The National Academies

TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SB-32 [Active (Synthesis)]

Use of Agency Trip Agreements in ADA Paratransit Service Delivery
[ TCRP J-07 (Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/4/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Research Agency: Barbara S. Thomson
Principal Investigator: Thomson Consulting
Effective Date: 10/16/2018
Comments: Research is Complete. In Publication as a RRD.
Fiscal Year: 2018

Final Scope  

Transit agencies must provide complementary paratransit service (to eligible people) under provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition to providing ADA paratransit services for individuals, many transit agencies also provide specialized transportation to human service agencies through formal and informal agreements.  
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s ADA regulations at Appendix D to 49 CFR Part 37 describe these complementary paratransit “agency trips” as those “guaranteed” to a social service agency, where the social service agency makes riders’ trip reservations and pays for transportation, as opposed to trips where the rider is the payor. The DOT regulations allow a transit agency to “negotiate any price it can” for trips meeting the agency trip description. As more transit agencies seek to implement these arrangements and contact FTA to provide examples, a synthesis study on the current state of transit industry practice is urgently needed.
The objective of this synthesis is to identify and document current practice (1) whether and how transit agencies have negotiated and structured these local agency trip agreements with human service agencies to cover cost, meet mutual needs, maintain service quality and monitor for ADA compliance, and (2) how the transit agencies have also implemented local service policies, such as hand-to hand or door through door or other methods for individuals with disabilities who cannot be left unattended. The synthesis will provide examples from the industry on current policies and procedures.
Information to be gathered from transit agencies includes the following (not an inclusive list):   
·     Formal or informal agreements between transit agencies and human service agencies to transport their customers, to include pricing and service delivery parameters.
·     Policies related to the type of passenger assistance provided to customers in their ADA paratransit service.
·     Instances where these agency trip agreements have resulted from local or state-wide legislative initiatives.
·     Resources used to manage these cooperative arrangements (e.g. technologies, TNCs, brokers or others).
·     Performance evaluation methods and goals.
·     Lessons learned and challenges.
This synthesis will include a literature, documents and records review, and a practice overview. The consultant will propose how the information will be gathered (for example, surveying, interviewing, or convening industry representatives) and presented (multi-case examples, mini-case examples, etc.).
In selecting case examples, consultants will consider scalability, diverse in terms of geography, size, and governance (i.e., city or county department versus transit authority) and operating ADA paratransit services (in house and under contract). The needs for future research should also be discussed.
Information Sources (not exclusive list):
49 CFR 37.131(c) and Appendix D.
FTA Circular 4710.1 (2015)
TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 135: ADA Paratransit Service ModelsTRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 133: Administration of ADA Paratransit Eligibility Appeal Programs
TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) report 143 Resources guide for commingling ADA and non ADA paratransit riders.
TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 163: Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities
Federal Transit Administration. “Third Party Contracting Guidance. 2008.
Government Accountability Office, Transit Agencies' Use of Contracting to Provide Service, September 26, 2013.


TRB Staff

Mariela Garcia-Colberg

Phone: 202-334-2361

Email: mgarciacolberg@nas.edu

Meeting Dates

First Panel:  October 16, 2018, Washington, DC

Teleconference with Consultant:  November 2, 2018

Second Panel:  June 13, 2019, Washington DC


Topic Panel 
Robert Fulk, City of Alexandria, VA

Jon Gaffney, Golden Gate Transit

Rosemary B. Gerty, Pace Suburban Bus

David King, Arizona State University

Cynthia W. Lister, Milligan & Co.

Glenn D. Millis, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Nancy Senn, Milwaukee County (WI) Transit System

Meinrad Tabengwa, Gadsden Transportation Services (GTS) City of Gadsden Department of Transportation

Susan Clark, Federal Transit Administration

Michael A. McCall-Delgado, Amalgamated Transit Union


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