For Provider Participants: Policy

Viewing the Citizen Rider as the Enemy

Due to the increased demand on Paratransit systems in the future for a rapidly aging society-STOP viewing the Citizens, both elder and disabled populations, as the enemy of paratransit systems and a drain on the fixed route system!! Communication skill-sets are paramount in the FTA side of things! Cease placing the burdens onto the citizen as the FTA is doing now, when establishing FULL transportations communications systems that will forward incident reports, medical or otherwise, from fixed route to the comparable paratransit providers, thereby delineating the antagonistic approach many veterans, elders, and people with disabilities whether veterans, family members, or non-service connected disabled are currently experiencing. This Communications process needs to be a Nation-wide network that follows the person. It is medically based but can also function as a security focal point as well, going into the future. Smart cards are around the corner for all users of the Transportation system on the Nationwide scale, although it is being done city by city. With a focal point on health issues in a rapidly aging population to contain paratransit costs without overburdening the ill taxpayer, while still rendering the expected transportation services, at the same time lowering the carbon footprint, it is wise to incorporate at this juncture, a vast transportation tele-communications and internet system that will follow the person. I cannot get the paratransportation I need in Honolulu so I am moving and trying in another City. I have Medicare as my Primary insurance that does not include transportation coverage, tricare secondary, and am not getting paratransit for my brain disability at this time so I am shut in! If transportation is so worried that I am not using transportation dollars correctly because I can walk without having a full brain but have convulsions on a moving bus, it is time to have the transportation companies communicating with each other instead of refusing me public transit my tax dollars pay for and my husband, father, fought for, now dead, my mother served for in Korea, however she is still alive. Transportation needs to communicate!! Shore to shore!!! FTA start acting responsible!!!


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  1. Comment
    Community Member

    I was one of the people on the committee that helped write those regulations concerning paratransit. it is very important to remember that the transit complementary paratransit service is NOT medical transportation. it is the "bus" for those who cannot access the mainline service solely because of their disability.

    consider this. it costs a transit agency over $35 for each and every trip on paratransit. the added cost for accessible mainline service is less than $1 no one gives the transit authorities extra money to carry all of the people who think of the paratransit service as a subsidized cab. it isn't

    I don't work for a transit system and am a wheelchair using vet who regularly rides the mainline buses, it isn't that difficult. but if the reason for riding paratransit is illness or medical and not an "inability to navigate the system" then paratransit is inappropriate and specialized medical transportation should be used. far too many medical facilities are taking the easy way out and pawning off their clients onto paratransit. this is wrong and inappropriate. if there is mainline service it should be used.

    personally I think the transit autorities paratransit services in this country are being abused and overused by those who do not meet the narrow criteria set down by the laws.

    if the VA or other groups want to use the paratransit system as their shuttle buses they should be paying the full cost.. the regulations state in the preamble "Paratransit is NOT intended to be a comprehensive system of public transit"

    try riding the bus.


    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Community Member ( Idea Submitter )

      Unfortunately the HandiVan is for ALL people that cannot safely RIDE theBus, whether wheelchair user or not. I am one of those people! Secondly paratransit is to be Federally comparable to the fixed route system, and The HandiVan is NOT! Thirdly, the cost of operating one HandiVan per day in 2011 was $96.10 which refutes your cost measures! Go to the most recent Honolulu survey for these figures, and the costs were provided by OTS! So you see, with a comparable system as Federally required, inclusive of people's rights to visit their doctors if need be, there is no reason to deny service to any person with a severe disability that CANNOT RIDE theBus. Paratransit is not designed to be a monetary holding tank of funds for a political choo choo train, and deny people with disabilities, the elderly, the wanted and needed transportation for their livelihoods to pursue their 14th Amendment Civil Right! You have denied me, mine!

  2. Comment
    Community Member

    the National Transit Database which is what your system reports officially to the feds says it is $33 per unlinked trip. but be that as it may you seem to miss the point.

    paratransit is not for people in wheelchairs. in fact most people in wheelchairs are able to ride the regular bus. it is for those who are "unable to use the system" it is not medical transportation The VA should be providing that. it is not a fancy cab.

    And unfortunately the requirement for paratransit in suburban areas is holding back expansion of transit for everyone.

    last thur I was trying to ride a regular bus and the driver refused to let me on a half empty bus because I should be "on paratransit where I belonged" that is treating the passenger as the enemy (and he has been reported)

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Community Member ( Idea Submitter )

      While Bus operators regularly discriminate, that is my point entirely! Wheelchair users have hurt feelings when discriminated against by a bus operator, and I am pulled from a bus by ambulance personnel and suffer seizures for several days after, still refused paratransit because I am mobile with two legs that work, facing discrimination by the paratransit personnel and by the fixed route personnel, my choices are stay shut-in and die-or ride and die. Not much of a choice in public transportation because these people are ignorant and chose to sap people's civil rights. That is not a negotiable item for me as my Civil Rights were purchased by both my parents serving in Korea, My deceased husband a Lt.Col now deceased, I am unable to visit his grave and my Father's grave!

  3. Comment
    Moderator Ken
    ( Moderator )

    The intent of this dialogue is to shape our nation's ability to deliver the right services, programs, guidance, and technical assistance to veterans, families, transportation and community leaders. We encourage you to comment and suggest solutions to transportation issues for veterans that could be useful in a discussion on a national or statewide policy level.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Community Member

      and that was the reason I suggested taking this individual complaint to private mail. however the comment I recieved the other day is not issolated I travel all over the country and have seen this attitude to greater or lesser degree in almost every city. I could start in the NE and end in the SW and name cities and transit systems (or at least some individuals) that treat the person with a disability as an intrusion and unwelcome on their vehicles.

      the bottom line is how to convince transit systems in general and certain employees in particular that a person with a disability and a veteran is a valued customer and welcome on the bus/streetcar/Light rail/subway etc.

      there are still a few systems in this country that have a culture of exclusion even 20+ years after the ADA. some few systems are welcoming but most systems show benign indifference as best I can tell, meeting the letter of the law and no more. I've gotten more respect being shoved into a rush hour subway in Tokyo (in a wheelchair) than I have on many systems here in the US. and that is the bottom line issue, I know and am comfortable riding mainline transit, what about the first time rider or occasional rider. will they continue to use transit if they are treated like a pariah.

  4. Comment
    Community Member ( Idea Submitter )

    Correct the systems will meet the "...letter of the law and no more..." however it is worst for the invisibly disabled at this point in time! Many people that do not use durable medical equipment are finding increasing difficulty to maneuver the transportation systems in our Nation simply because the Transportation system itself is focused on the aspect of the "Visibly disabled" or somehow being able to tell a person is disabled through the human acute sense of listening for it, seeing it. Even the Fixed Route system in my town asks bus riders to give their seats to the disabled riders. What does a disabled rider look like? If a neuro-affected rider boards and needs that seat on a SRO bus how does that person expect a seat? Having been repeatedly turned down because I "do not look like I have a disability" only to have a motor focal event because I cannot ride a bus standing up since having a part of my brain removed, yet require no wheelchair or other DME, leaves me the social pariah of a transit system,ADA system, and society that is used to being able to socially employ human sensory organs to discover the humans with disabilities within its human population. I have witnessed kids with polio on SRO buses being denied seats as well. Youth with neuro traumas are equally at risk of such treatment.

    Perhaps a National Transportation P&P that dictates people with disabilities will not necessarily "look,sound,act,appear,seem..." disabled needs to be adopted where people are not being tested out for their "disability" that has already been proven in the Federal level if receiving a social security benefit, or has anatomical loss. To repeat these tests is demeaning and immoral to the personhood of the person with the disability, yet is obvious the person in a chronic state of illness and disorder has that physician. Would it not be simpler to train an educated physician licensed in the State to fill a simple form for paratransit for difficult neurotrauma and invisible disorders or when the client/patient requests and where the training of Transportation has not been sufficient?