Paratransit Service Needs Improvement

Following a scathing performance report by King County, in Washington, system officials are implementing an overhaul of the Access paratransit system.
September 10, 2018, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Josh Cohen reports on changes to King County Metro's Access paratransit service, resulting from complaints about poor performance.

"Metro spends about $61 million annually to provide 900,000 rides to about 8,000 riders throughout King County," according to Cohen. For that price, however, riders who use the service are not receiving service that achieves the standards established by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

"Riders are picked up excessively late, dropped off more than an hour early at their destination, trips take excessively long, the websites and call centers are difficult for non-English speakers to navigate, the service has higher operating costs than the national average and more," explains Cohen to summarize a 2017 evaluation of the Access system [pdf].

Following that report, Metro Access formed a taskforce and began implementing changes. Changes to pick-up and drop-off times, for example, take effect on October 1. " Most significantly, it’s revamping the contract process to make significant changes in how the service is run and regulated in the future," reports Cohen.

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Published on Friday, September 7, 2018 in Crosscut
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