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May 7, 2013

Question of the Day: How do you deal with paratransit demand?

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, GM
AC Transit
Oakland, Calif.

Brad Miller

Brad Miller
“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, CEO
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
St. Petersburg, Fla.

“LTD pioneered travel training and transit host programs that continue to

Ron Kilcoyne

Ron Kilcoyne
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, GM
Lane 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, GM
Sun Tran and Sun Van
Tucson, 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/CEO
IndyGo
Indianapolis



Are you seeing increased ridership in 2013?

Paul Ballard

Paul Ballard
“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, CEO
Nashville MTA & Regional Transportation Authority
Nashville, Tenn.

“Overall, Metro Transit ridership is tracking just behind 2012, which was

Brian Lamb

Brian Lamb
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, GM
Metro Transit
Minneapolis

Larry Jackson

Larry Jackson
“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/CEO
Long Beach Transit
Long Beach, Calif.

“Yes, Capital Metro bus and rail services are experiencing strong ridership

Linda S. Watson

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/CEO
Capital Metro
Austin, Texas

Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas
“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 Director
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Dallas

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