How are you addressing paratransit?

Posted on March 12, 2010 by Alex Roman - Also by this author

With fare hikes and service cuts becoming close to inevitable for mass transportation systems, senior citizens and the disabled seem to be taking the brunt of the blow.

Although fixed-route prices for seniors and the disabled have remained free or been raised to a moderate, low price, paratransit services have had to be raised significantly or cut altogether in many areas of the nation.

Obviously, this is a serious problem for these communities, since many rely solely on paratransit services because they are unable — for various reasons — to use the normal day-to-day services. Cutting these services limits their accessibility to the everyday things, — grocery shopping, recreation and doctors appointments to name a few — which we may sometimes take for granted.

Part of the reason paratransit services are being cut is that an agency’s cost to provide the service far exceeds the money they are taking in from the customer. It would be easy to say that agencies should just raise the fares for paratransit, but when you take into account who these customers are, asking them to pay more probably isn’t a viable solution.

So, what are you doing to try to maintain vital paratransit services at your agency?

Alex Roman
Managing Editor

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