|Spring 2011||All the news on Access-A-Ride||Volume 10|
Beginning on or shortly after April 1, 2011, MTA New York City Transit Paratransit Division will introduce the next phase of Access-A-Ride (AAR) feeder service for some customers with a conditional eligibility determination who are able to travel by bus, but who face physical or environmental barriers that prevent their traveling to or from bus stops. Some examples of barriers: the lack of curb-cuts; the distance from the trip origin to the bus stop; steep terrain; snow and/or ice; extremes in temperature (hot or cold); major intersections, or other difficulties negotiating architectural barriers.
Please be assured that you will continue to be eligible for AAR trips that are beyond your travel limitations at the pick-up or drop-off location. If your medical condition has changed significantly since your last in-person assessment, you may reapply to receive another in-person assessment. However, feeder service will use the eligibility determination status on record when you call to reserve a trip.
This phase of feeder service refers to two groups of conditionally eligible customers:
An example of a feeder service trip would be a customer who cannot walk more than five blocks, and the bus stop is six blocks away. The customer uses AAR to get to the bus stop, and then takes the bus for the remainder of the trip, provided the bus stop near his/her destination is within his/her travel limitations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) always required an eligibility determination in anticipation that paratransit could address travel limitations as accessibility in public transportation increased. Feeder service is a step closer toward the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which says that individuals who are able to travel via bus or subway do so. At this time, only bus service will be used for the fixed-route portion of your trip.
“Stairs Restricted” means that customers found eligible for AAR service under this category are unable to go up and down stairs. Therefore, they may use AAR when their only option for travel is the subway, and there is no available fixed-route bus or ADA-accessible subway station that they have been determined able to use. An individual may be stairs restricted and have distance limitations. Thus, a particular station could be ADA accessible but too far away for the customer to use.
This definition acknowledges that when an accessible fixed-route bus or ADA-accessible subway station is available, customers with stairs-restricted service may be able to travel on public transit. Requiring stairs-restricted individuals to use available accessible buses or subways brings us a step closer to the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which says that individuals who are able to travel via bus or subway do so. Currently, customers with “Stairs Restricted” eligibility are not required to use accessible subway stations.
Please be assured that you will continue to be eligible for trips that are beyond your travel limitations. If you have questions, please call 877-337-2017; press 1 for English, then press 1 for Eligibility.
Customers may read our newsletter, On The Move, the Guide to Access-A-Ride Service, and our policies by choosing from the menu on the AAR Paratransit home page.
Imagine using the bus or subway to travel to and from work, visit friends, or go shopping. You wouldn’t need to make reservations in advance. You could change your travel destination, even during your trip.
Trainees master the following skills:
If you are traveling on these holidays, you must call to reserve a trip.
More customers will be able to travel by taxis/car service in the near future. When customers have taken 75 percent of their trips via taxis/car service, they will be placed on a “no-taxi” list for a period of approximately
When the weather forecast predicts snow, ice, torrential rain, high winds or a hurricane, keep in mind that AAR may pick you up, but we may be unable to transport you back home when weather conditions make driving difficult.In addition, if there are high winds, AAR vehicles may be banned from bridges. This happened on the Verrazano Bridge last year, adding hours to customers’ travel times as they detoured through New Jersey. Vehicles may skid on ice or stall on flooded highways. Last December’s blizzard saw scores of AAR vehicles abandoned in snowdrifts, unable to pick up their passengers. Some AAR vehicles were stuck in the snow with their passengers on board.
Immediate rescue is not always possible. During the blizzard, even some ambulances were unable to reach critically ill people.
Drivers may not be able to assist you over mounds of snow or across ice, keep you upright in high winds or protect you from falling debris. Your power chair, scooter, wheelchair, walker, cane, or guide dogs may prove useless in three-foot snow drifts.
If your trip is not medically necessary or otherwise urgent, ask yourself these questions: “Am I prepared to stay away from home for a majority of the day?” “Is the trip worth the risk of being injured?” If the answer to either of these questions is “No,” please don’t travel.
If your organization has 15 or more people interested in learning more about AAR service, please call Donna Fredericksen at 718-393-4147 or Russell Schmid at 718-393-4130 to arrange a presentation.
Go to the AAR Paratransit home page, and bookmark it for future reference. You can access the Guide to Access-A-Ride as well as AAR policies and archived newsletters. You can also go to www.mta.info and click on the Accessibility tab at the top of the home page to reach the MTA Guide to Accessible Transit. Go to New York State Paratransit Services, then scroll down and click on Access-A-Ride, New York City Transit, Paratransit Division.
You may also write to us at 2 Broadway, 11th Floor, Room D11.03, New York, NY 10004
On The Move is also available in Braille or on cassette by calling Michael Levy at 718-393-4148, or you may download it from the AAR Paratransit home page
Your questions and comments about this publication are welcome. Please send them to:
On The Move