 Starting Out in ASET ........................................................................................................................... 6-1 Planning Calculator ............................................................................................................................. 6-4 Baseline Paratransit Inputs (Annual) ................................................................................. 6-4 Cost Savings Calculator ..................................................................................................................... 6-9 Paratransit Inputs (Annual) .................................................................................................. 6-9 Checklist ................................................................................................................................................. 6-12

| iv | Chapter 7: Case Study Summaries Introduction............................................................................................................................................ 7-1 Snapshots of the Case Studies ........................................................................................................ 7-2 Boston, MA, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) - On-Demand/The RIDE Flex ............................................................................................... 7-2 Broward County, FL, Broward County Transit (BCT) - Rider’s Choice Program .. 7-3 Flagstaff, AZ, Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) dba Mountain Line - Paratransit Taxi Program ..................... 7-4 Richmond, VA, Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) - CARE On-Demand ................................................................................................................ 7-5 San Antonio, TX, VIA Metropolitan Transit (VIA) -Taxi Subsidy Program............. 7-6 Part 2 Research Findings Chapter 8: Regulatory Framework – Laws, Regulations, and Guidance Introduction............................................................................................................................................ 8-1 Definitions of Regulatory Framework Terms .................................................................. 8-1 Federal Laws, Regulations, and Guidance ................................................................................... 8-4 Americans with Disabilities Act ........................................................................................... 8-4 ADA Regulations and Guidance .......................................................................................... 8-4 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 .............................................................................. 8-8 FTA’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements ............................................................ 8-10 National Transit Database .................................................................................................. 8-13 Federal Labor Laws ................................................................................................................ 8-17 Laws and Regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicles ............................................. 8-19 Definitions of Taxicabs and TNCs ..................................................................................... 8-20 Chapter 9: Summary of Survey and Profiles of Alternative Services Introduction............................................................................................................................................ 9-1 Survey Administration ........................................................................................................................ 9-1 Summary of the Survey ...................................................................................................................... 9-1 Findings of the Survey............................................................................................................. 9-3 Boston, MA - Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) ................................ 9-9 Broward County, FL - Broward County Transit (BCT) ............................................................ 9-11 Chicago, IL - Pace Suburban Bus.................................................................................................. 9-13 Columbus, OH - Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) ..................................................... 9-15 Contra Costa County, CA - Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority (Tri Delta Transit) ................................................................................................................................ 9-17 Dallas, TX - Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART) ..................................................... 9-19 Denver, CO - Regional Transportation District (RTD) ........................................................... 9-21

| v | Flagstaff, AZ - Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (Mountain Line)............................................................................................................... 9-23 Houston, TX-Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO) ... 9-25 Las Vegas, NV - Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC of Southern Nevada) .............................................................................................................. 9-27 Monterey County, CA - Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) .................................................... 9-29 New York, NY - New York City Transit Authority ................................................................... 9-31 Phoenix, AZ - Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro) ...................................................................................................................................... 9-33 Pinellas County, CA - Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) ................................... 9-35 Richmond, VA - Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) .......................................... 9-37 San Antonio, TX - VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority (VIA) ............................................. 9-39 San Bernardino County, CA – Omnitrans .................................................................................. 9-41 Washington, DC - Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) ....... 9-43 Chapter 10: Design and Implementation of Alternative Transportation Services Introduction.......................................................................................................................................... 10-1 Common Service Models for Alternative Services ................................................................. 10-2 Provider-Side Subsidy Service Models ............................................................................. 10-2 User-Side Subsidy Service Models ..................................................................................... 10-4 Subsidy Models – Advantages and Disadvantages ..................................................... 10-5 Call-Taking / Trip Reservations ......................................................................................... 10-6 Other Functional Variations ........................................................................................................... 10-7 Scheduling/Dispatch ............................................................................................................. 10-7 Service Delivery – Number of Providers ......................................................................... 10-8 Service Delivery - Wheelchair Accessible Service ........................................................ 10-9 Policy Variations ................................................................................................................................. 10-9 Eligibility Policy Alternatives ........................................................................................... 10-11 Service Area Policy Alternatives ..................................................................................... 10-11 Service Span Alternatives .................................................................................................. 10-12 Trip Request Policy .............................................................................................................. 10-13 Trip Limits .............................................................................................................................. 10-14 Fare/Subsidy Policies – By Trip (Provider-Side Subsidy Models) ......................... 10-15 Driver Qualifications (Provider-Side Subsidy Models) ............................................ 10-16 Common Designs ............................................................................................................................ 10-17 Model and Subsidy Method .............................................................................................. 10-18 Policies .................................................................................................................................... 10-18 Chapter 11: Key Findings of the Research and Lessons Learned Introduction.......................................................................................................................................... 11-1 Key Findings of the Research Project ......................................................................................... 11-2 Goals and Goal Achievement ............................................................................................. 11-2

| vi | Subsidy Method, Service Models, and Policies .............................................................. 11-2 Wheelchair Accessible Service ............................................................................................ 11-3 Safety and Insurance ............................................................................................................. 11-3 Data and Data Sharing ........................................................................................................ 11-4 Regulatory Environment ...................................................................................................... 11-4 Service Equivalency ................................................................................................................ 11-5 Evaluation of Service ............................................................................................................. 11-5 Method to Estimate Cost Savings for ADA Paratransit ............................................. 11-5 Input from Riders .................................................................................................................... 11-6 Core Questions for the Research Project ........................................................................ 11-6 Lessons Learned – Effective Practices and Strategies........................................................... 11-8 Planning and Design ............................................................................................................. 11-8 Implementation....................................................................................................................... 11-8 Part 3 Appendices Appendix A: Case Studies Appendix B: Sample Materials Provided by Transit Agencies (provided as a separate document) Appendix C: Findings of the Survey Appendix D: References

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Transit agencies are increasingly offering an alternative service for their Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit riders. This service is typically an on-demand or same-day transportation option subsidized by a transit agency and is an alternative to the next-day service of ADA paratransit.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's pre-publication draft of TCRP Research Report 239: Provision of Alternative Services by Transit Agencies: The Intersection of Regulation and Program details how alternative services provide at least some cost savings and also meet more spontaneous travel needs of ADA paratransit riders based on cost per subsidized trip versus cost per ADA paratransit trip. The report also identifies and documents legal and regulatory matters that transit agencies should address for their alternative services.

Supplemental to the report are an Alternative Services Estimation Tool, Appendix B: Sample Materials for Planning and Deploying an Alternative Service, a Workshop Curriculum, and Implementation of Research Findings and Products.

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