What is your agency doing to deal with increased paratransit demand?
“Our priority has been to provide supplemental paratransit service, when appropriate, and support prospective riders with fixed-route service, when possible. Consequently, paratransit demand is managed by encouraging fixed-route service and supporting prospective customers with quality paratransit service options throughout the service area. AC Transit’s Accessibility Committee works closely to ensure that fixed-route buses, as well as paratransit service, meets customer needs.”David Armijo, GMAC TransitOakland, Calif.
“We have been working with our paratransit community to help them take advantage of regular fixed-route service whenever possible. One of the tools used was a short brochure that was mailed to all paratransit riders detailing how they can take advantage of the cheaper fixed-route services. In many cases we will provide them with regular bus passes so they only have to use paratransit to get to and from the fixed-route service stops, which can also cut overall costs.” Brad Miller, CEOPinellas Suncoast Transit Authority St. Petersburg, Fla.
“LTD pioneered travel training and transit host programs that continue to
soften the demand for paratransit service. To enhance our ability to manage paratransit demand, the district became the regional brokerage for both ADA and Medicaid transportation in 2008.”Ron Kilcoyne, GMLane Transit District Eugene, Ore.
“To handle increased paratransit demand and its rapidly escalating costs, we’re looking at some changes to non-mandated services and discussing those options with policymakers. We’re also considering other alternatives, such as the use of smaller vehicles and taxi vouchers.”Kate Riley, GMSun Tran and Sun VanTucson, Ariz.
“IndyGo has seen incremental increases in demand for its paratransit service. From 2010 to 2011, ridership increased nearly three percent, and from 2011 to 2012, that figure jumped significantly—a 6.5 percent increase. We’ve taken several steps over the years, both operationally and in increasing options for the customer, including free rides on fixed route and offering taxi vouchers for paratransit customers.”Michael Terry, President/CEOIndyGoIndianapolis
Are you seeing increased ridership in 2013?
“We sure are. We have an overall increase of two percent for MTA and RTA combined, and we expect a bigger increase in 2014, since we’ve added a lot of new service. What’s really noticeable this fiscal year is a 38 percent increase in our regional bus service, which covers a nine-county area of Middle Tennessee. We’ve had phenomenal interest and participation in regional transportation in the last few years.”Paul J. Ballard, CEONashville MTA & Regional Transportation AuthorityNashville, Tenn.
“Overall, Metro Transit ridership is tracking just behind 2012, which was
only the second time in a generation that surpassed 81 million rides. Our weather has been unusually extreme with colder temperatures and several late-season heavy snowfalls and the effect on ridership has been mixed. Our Northstar commuter rail line is experiencing dramatic growth due its near-perfect reliability compared to unpredictable roadway travel. Weekday ridership is up slightly on our Hiawatha light rail line and flat on our bus service. It appears fewer customers are taking discretionary trips due to the poor weather, which is dampening weekend ridership.”Brian Lamb, GMMetro Transit Minneapolis
“As the economy continues to rebound, Long Beach Transit is seeing steady and significant increases in overall ridership. Implementation of our U-Pass program — California State University, Long Beach pays LBT for all their students, staff and faculty bus rides — has caused school daily ridership to increase from 1,500 to 10,000.”Larry Jackson, President/CEOLong Beach TransitLong Beach, Calif.
“Yes, Capital Metro bus and rail services are experiencing strong ridership
Linda S. Watson
in 2013. Fixed-route ridership is up by nearly 3 percent and MetroRail ridership has increased over 58 percent, year-to-date. System-wide we are seeing 2013 year-to-date totals surpassing 2012’s by nearly one million trips. We expect ridership to continue on its upward trend with the launching of our new service, MetroRapid, next year.”Linda S. Watson, President/CEOCapital MetroAustin, Texas
“Ridership is growing as our regional economy recovers and our residents return to work. Commuters are also responding well to the introduction of our new bus fleet that began late last year as well as our recent light rail expansion.”Gary Thomas, President/Executive DirectorDallas Area Rapid TransitDallas