Management & Operations

Paratransit service wins acclaim

Posted on March 1, 2005

Facing a growing community of seniors and people with special needs, the town of Oro Valley, Ariz., needed a reliable transportation system to keep up with the demand for mobility.

In 1996, community leaders responded to these needs by establishing Coyote Run, a paratransit service providing door-to door pick-ups to ADA-eligible citizens and passengers who are at least 62.

Coyote Run has grown sharply since then, becoming a popular local transportation option and even winning state acclaim. In one five-year span, the service won three major awards from the Arizona Transit Association — the Outstanding Transit Provider Award in 1998, the Outstanding Section 5310 Provider Award in 2001 and the Excellence Award in 2003.

“There are several different types of city-systems around the nation,” said Transit Administrator Charles Kidwell. “But this is one of the best small systems in the nation for several reasons.”

One of the great appeals of Coyote Run is its cost. Tickets for pick-ups can be purchased in books of 10 for $10, and ticket books are conveniently sold at various retail outlets in the Oro Valley area.

The transit system utilizes a fleet of wheelchair lift-equipped 11- and 12-passenger vans. Eligible riders can reserve trips at least two days, and up to two weeks, in advance.

“Our citizens recognized how important good, safe, economic transportation was to its citizens,” Kidwell said. “My hat goes off to them.”

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