Survey of Transit Agencies Regarding ADA Paratransit Services

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Introduction

  The Congress has requested the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine transit agencies' provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service. As part of this request, we are conducting a survey of a random sample of transit agencies and asking you to complete a questionnaire via the Internet. Specifically, we are requesting transit agencies provide information about their experiences providing ADA paratransit services, including general information on agencies' paratransit service, compliance challenges, costs and demand changes, and practices agencies are using to improve ADA paratransit service.

Please complete this questionnaire within 2 weeks of receipt. We understand there are great demands on your time; however, your cooperation is critical to providing the Congress with complete and balanced information on the provision of ADA paratransit services.

We plan to complete our report during the fall, 2012. At that time, the report will be available on our website at http://www.gao.gov.

GAO, the research arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.

If you have any questions or need additional time, please contact the following individuals for assistance:

The name, email, and telephone number of two GAO staff appeared here.



Thank you in advance for your assistance.
(View responses)
 

Instructions

  Please complete the questionnaire for the ADA paratransit services your transit agency provides. Even if you are a regional ADA transit provider, please respond for the ADA paratransit services your transit agency provides. If you have any questions about this, please contact the individuals listed above.

Please feel free to confer with other knowledgeable individuals or review records in order to answer any question in the questionnaire.

The questionnaire does not need to be completed in one sitting. Your responses can be saved and accessed at a later date. To save and temporarily exit this questionnaire at any time, press the "Exit" button at the bottom of a page.

We have asked some open-ended questions and have provided text boxes for your responses. Please click anywhere inside the box and begin typing. When you reach the limit of the open space, keep typing and the box will automatically expand.

To learn more about completing the questionnaire, printing your responses, and who to contact if you have questions, click here for help.

 
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General ADA Paratransit Service Information

1.  Did your agency provide ADA complementary paratransit services in the following years? (Please check only one.)
1.
2.
3.
4. (Click here to skip to question 32)
5.
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2.  How does your agency define its Fiscal Year? (Please check only one.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
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  2a. If you checked "other" above, please specify below.
(View responses)
 
3.  How was your ADA paratransit service area defined in FY2007 and FY 2010? (For each year, please check only one defined area.)
 
(View responses)
   
Exact boundaries of one or more cities or counties
Boundaries of a fixed route system
3/4 mile around a fixed route
Other (Please specify below.)
No response
a.  FY 2007
(View responses)
b.  FY 2010
(View responses)
 
c.  If you checked "Other" above, please briefly describe below how your agency defined its ADA paratransit service area.
(View responses)
 
4.  As part of your transit agency's standard ADA paratransit service, what type of base model of service did your transit agency provide in FY 2007 and FY 2010? (For each year, please check only one service.)
 
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Door-to-Door
Curb-to-Curb
Other
No response
a.  FY 2007
(View responses)
b.  FY 2010
(View responses)
 
c.  If you checked "Other" above, please briefly describe below how your agency defines its ADA paratransit service area.
(View responses)
 
5.  Does your agency currently provide the following ADA paratransit services? (Please check one for each service.)
 
(View responses)
   
Yes
No
No response
a.  Hours and days of ADA paratransit service match, at minimum, the fixed route operations
(View responses)
b.  Take reservations for next day service
(View responses)
c.  Accept reservation for next day service on days when fixed route is not available or offices are closed (for example, weekends and holidays)
(View responses)
d.  Charge no more than twice the fixed route fare per paratransit ride
(View responses)
 

ADA Paratransit Services

6.  For FY 2007 and FY 2010, please tell us the following about your ADA paratransit services (If not available, please check 'Not Available' box.)
(View responses)
 
FY 2007
FY 2007
Not Available
FY 2010
FY 2010
Not Available
  a. What was the total number of ADA paratransit trips your agency provided annually?
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    Trips
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    Trips
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  b. What was the average duration (in minutes) per-trip?
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    Minutes
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    Minutes
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  c. What was the average distance (in miles) per-trip traveled?
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    Miles
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    Miles
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  d. What was the total number of individuals registered for ADA paratransit services?
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    Individuals
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    Individuals
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  e. Of the total number of individuals registered for ADA paratransit services, how many took at least one trip?
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    Individuals
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    Individuals
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(View responses)
 

ADA Paratransit Services (Question 6 Continued)

  6. For FY 2007 and FY 2010, please tell us the following about your ADA paratransit services (If not available, please check 'Not Avaliable' box.)
(View responses)
 
 
FY 2007
FY 2007
Not Available
FY 2010
FY 2010
Not Available
  f. Of the total number of individuals registered for ADA paratransit services, how many, if any, were subscription riders? (Please enter '0' if none.)
(View responses)
    Individuals
(View responses)
 
(View responses)
    Individuals
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  g. What was the average fare collected per-trip for an ADA paratransit ride?
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  $  
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  $  
(View responses)
 
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  h. What was the average fare collected per-trip for regular fixed route service?
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  $  
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  $  
(View responses)
 
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  i. What was the estimated cost, per-trip, to your agency for providing fixed route service?
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  $  
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  $  
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  j. What was the estimated cost, per-trip, to your agency for providing ADA paratransit service?
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  $  
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  $  
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7.  When calculating the estimated cost per-ride for ADA paratransit services, which of the following do you include? (Please check one for each type of cost.)
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Yes
No
Do not know
a.  Fuel
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b.  Vehicle rental and leases
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c.  Vehicle maintenance
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d.  Vehicle insurance
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e.  Administrative costs
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f.  Information technology costs (for example, software, IT support)
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g.  Contractor costs: Operator (driver) wages and benefits
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h.  Other contractor costs
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i.  Non-Contractor costs: Operator (Driver) wages and benefits
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j.  Other (Please specify below.)
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k.  If you checked other above, please specify in the space provided.
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8.  Does your agency use a contractor to provide any component of ADA paratransit services? (Please check only one.)
1. (Click here to skip to question 9)
2. (Click here to skip to question 10)
3. (Click here to skip to question 10)
(View responses)
 
9.  If yes, what, if any, of the following components of ADA paratransit service did any contractor provide for your agency in FY 2007 and FY 2010? (For each year, please check all that apply.)
 
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FY 2007
FY 2010
a.  Ride Scheduling/Call Center
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b.  Dispatching
(View responses)
c.  Paratransit vehicles
(View responses)
d.  Vehicle maintenance
(View responses)
e.  Travel training
(View responses)
f.  Operating paratransit vehicles
(View responses)
g.  Information technology (IT support)
(View responses)
h.  Eligibility certification
(View responses)
i.  Quality assurance
(View responses)
j.  Handling Complaints
(View responses)
k.  Other (Please specify below.)
(View responses)
 
l.  If you selected "Other" above, please briefly describe what other types of contractor services were performed.
(View responses)
 
10.  Did your agency use commercial taxis to perform any ADA paratransit services in the following calendar years? (Please check only one.)
1.
2.
3.
4. (Click here to skip to question 13)
5.
(View responses)
 
11.  How did your agency use and pay for the ADA paratransit commercial taxi trips in FY 2007 or FY 2010? (For each year, please check all that apply.)
 
(View responses)
   
FY 2007
FY 2010
a.  Taxi vouchers for ADA paratransit riders
(View responses)
b.  Taxi contract to handle specific hours/ADA paratransit service
(View responses)
c.  Other payment methods for ADA paratransit taxi trips (Please specify below.)
(View responses)
 
12.  If you checked "Other" above, please briefly describe how your agency
used commercial taxis for ADA paratransit services?
(View responses)
 

ADA Paratransit Rider Eligibility Process

13.  Who primarily determines rider eligibility for ADA paratransit services? (Please check only one.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
(View responses)
 
  13a. If you checked "Other" above, please briefly describe below.
(View responses)
 
14.  Did your agency's ADA paratransit service rider eligibility procedure include any of the following during FY 2007 or FY 2010? (For each year, please check all that apply; if data are not available, please check 'Not Available'.)
(View responses)
   
FY 2007
FY 2007 Not Available
FY 2010
FY 2010 Not Available
a.  Written application for paratransit service
(View responses)
b.  Verification of diagnosed disability from medical provider
(View responses)
c.  In person discussion of rider's travel needs
(View responses)
d.  Mobility assessment/functional assessment
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e.  Cognitive assessment
(View responses)
f.  Determining conditional eligibility for ADA paratransit (eligible for some trips)
(View responses)
g.  Determining trip-by-trip eligibility
(View responses)
h.  Other eligibility procedures (Please list below.)
(View responses)
 
i.  If you checked "Other" above, please list in the space provided.
(View responses)
 
15.  If your agency made any changes to eligibility procedures listed above, please briefly explain what was the primary reason, if any, for the changes to the ADA paratransit service eligibility process?
(View responses)
 
  15a. Did not change eligibility procedures.
(View responses)
 
16.  How many new applications for paratransit services did your agency receive in FY 2007 and FY 2010? (Please enter amount; if none, enter '0')
 
(View responses)
 
  a. FY 2007
 
(View responses)
  New Applicants
 
(View responses)
  Not Available
(View responses)
  b. FY 2010
 
(View responses)
  New Applicants
 
(View responses)
  Not Available
(View responses)
 
17.  Of the FY 2007 and FY 2010 new applicants for ADA paratransit services, how many were found to be the following? (If no difference in eligibility is determined list all as fully eligible.)
 
(View responses)
 
Eligibility
FY 2007
FY 2007
Not available
FY 2010
FY 2010
Not available
  a. Fully eligible for
ADA paratransit
(eligible for all trips
(View responses)
    New Applicants
(View responses)
 
(View responses)
    New Applicants
(View responses)
 
(View responses)
  b. Conditionally eligible
for ADA paratransit
(eligible for some trips)
(View responses)
    New Applicants
(View responses)
 
(View responses)
    New Applicants
(View responses)
 
(View responses)
  c. Not eligible for ADA
paratransit (denied)
(View responses)
    New Applicants
(View responses)
 
(View responses)
    New Applicants
(View responses)
 
(View responses)
 
18.  Are paratransit riders' eligibility recertified? (Please check only one.)
(Click here to skip to question 19)
(Click here to skip to question 20)
(Click here to skip to question 20)
(View responses)
 
19.  If yes, how often, in years, does each type of paratransit rider's eligibility typically get recertified? (For each type, please check each time category that applies.)
(View responses)
   
Every year
Every 2 years
Every 3 years
Every 4 years
Every 5 years
Other period of time (Please specify.)
  a. Fully eligible paratransit riders
(View responses)
 
  b. If you checked "Other" for 'Fully eligible' above, please describe in space provided.
(View responses)
 
   
Every year
Every 2 years
Every 3 years
Every 4 years
Every 5 years
Other period of time (Please specify.)
  c. Conditionally eligible paratransit riders
(View responses)
 
  d. If you checked "Other" for 'Conditionally eligible' above, please describe in space provided.
(View responses)
 

ADA Paratransit Funding

20.  In FY 2007 and FY 2010, what was your agency's total transit operating budget? (Please enter percentage for each year; if none, enter '0'.)
 
(View responses)
 
  a. FY 2007
 
(View responses)
  Total Operating Budget:
$  .00
(View responses)
  Not Available
(View responses)
  b. FY 2010
 
(View responses)
  Total Operating Budget:
$  .00
(View responses)
  Not Available
(View responses)
 
21.  In FY 2007 and FY 2010, of your agency's total transit operating budget, about what percent was spent on ADA paratransit services? (Please enter percentage for each year; if none, enter '0'.)
(View responses)
 
  a. FY 2007
 
(View responses)
  Percent of Budget:
  %
(View responses)
  Not Available
(View responses)
  b. FY 2010
 
(View responses)
  Percent of Budget:
  %
(View responses)
  Not Available
(View responses)
 

ADA Paratransit Service Challenges

22.  In the last 12 months, about what portion of eligible ADA paratransit services requested by eligible riders was your transit agency able to provide? (Please check only one.)
(View responses)
 
23.  How challenging, if at all, is providing the following ADA paratransit services for your agency? (Please check one for each.)
(View responses)
   
Not Challenging
Slightly Challenging
Moderately Challenging
Greatly Challenging
Extremely Challenging
No response
a.  Servicing the 3/4 mile from bus or rail ADA required minimum service area
(View responses)
b.  Hours and days of service matching fixed route operations
(View responses)
c.  Next day reservations
(View responses)
d.  Reservation acceptance for next day services on
days when fixed route is not available or offices are closed (example: weekends and Holidays)
(View responses)
e.  Charging no more than twice the fixed route fare per ride
(View responses)
f.  Other challenges (Please specify below.)
(View responses)
 
g.  If you checked 'other challenges' above, please describe in the space provided.
(View responses)
 
24.  For your agency, how challenging, if at all, is providing the following ADA paratransit service requirements? (Please check one for each requirement.)
(View responses)
   
Not Challenging
Slightly Challenging
Moderately Challenging
Greatly Challenging
Extremely Challenging
No Response
a.  "Zero trip denial"
(View responses)
b.  Timely pick-ups
(View responses)
c.  Timely drop offs
(View responses)
d.  Missed trips
(View responses)
e.  Excessive trip lengths
(View responses)
f.  Telephone/reservation access problems (example: long hold times, busy signals)
(View responses)
g.  Other (Please specify below.)
(View responses)
 
h.  If you checked "Other" above, please explain in the space provided.
(View responses)
 
25.  In the last 12 months, how many ADA paratransit trips did your agency deny? (Please enter number; if none, enter '0'.)
  trips
(View responses)
 
26.  Since FY 2007, overall, how have total costs to provide ADA paratransit changed, if at all? (Please check only one.)
(Click here to skip to question 28)
(View responses)
 
27.  In your opinion, what are the reason(s), if at all, the total cost to provide your transit agency's ADA paratransit have changed since FY 2007? (Please check one for each.)
(View responses)
   
Major reason
Moderate reason
Minor reason
Not a reason
No response
a.  Changes in ADA paratransit rider demographics
(View responses)
b.  Changes in costs of labor and benefits (for example, for drivers and administrative staff)
(View responses)
c.  Changes in costs to operate vehicles (for example, fuel, insurance, vehicle maintenance)
(View responses)
d.  Changes in the number of ADA paratransit riders
(View responses)
e.  Other entities/agencies relying on ADA paratransit system for transportation services
(for example, trips for medical services, employment travel)
(View responses)
f.  Re-competition of contract(s) to provide ADA paratransit services or support services
(View responses)
g.  Service area changes
(View responses)
h.  Other reasons total costs have changed since FY 2007 (Please specify below.)
(View responses)
 
i.  If you checked "Other reasons" above, please specify here.
(View responses)
 
28.  Does your transit agency provide the following services to your paratransit customers? (Please check one for each.)
(View responses)
   
Yes
No
No response
a.  Servicing more than the 3/4 mile from bus or rail ADA required minimum service area
(View responses)
b.  Providing service outside the hours and days matching fixed route operations
(View responses)
c.  Providing same day reservation services, regardless of circumstance
(View responses)
d.  Operating ADA paratransit services on days when fixed route is not operating
(View responses)
e.  Provide service to people who don't meet ADA paratransit eligibility rules
(View responses)
f.  Travel training on riding existing fixed route services
(View responses)
g.  Travel training on riding paratransit services
(View responses)
h.  Charging less than the ADA maximum allowable fare per-trip for ADA paratransit services
(View responses)
i.  Subscription Service
(View responses)
j.  Other paratransit services (Please specify below.)
(View responses)
 
k.  If you checked "Other" above, please describe below.
(View responses)
 

Possible ADA Paratransit Service Improvements

29.  Since FY 2007, has your agency applied any of the following policies or programs for ADA paratransit services to make improvements in either costs or paratransit service? (Please check one for each.)
(View responses)
   
Yes
No
No response
a.  Travel training
(View responses)
b.  More rigorous eligibility certification process
(View responses)
c.  Coordination of transportation services with human service providers
(View responses)
d.  Coordination with neighboring transit jurisdictions for ADA paratransit service
(View responses)
e.  Online ADA paratransit trip reservations
(View responses)
f.  Accessibility improvements to existing fixed route service
(View responses)
g.  Re-aligning ADA paratransit service areas to better match ADA requirements
(View responses)
h.  Re-aligning ADA paratransit service hours to better match ADA requirements
(View responses)
i.  Use of commercial taxis for regular ADA paratransit service
(View responses)
j.  Use of commercial taxis for overflow ADA paratransit service
(View responses)
k.  Other (Please skip to question 30.)
(View responses)
 
30.  Are there any additional policies, programs or steps your agency has taken to improve ADA paratransit service in either costs or service? Please briefly describe these below.
(View responses)
 

Contact Information

31.  In the event we need to clarify a response, please enter the following information for the person most knowledgeable about the survey responses:
(View responses)
 
  Contact name:
 
(View responses)
 
  Title:
 
(View responses)
 
  Name of Transit Agency:
 
(View responses)
 
  Telephone number, including area code: (Enter phone number as xxx-xxx-xxxx.)
 
(View responses)
 
  E-mail Address:
 
(View responses)
 
  Please continue to the survey completion question below.
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Questionnaire Completion

32.  Are you ready to submit your final completed survey to GAO?
(This is equivalent to mailing a completed paper survey to us. It tells us that your answers are official and final.)

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  You may view and print your completed survey by clicking on the Summary link in the menu to the left.

Please click on 'Exit' to either save your responses for later or submit your completed questionnaire.



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