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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Paratransit Eligibility Manual - Draft



          DOT-T-93-17           DRAFT

          Americans with
          Disabilities Act (ADA)
          Paratransit Eligibility
          Manual

                         September 1993

                              Advance Copy

          Americans with
          Disabilities Act (ADA)
          Paratransit Eligibility
          Manual

              Prepared for the Volpe National Transportation
                              Systems Center
              Funded through the Office of Grants Management
                             Acknowledgements

This manual was prepared by EG&G Dynatrend under contract to Battelle.
Funding was provided by the Federal Transit Administration's Office of
Grants Management through the Volpe National Transportation Systems
Center.  Several individuals in each of these organizations were
involved in the development of the manual.

Robert Stout, Nancy Solkowski, Gary DeLorme, and Irv Chor of the
Office of Grants Management, and David Spiller of the Transportation
Systems Center were instrumental in defining and initiating the
project.  David Norstrom of Battelle assisted in the preparation of
the initial document outline and provided administrative support
throughout the project.


Nancy Solkowski and David Spiller also served as Project Managers and
provided valuable guidance and input on the structure and content of
the manual.

Much of the information in this report was gathered from selected
transit providers across the country.  Several individuals assisted in
identifying providers with particular experience in the development of
ADA paratransit eligibility materials and processes.  Recommendations
and referrals were provided by John Balog, John Morrison, and Anne
Schwarz of the Ketron Division of the Bionetics Corporation, Nancy
Coburn of Battelle, David Cyra of the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Rich Garrity of AG Planning & Management, David
Koffman of Crain & Associates, and Robbie Sarles of RLS Associates.

This report would not have been possible without the cooperation of
the employees of each of the transit agencies contacted.  Special
thanks to each of the following persons for sharing insights and for
developing and providing the materials and information contained in
this manual:

- Robin Boshell, Delaware Administration for Specialized Transportation (DAST)
- Daniel Brogan, OMNITRANS, San Bernardino, California
- Jan Choti, City of Durango, Colorado
- Margaret Coffey, New York City Transit Authority
- Lisa Darnall, Mass Transportation Administration, Baltimore, Maryland
- Richard DeRock and Chip Hazen, Los Angeles County Metropolitan 
  Transportation Authority
- Ed Frost, Ben Franklin Transit, Richland, Washington
- Gail Heald and Mary Ellen Blunt, Central Massachusetts Regional Planning
  Commission, Worcester, Massachusetts
- Susan Hafner and Tessie Johnston, Riverside Transit Agency, Riverside, 
  California
- Mark Huddleston, Oshkosh Transit System, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- Robert Johnson, Waukesha Transit System, Waukesha, Wisconsin
- Micki Kaplan, Lane Transit District, Eugene, Oregon 
- Kimberlee Kelly, Greater Bridgeport Transit District
- Dianna Lake, San Mateo County Transit District, San Carlos, California
- Paul Larrousse, Madison Metro Transit System
- Terry Lathrop, City of Charlotte, North Carolina
- John Lee, City of Greeley, Colorado
- Avon Makel, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
- Kathy McCune, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City
- Tina Morris, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, Kentucky
- Lynn Ritter Otte and Shirley Fraser, Regional Transportation
  Authority, Chicago
- Nancy Poultney, Seattle Metro
- Jon Roth, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia
- Christopher White, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
- Cathy Williams, Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh

Finally, several employees at EG&G Dynatrend provided input,
assistance and support.  Karla Karash reviewed draft material.  Carol
Schweiger and Larry Harman provided information on the final chapter
concerning advanced technologies.  Marsha Gangi provided
administrative support and assisted in document preparation.

Table of Contents


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1

Chapter 1.     Understanding ADA Paratransit Eligibility . . . . . . . .  3

 Section 1.     Who Must Develop an ADA Paratransit Eligibility
                Determination Process and When Must it be Implemented?  3
 Section 2.  How is ADA Paratransit Eligibility Defined in the
Regulations?  4
          Category 1 Eligibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
          Category 2 Eligibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
          Category 3 Eligibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
          Companions/Personal Care Attendants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
          Visitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
          Temporary Disabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

 Section 3.     Key Differences between ADA Paratransit Eligibility and Past
               Paratransit Eligibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

          ADA Paratransit Eligibility as a Civil Right . . . . . . . . . 15
          Functionally-based Determinations of Eligibility . . . . . . . 16
          Conditional or "Trip-by-Trip" Eligibility. . . . . . . . . . . 16
          Determining Eligibility Based on the Most Limiting Factors . . 20

 Section 4.     The Importance of a Thorough Initial Determination . 21

          Managing Demand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
          Documenting an Undue Financial Burden. . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Chapter 2.     Elements of an ADA Paratransit Eligibility Policy . . . . 23

     Section 1.     Required Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

          Strictly Limiting Eligibility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
          Accessible formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
          Processing Time/Presumptive Eligibility. . . . . . . . . . . . 25
          Notice of Initial Determination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
          Documentation of Eligibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
          Administrative Appeal Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26





     Section 2.     Optional Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

          Recertification of ADA Paratransit Eligibility . . . . . . . . 27
          Recertification of Other Paratransit Customers . . . . . . . . 28
          No-Show Suspension Policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Chapter 3.     Establishing an ADA Paratransit Eligibility Determination 
                                   				 Process 29

     Section 1.     General Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

          Public Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
          Public Information and Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
          Additional Charges and Fees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

     Section 2.     Alternative Processes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

          Self-certification with professional verification as needed. . 34
          Self-certification and professional verification . . . . . . . 36
          In-Person Assessments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
          Combined Approaches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
          Considerations for Future Recertification of Riders. . . . . . 42

     Section 3.     Deciding Who Will Do Initial Determinations. . . . . 48

          In-House Determinations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
          Utilizing Contract Reviewers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
          In-House Determination with Third-Party Assistance as Needed . 51
          Reviewer Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

     Section 4.     Developing Application Forms and Materials . . . . . 53

          Accessible Formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
          Terminology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
          Transmittal/Cover Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
          Application/Assessment Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
          General Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
          Questions about Mobility Aids Used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
          Questions about the Applicant's Disability . . . . . . . . . . 59
          Questions/Functional Tests Regarding Travel Capabilities . . . 60
          Travel Training Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
          Other Service Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
          Administrative Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
          Request for Professional Reference(s). . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
          Professional Verification Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72



     Section 5.     Reviewing Applications and Making Determinations . . 73

          Pre-Tests of Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
          Regulatory Review Timetable and Presumptive Eligibility. . . . 73
          Establishing a Management Information System to Track
               Determinations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
          Developing Reviewer Guidelines and Maintaining Consistency in
               Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
          Observing Privacy Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
          Recent Certification Experiences of Selected Providers . . . . 79

     Section 6.     Notifying Individuals of Initial Determinations. . . 85
     Section 7.     Documentation of ADA Paratransit Eligibility . . . . 92
     Section 8.     Appeals Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

          Structuring an Appeal Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
          Holding an Appeal Hearing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102

     Section 9.     Refusing, Conditioning, or Suspending Service. . . .103

          Circumstances Under which Service Can be Refused . . . . . . .103
          Circumstances Under which Service Can be Conditioned . . . . .104
          Circumstances Under Which Service Can be Suspended . . . . . .104
          Developing a "No-Show" Suspension Policy . . . . . . . . . . .105
          Process Issues Associated with Suspending Service. . . . . . .111

     Section 10.    Visitor Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112

Chapter 4.     Applying Eligibility Determinations to Daily Operations .115

     Section 1.     Important Operational Information. . . . . . . . . .115
     Section 2.     Trip-by-Trip Eligibility Determinations. . . . . . .118

          Review Subscription Trips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
          Review Other Frequently Made Trips . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
          Generalize Limitations of Eligibility. . . . . . . . . . . . .119
          Consideration of Easily Tracked Eligibility Conditions . . . .120

     Section 3.     Using Advanced Technologies to Make Trip Eligibility
                    Determinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122

          Relational Database Management Systems (RDMS). . . . . . . . .122
          Automated Client Information Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . .122
          Automated Routing and Scheduling Systems . . . . . . . . . . .123
          GIS and Computer Mapping Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133

     Section 4.     Providing Alternatives/Market-Based Approaches . . .133


References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135

Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 





Appendix A.    49 CFR Part 37 Sections 37.121 through 37.127 and related 
               sections of Appendix D
Appendix B.    ADA Paratransit Eligibility Policy Checklist
Appendix C.    Listing of Selected Transit Providers Contacted for 
	       Information in the Preparation of this Manual
Appendix D.    Sample Marketing and Public Information Materials
Appendix E.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the San Mateo County
               Transit District (SAMTRANS)
Appendix F.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Madison Metro 
	       Transit System
Appendix G.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Utah Transit 
               Authority
Appendix H.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Worcester Regional
               Transit Authority
Appendix I.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Municipality of
               Metropolitan Seattle (Metro)
Appendix J.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Washington 
	       Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority
Appendix K.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Delaware 
	       Administration for Specialized Transportation (DAST)
Appendix L.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Regional 
               Transportation Authority (Chicago)
Appendix M.    Sample Eligibility Material Developed by the Port Authority of
               Allegheny County (PAT)
Appendix N.    Information about the Applicant Tracking System used by 
               Seattle Metro

List of Tables


Table 1.  Eligibility by Functional Impairment/Disability. . . . . . . . 18
Table 2.  Eligibility Determination Processes Used by Selected Transit 
          Providers 43
Table 3.  Eligibility Determination Results for Selected Transit Providers 80
Table 4.  Descriptions of Appeal Procedures for Selected Transit Providers 99
Table 5.  Details of No-Show Suspension Policies for Selected Transit 
          Providers 107
Table 6.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatching Systems
         to Capture and Display ADA Paratransit Eligibility Information.125
Table 7.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatching Systems
            to Display the ADA Paratransit Service Area       
            and Calculate Distances to and From Stops/Stations . . . . .127
Table 8.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatching Systems
                   to Track Service Provided to Visitors . . . . . . . .129
Table 9.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatch Systems
    to Track and Analyze Capacity Constraints and Subscription Service .131



List of Figures


Figure 1.  Examples of Eligibility Under Category 3. . . . . . . . . . . 11
Figure 2.  Required and Optional Policy Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Figure 3.  Steps in Developing an ADA Paratransit Eligibility Process. . 29
Figure 4.  Examples of Types of Professionals that can Assist with Eligibility
     Determinations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Figure 5.  Sample Flow Chart of Eligibility Determination Process (sheet 1 of 
           3) 75
Figure 6.  Sample Photo ID Format for ADA Paratransit Eligibility Documentation 
           93
Figure 7.  Letter Sent by SEPTA to Riders with Greatest Number of No-Shows Each
     Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110

Introduction

Section 223 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
requires that public entities which operate non-commuter fixed route
transportation services also provide complementary paratransit service
for individuals unable to use the fixed route system.  The regulations
issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which implement this
portion of the law, specify to whom and under what circumstances this
service is to be provided.  In addition, the regulations require
public entities which are subject to the complementary paratransit
requirements to develop and administer a process for determining if
individuals who request service meet the regulatory criteria for
eligibility.

Initial guidance on the development of complementary paratransit
plans, including the establishment of eligibility determination
processes, was provided in the ADA Paratransit Handbook immediately
following the issuance of the regulations.  Since that time, numerous
questions about the definition of eligibility and about the
determination process have been raised.  The review of initial ADA
paratransit plans and first year updates also has identified
innovative approaches used by transit providers in the development of
eligibility determination programs.

This manual has been prepared to provide further guidance to transit
providers in the development and implementation of ADA paratransit
eligibility determination processes.  The most common questions raised
about eligibility are addressed.  Experience gained in the first one
and a half years of implementation of the paratransit provisions is
also summarized.  As part of the preparation of this manual, public
entities that had particular expertise and positive experiences with
eligibility determination were contacted and copies of the forms and
procedures which they had developed were collected.  Key issues raised
by these transit providers are included in the text and copies of
sample forms and policies are provided in the appendices.

This manual is organized in three parts.  The first part, which
includes Chapters 1 and 2, presents a thorough discussion of the
concept of ADA paratransit eligibility and describes the regulatory
requirements which apply.  The second part, Chapter 3, offers
practical advice in all aspects of designing and administering an
eligibility determination process.  This chapter is structured to lead
the reader through the process of eligibility determination as it
would occur in actual practice.  The sequence of presentation is:

         deciding on the appropriate process;
         creating appropriate forms for the selected process;
         conducting the initial determination;
         notifying individuals about determinations;
         providing documentation of eligibility;
         establishing and conducting an appeals process;
         policies for suspending service to eligible persons; and
         providing service to visitors.

The final chapter focuses on key operational issues.  It discusses the
use of eligibility information in daily operations.  Possible
approaches to determining the eligibility of specific trip requests
are reviewed and advanced technologies which can assist with
trip-by-trip determinations are presented.

This manual is also intended to be a comprehensive guide to
eligibility issues.  In addition to practical information and
suggestions, all regulatory information has been included.  The full
text of those portions of the regulation that address eligibility
issues are reprinted in Appendix A.  Applicable sections of the
appendix to the regulation which provide interpretation of the
eligibility provisions are also included.  Throughout the manual,
relevant portions of the regulations and interpretive guidance are
inserted.

While this manual offers extensive guidance on the development of
application material and an eligibility process, it does not provide a
single model for eligibility determination applicable in all cases.
As noted in Chapter 3, there are many different ways that the process
can be structured.  Application forms and materials will vary
depending on the approach selected.  Instead, the appendices contain
several model forms and materials that apply to all of the possible
approaches.  Chapter 3 also offers advice on the types of questions
and information that should be included in eligibility materials,
regardless of the approach which is selected.

Public input is required in the design of the eligibility
determination process.  The importance of involving people with
disabilities and local disability organizations in the development of
all aspects of the eligibility policy and process cannot be
overemphasized.  The guidance and advice offered in this manual should
be shared with and reviewed together with these individuals and
organizations.  Chapter 1 Understanding ADA Paratransit Eligibility


Section 1.     Who Must Develop an ADA Paratransit Eligibility
               Determination Process and When Must it be Implemented?

Access to mainline, fixed route transportation services is the main
goal of the transportation provisions of the ADA.  The law recognizes,
however, that some persons with disabilities are not able to use fixed
route services even if these services are fully accessible.  The law
also acknowledges that many fixed route systems are not accessible and
that alternative means of transportation are needed until full
accessibility is achieved.  Complementary paratransit service is
required by Section 223 of the ADA to serve those persons whose needs
cannot be met by fixed route systems.

All public entities which operate non-commuter fixed route
transportation services for the general public are required to also
provide complementary paratransit service.  This paratransit service
must be comparable to the fixed route service.  Six service criteria
which define comparability are detailed in the USDOT implementing
regulations.

Complementary paratransit service is to be provided to those
individuals determined to be ADA paratransit eligible when these
individuals are unable to use the fixed route service to meet
particular trip needs.  As described in Section 2 of this Chapter, the
regulations provide detailed guidelines which define who is to be
considered ADA paratransit eligible and what trips are to be
considered eligible.

All public entities which operate complementary paratransit services
must establish a process for certifying individuals as ADA paratransit
eligible.  Requests for certification must be accepted and processed
for local residents and long-term visitors.

An eligibility determination process must be established even if the
public entity operates a paratransit system with broader eligibility
requirements than the ADA.  All potentially ADA paratransit eligible
persons may be covered by the broader system, but individuals must
have the opportunity to apply for and receive documentation of ADA
paratransit eligibility which can be used in other areas.

The regulations required that the implementation of complementary
paratransit service begin on January 26, 1992.  Services must be fully
implemented (i.e., must meet all of the regulatory service criteria)
by January 26, 1997 unless an "undue financial burden waiver" is
granted by the FTA Administrator.  The determination of those persons
who are eligible to receive service is a necessary first step in this
process.  Therefore, an eligibility determination process is required
early in the five-year implementation period.  Regardless of local
implementation schedules, all public entities should have an
eligibility determination process in place by January 26, 1994.


Section 2.     How is ADA Paratransit Eligibility Defined in the Regulations?

Eligibility for complementary paratransit service is directly related
to the inability of a person with a disability to use the existing
fixed route service.  A person's inability to use the fixed route
service could be related to the fact that the system has not yet been
made fully accessible.  It could also result from the nature of a
person's disability.  The person may not be able, due to their
disability, to get to or from the system or to board, ride, and
disembark from the vehicles even if they are fully accessible.

While eligibility is conferred on individuals, it is conferred based
on the fact that there are certain trips that the person cannot make
on the fixed route system.  For some individuals, their disabilities
may prohibit them from ever using the fixed route service.  For
others, however, they may not be able to use the fixed route service
under certain circumstances.  ADA paratransit eligibility can,
therefore, be considered as having two elements.  First, an individual
is considered ADA paratransit eligible if there are any circumstances
under which the fixed route system cannot be used.  Second, the extent
of eligibility conferred on an individual depends on the conditions
and circumstances under which they are not able to travel on the fixed
route service.  Individuals who can never use the fixed route service
are unconditionally eligible.  Persons who can use fixed route service
in certain circumstances are conditionally eligible and the
limitations on their eligibility should be determined.

Because the regulations establish this concept of trip-by-trip
eligibility, it is important that the eligibility determination
process be detailed enough to identify not only eligible individuals
but to determine the conditions under which their specific trip
requests would be eligible.

The regulations describe three specific circumstances under which a
person would be considered ADA paratransit eligible.  Within the
industry, these have been referred to as the three "categories" of
eligibility.  The regulations also require that service be provided to
personal care attendants and companions of eligible individuals and to
visitors from outside a transit district's jurisdiction.

Following is a detailed discussion of each of the three "categories"
of eligibility and of requirements for serving companions, personal
care attendants, and visitors.




Category 1 Eligibility


The first category of eligibility includes those persons unable to use
fully accessible fixed route services.  Included in this category is:

"Any individual with a disability who is unable, as the result of a
physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and
without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a
wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride,
or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities."
[37.123(e)(1)]

Examples of eligibility under this category would include:

    a person with a mental disability who cannot "navigate the
system".  Navigating the system might involve obtaining and
understanding system information, recognizing and boarding the correct
vehicle, having available the correct fare and/or using the fare
collection system, recognizing destinations, and understanding
transfers that might have to be made;

    a person with a vision impairment who cannot "navigate the
system".  Entering and traveling through a busy station or transit
center may not be possible.  Recognizing and boarding the correct
vehicle, and recognizing the appropriate destination - even though
announcements are made - are also considerations;

    a person with a physical disability who cannot stand on a crowded
bus or rail car when seats, including priority seats, may not be
available;

    a person with a physical disability who uses a wheelchair and who
cannot get on or off the lift or to or from the wheelchair securement
area without assistance.

It is important to note that eligibility under this category depends
on the complexity of the fixed route system.  The type and extent of
disability that would confer eligibility in a rural area with a one or
two route bus system would be different from that in a large urban
system.  Transit providers should base determinations on the
characteristics of their fixed route service and the abilities needed
to use it.

Other key issues and questions associated with this category of
eligibility are summarized below.

(1) Travel training: Many persons who cannot negotiate the entire
fixed route system can be travel trained for certain trips.
Typically, training is provided for trips that the person makes
frequently, such as to work or school.  These individuals would only
be ADA paratransit eligible for trips they have not been trained to
make.  As part of the application and determination process, it should
be determined if such training has been provided.

     Individuals cannot, however, be required to participate in travel
training.  The public entity may choose to offer training and may
encourage individuals to take advantage of this service.  Until the
individual takes advantage of this service and is adequately trained,
paratransit service must be provided.

(2) Operator assistance: Eligibility under this category is not
necessarily based on a person's ability to get on and off the lift, up
and down a ramp, to and from the securement area, or secure their
mobility device.  While the regulation states that a person is
eligible for paratransit service if they cannot independently use the
fixed route system, operator assistance is assumed.  The regulations,
in fact, specify the level of assistance that must be provided by the
public entity.  Section 37.165(f) of the regulations states that "the
drivers or other personnel must provide assistance with the use of
lifts, ramps, and securement devices."  Beyond this level of required
assistance, however, public entities may choose to offer additional
assistance, such as assistance getting to and from the securement
area, in order to enable persons to utilize the fixed route service.
If the individual is able to use the fixed route system with this
assistance, complementary paratransit service does not have to be
provided. Local policy concerning operator assistance should be
developed with full public participation, including the input of
persons with disabilities;

(3) Assistance of another person: With the exception of assistance
provided by the driver or other employees of the service, eligibility
under this category is based on a person's ability to independently
use the service.  A person traveling with a friend or attendant is
still eligible for paratransit service even if they would be able to
use the fixed route system with this other person's help.

(4) Accommodating mobility aids: The regulations set standards for
vehicle and station/stop accessibility.  To be considered accessible,
equipment and facilities must be able to accommodate mobility aids of
a certain size and persons and mobility aids up to a certain weight.
The regulations define a "common wheelchair" as a "wheelchair" which
does not exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length (measured
two inches above the ground) and which does not weigh more than 600
pounds when occupied.  A "wheelchair" is defined as any mobility aid
belonging to any class of three or four-wheeled devices, usable
indoors, designed for and used by individuals with mobility
impairments, whether operated manually or powered.

     All common wheelchairs and their users are to be accommodated on
accessible fixed route and complementary paratransit systems.  The
regulations do not, however, require public entities to provide
service to persons using mobility aids that are not "common
wheelchairs".  An individual would not be eligible for paratransit
service under category 1 if they could not use an accessible bus
because their mobility aid is too large or too heavy for the lift.

(5) Standees on lifts: The regulations require public entities to
allow persons with ambulatory disabilities who do not use wheelchairs
( e.g., persons who use leg braces and canes) to enter the vehicle by
standing on the lift.  Therefore, individuals who cannot climb the
steps to get into a bus would not be eligible for paratransit service
if they could enter the vehicle using the lift.


Category 2 Eligibility

The second category of eligibility includes:

"Any individual with a disability who needs the assistance of a
wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device and is able, with
such assistance, to board, ride, and disembark from any vehicle which
is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities
if the individual wants to travel on a route of the system during the
hours of operation of the system at a time, or within a reasonable
period of such time, when such a vehicle is not being used to provide
designated public transportation on the route." [37.123(e)(2)]

The majority of persons eligible under this category would be those
with ambulatory disabilities who could not enter an inaccessible rail
facility or would need to travel on a vehicle with a lift or ramp and
other accessibility features.  This would include persons who use
wheelchairs as well as persons who use other mobility aids such as
walkers, leg braces, or canes.

Eligibility under this category depends on the accessibility of
vehicles and stations/stops.  A person is eligible for paratransit
service if the fixed route on which they want to travel is not yet
accessible.  Guidance on exactly what constitutes an "accessible"
fixed route is provided in the regulations and explanatory appendix.
For example:

    A person is eligible if the bus route on which they want to travel
is not 100 percent accessible.  The requested trip would be eligible
if the fixed route that would otherwise be used is only partially
accessible (e.g., every other bus is accessible).

    Similarly, a person is eligible if they need to travel on a rapid
or light rail system that is not yet accessible - meaning that all key
stations are accessible and one car per train is accessible.  An
individual would be eligible in this example even if accessible fixed
route bus service is provided in the same area.

    An individual is eligible for paratransit if a vehicle's lift or
boarding device cannot be deployed at the stop which they want to use.

    An individual who uses a "common wheelchair" but cannot be served
by the fixed route system because the lift on the vehicle they need to
use does not meet the equipment standards contained in Part 38 of the
regulation is eligible for paratransit service.

One important issue related to category 2 eligibility is the use of
on-call bus services as a way to increase the overall accessibility of
the fixed route service.  Basically, on-call bus programs allow an
individual to call in advance and request that an accessible bus be
assigned to a particular route at a time when they need to travel.
Typically, an on-call bus program is implemented when a significant
percent of the fixed route fleet is accessible.  Successful programs
have been implemented when 20-30 percent of all peak hour vehicles are
accessible.

On-call bus services do not technically make the fixed route fleet
fully accessible.  Therefore, even if an on-call bus service is
offered, individuals who are eligible under category 2 must be
certified.  On-call bus service is, however, considered an acceptable
form of complementary paratransit service and can be provided in lieu
of a separate van service to those who are eligible under this
category.

A second important issue is how this category of eligibility should be
treated by transit providers whose fixed route systems are fully
accessible.  Clearly, individuals who could use accessible vehicles
would not be Category 2 eligible in these areas and transit districts
are not required to include questions that address this category of
eligibility in their application materials or assessment processes if
the fixed route service is 100 percent accessible.  These same
individuals may not, however, be able to use inaccessible vehicles if
they travel to other transit districts.  Therefore, transit providers
are encouraged to address this category of eligibility even if it is
not applicable to their local system and to note on the eligibility
documentation provided that individuals are ADA paratransit eligible
if accessible fixed route vehicles are not available when needed.


Category 3 Eligibility

The third category of eligibility includes:

"Any individual with a disability who has a specific
impairment-related condition which prevents such individual from
traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on
such system." [37.123(e)(3)]

Two important qualifiers to this category are included in the
regulations.  First, environmental conditions and architectural
barriers not under the control of the public entity do not, when
considered alone, confer eligibility.  If, however, travel to or from
a boarding location is prevented when these factors are combined with
the person's specific impairment- related condition, paratransit
service must be provided.  Examples of architectural and environmental
factors that, in combination with certain disabilities, could prevent
travel include:

  a lack of curb-cuts
  the distance from the stop/station to the trip origin or destination
  steep terrain
  snow and/or ice
  extremes in temperature (hot or cold)
  major intersections or other difficult to negotiate architectural barriers
  temporary construction projects
  severe air pollution 

Second, the specific impairment-related condition must prevent the
person from using the fixed route system.  Conditions which make
getting to or from stops/stations more difficult do not confer
eligibility.  A determination of whether travel is difficult rather
than "prevented" will need to be made.  Appendix D of the regulations
offers the following guidance to clarify the concepts of "prevented"
travel and the relationship between architectural and environmental
conditions and a person's disability:

     "For anyone, going to a bus stop and waiting for a bus is more
difficult and less comfortable than waiting for a vehicle at one's
home.  This is likely to be all the more true for an individual with a
disability.  But for many persons with disabilities, in many
circumstances, getting to a bus stop is possible.  If an
impairment-related condition only makes the job of accessing transit
more difficult than it might otherwise be, but does not prevent the
travel, then the person is not eligible.

     For example, in many areas, there are not yet curb cuts.  A
wheelchair user can often get around this problem by taking a less
direct route to a destination than an ambulatory person would take.
That involves more time, trouble, and effort than for someone without
a mobility impairment.  But the person can still get to the bus
stop. On the basis of these architectural barriers, the person would
not be eligible.

     Entities are cautioned that, particularly in cases involving lack
of curb cuts and other architectural barrier problems, assertions of
eligibility should be given tight scrutiny. Only if it is apparent
from the facts of a particular case that an individual cannot find a
reasonable alternative path to a location should eligibility be
granted.

     If we add a foot of snow to the scenario, then the same person
taking the same route may be unable to get to the bus stop.  If it is
not the snow alone that stops him; it is the interaction of the snow
and the fact that the individual has a specific-impairment related
condition that requires him to push a wheelchair through the snow that
prevents the travel.

     Inevitably, some judgment is required to distinguish between
situations in which travel is prevented and situations in which it is
merely made more difficult.  In the Department's view, a case of
"prevented travel" can be made not only where travel is literally
impossible (e.g., someone cannot find the bus stop, someone cannot
push a wheelchair through the foot of snow or up a steep hill) but
also where the difficulties are so substantial that a reasonable
person with the impairment-related condition in question would be
deterred from making the trip.

     The regulation makes the interaction between an
impairment-related condition and the environmental barrier (whether
distance, weather, terrain, or architectural barriers) the key to
eligibility determinations.  This is an individual determination.
Depending on the specifics of their impairment-related condition, one
individual may be able to get from his home to a bus stop under a
given set of conditions, while his next-door neighbor may not."

Given the judgement required to determine if travel is truly prevented
and the relationship between environmental conditions and an
individual's disability, making eligibility determinations based on
this third regulatory category is likely to be the most difficult.
Figure 1 on the following page provides additional hypothetical
examples to further define eligibility under this category.  It
includes situations that would result in a person being determined
eligible as well as examples that would not confer eligibility.
            Figure 1.  Examples of Eligibility Under Category 3





Companions/Personal Care Attendants

Paratransit service also must be provided to a personal care attendant
(PCA) traveling with an eligible rider.  In addition to a personal
care attendant, the regulations require that service be provided to
one companion accompanying an eligible rider.  Other persons
accompanying the rider are to be accommodated on a "space available"
basis.  Persons are considered to be accompanying the eligible rider
if they are picked up and dropped off at the same locations as the
eligible rider.  Companions must be charged the same fare as the
eligible rider and PCAs must ride free.

The following additional guidance on requirements for serving PCAs and
companions is provided in the interpretive appendix to the
regulations:

     "The one individual who is guaranteed space on the vehicle can be
anyone-family member, business associate, friend, date, etc.  The
provider cannot limit the eligible individual's choice of type of
companion.  The transit authority may require that the eligible
individual reserve a space for the companion when the individual
reserves his or her own ride.  This one individual rides even if this
means that there is less room for other eligible individuals.
Additional individuals beyond the first companion are carried only on
a space available basis; that is, they do not displace other ADA
paratransit eligible individuals.

     A personal care attendant (i.e., someone designated or employed
specifically to help the eligible individual meet his or her personal
needs) always may ride with the eligible individual.  If there is a
personal care attendant on the trip, the eligible individual may still
bring a companion, plus additional companions on a space available
basis.  The entity may require that, in reserving the trip, the
eligible individual reserve the space for the attendant.

     To prevent potential abuse of this provision, the rule provides
that a companion (e.g., friend or family member) does not count as a
personal care attendant unless the eligible individual regularly makes
use of a personal care attendant and the companion is actually acting
in that capacity.  As noted under 37.125, a provider may require
that, as part of the initial eligibility certification process, an
individual indicate whether he or she travels with a personal care
attendant.  If someone does not indicate the use of an attendant, then
any individual accompanying him or her would be regarded simply as a
companion." [Appendix D to 49 CFR Part 37, 37.123]

As indicated above, a PCA may be an employee of the ADA paratransit
eligible rider or may be a family member or friend.  Regardless of the
relationship, a PCA is clearly meant to be someone whose services are
required by the rider.  In determining if eligible individuals require
PCA services, it is important to realize that the need for a personal
care attendant is not necessarily related to travel on the paratransit
service.  PCAs are often needed by individuals with disabilities to
assist with other activities of daily living.  For example, a
quadriplegic may be assisted by a PCA in filing and holding papers at
work or in eating meals.  A blind person may need a PCA to assist with
shopping or to serve as a reader at work.  Individuals may need PCAs
for these activities but be fully capable of traveling on the
paratransit service with the assistance provided by transit personnel.

The need for PCA services can be intermittent or occasional and still
be considered "regularly" needed.  "Regular" use should be interpreted
to be consistent with the underlying need - for example, a blind
person regularly using a PCA for shopping.  It is also important to
note that once a person has been certified as needing to travel with a
PCA, it should be the eligible individual, not the transit agency,
that determines if a PCA is needed for a particular trip.

Section 4 of Chapter 3 of this manual offers guidance on questions
that can be added to the application form or assessment process to
determine if eligible individuals will need the services of PCAs when
using the paratransit program.


Visitors

The needs of visitors with disabilities who cannot use the fixed route
system also are addressed in the regulations.  Complementary
paratransit service must be provided to ADA eligible individuals who
travel to areas outside of the region in which they live.  If these
individuals have been certified as "ADA paratransit eligible" by a
public entity, that certification must be honored and the host transit
agency must provide up to 21 days of paratransit service.  If
individuals have not been certified as eligible by another public
entity but claim that they are ADA paratransit eligible, they are
entitled to "presumptive eligibility" and must be provided with 21
days of service.  Individuals who are not certified by another transit
provider and who claim presumptive eligibility can be requested to
provide certain documentation such as their place of residence and the
nature of their disability.

Individuals are only considered "visitors" if they reside outside of
the transit provider's jurisdiction.  The "jurisdiction" means the
total area within which the provider is authorized to operate, not the
sub-area designated as the ADA paratransit service area.  In joint
paratransit plans, the jurisdiction is considered the total area of
all partners in the plan.  The interpretive appendix to the regulation
offers the following explanation and example:

     "A visitor is defined as someone who does not reside in the
jurisdiction or jurisdictions served by the public entity or other
public entities with which it coordinates paratransit service.  For
example, suppose a five-county metropolitan area provides coordinated
paratransit service under a joint plan.  A resident of any of the five
counties would not be regarded as a visitor in any of them.  Note that
the rule talks in terms of "jurisdiction" rather than "service area."
If an individual lives in XYZ County, but outside the fixed route
service area of that county's transit provider, the individual is
still not a visitor for purposes of paratransit in PQR County, if PQR
is one of the counties with which XYZ provides coordinated paratransit
service."

Visitors from communities outside the transit agency's jurisdiction
must be served even if the community in which they reside does not
contribute financially to the transit system.

The "21 days" of service that must be provided are to be calculated as
21 days of service over a defined period of time, not as a 21 calendar
day period of time, beginning from the first day that service is
provided.  For example, a person may travel to the ADA service area
two-days a week on the commuter rail system.  Eligibility should be
extended in this case over the eleven week period of time within which
21 days of paratransit service would be required.

Visitors who require more than 21 days of service within the period of
time established can be required to apply for local eligibility.

Finally, the level of service provided to visitors must be the same as
that provided to local ADA paratransit eligible individuals who would
be traveling in the same area.  This means that there can be no
difference in the area within which visitors can travel, the times
that they can travel, the fares charged, or any of the other service
criteria established in the regulations.  Visitors are to be treated
exactly like eligible local customers.


Temporary Disabilities

Persons with temporary disabilities are to be considered for ADA
paratransit eligibility.  This may include:

    someone with a medical condition such as a broken leg who
temporarily is unable to use the fixed route service;

    someone who has recently undergone an operation or other medical
treatment and who is unable to use the fixed route service; or

    someone with a cognitive disability that can be expected to be
resolved over time through treatment or medication.


Temporary eligibility should be granted for the period of time that
the disabling condition is expected to last.  An expiration date
should be included on the documentation provided to individuals
determined temporarily ADA paratransit eligible.  Section 4 of Chapter
3 of this manual includes a suggested approach for determining the
period of disability as part of the application/assessment process.
Section 3.  Key Differences between ADA Paratransit Eligibility and
Past
               Paratransit Eligibility

Many public transit providers offered paratransit services prior to
the enactment of the ADA.  In the mid-1970's, eligibility was
determined by governing boards based on expressed local needs.
Throughout the 1980's, transit providers which opted to meet their
Section 504 obligations by offering paratransit service adopted the
general definition of eligibility provided in that regulation.

Eligibility for ADA complementary paratransit service is different
from these past notions of paratransit eligibility in four key ways.
These differences are discussed below.


ADA Paratransit Eligibility as a Civil Right

Failure to conduct a determination process that meets the regulations
or failure to provide complementary paratransit service in accordance
with the requirements established in the regulations are violations of
the civil rights of the affected individual.  This difference between
ADA paratransit and past services has several important implications
for the eligibility determination process.  First, in designing review
procedures and policies, it is important that they adhere to all of
the requirements contained in 37.123 and 37.125, described above and
in Chapter 2 of this manual.  All elements of the policy and process
also should be formally adopted by each public entity with the public
participation required in 37.137 of the regulations.  Second, due
process standards must be observed in appeals, suspensions of service,
or in any other actions which affect a person's right to the service.
This is particularly true once individuals have been determined
eligible.  In addressing the suspension of service for "no-shows", the
interpretive appendix states:

     "Once an entity has certified someone as eligible, the
individual's eligibility takes on the coloration of a property right.
(This is not merely a theoretical statement.  If one depends on
transportation one has been found eligible for to get to a job, and
the eligibility is removed, one may lose the job.  The same can be
said for access to medical care or other important services.)
Consequently, before eligibility may be removed "for cause" under this
provision, the entity must provide administrative due process to the
individual."[Appendix D to 49 CFR Part 37, Federal Register, Sept. 6,
1991, page 45747].

Finally, transit providers should maintain adequate records of
certification requests, reviews completed, notification provided, and
any appeals requested and should be prepared to demonstrate that
regulatory requirements were met in the handling of each request for
eligibility.  Applications should be dated upon receipt.  Decisions
made throughout the review process (e.g., the completeness of the
application, the need for more information, reasons for
determinations, requests for appeals, etc.) should be recorded.


Functionally-based Determinations of Eligibility

Many policies prior to the ADA conferred paratransit eligibility based
on a particular medical condition, disability, or on the use of a
particular mobility aid.  For example, persons who were certified as
paratransit eligible if they were "blind" or "legally blind".
Individuals who used wheelchairs, walkers, or leg braces were
considered eligible for paratransit.  Certification from a social
service agency or a medical professional that the person used a
particular aid or had a particular disability automatically conferred
paratransit eligibility.

ADA paratransit eligibility, however, is based not just on the
presence of a disability, but on the effect that the disability has on
the person's ability to use the fixed route service.  Several factors
must be considered in determining ADA paratransit eligibility.  These
include:


     (1)  the applicant's disability;

     (2)  the accessibility of the fixed route system;

     (3) architectural barriers that, in combination with the person's
disability, prevent use of the fixed route service; and

     (4) environmental conditions that, in combination with the
person's disability, prevent use of the fixed route service.

While documentation of a particular disability or use of a mobility
aid is still important, this information alone can not be used to make
an eligibility determination.  Questions about the functional ability
of the applicant to use fixed route transit must be included in the
application or assessment process.  The accessibility of the fixed
route service and the effects of environmental and architectural
barriers must also be considered.


Conditional or "Trip-by-Trip" Eligibility

The paratransit eligibility processes employed by most transit
providers prior to the ADA used an "all or nothing" determination
approach.  If it was determined that certain persons met the criteria
established for eligibility, they could call and request paratransit
service for any trip.  If they were determined to not be eligible,
they could not request any rides.  The ability to use the fixed route
system for some trips and not for others was not considered.

Under the ADA, complementary paratransit service is only required for
trips that cannot be made on the fixed route system.  Many persons may
qualify because there are certain specific conditions which prevent
them from using the fixed route service.  For example, a paraplegic
wheelchair user may be able to use accessible fixed route buses during
most of the year, but may require paratransit service when traveling
on a route that is not fully accessible or when traveling when there
is a significant accumulation of snow.  Such a person would be ADA
paratransit eligible.  Eligibility would be for trips that are not
served by accessible fixed routes and might be limited to certain
months of the year.  The documentation of ADA paratransit eligibility
provided to this individual should identify these conditions of
eligibility.

While transit providers must identify whether or not applicants are
conditionally or unconditionally eligible and must include limitations
of eligibility in the documentation provided, they are not required to
conduct trip-by-trip determinations in daily operation.  If full
compliance with the paratransit requirements can be achieved within
the allowed implementation period, a broader service can be provided.
If an undue financial burden waiver is eventually requested, however,
only those costs associated with the provision of eligible trips can
be used to calculate ADA paratransit costs.  An ability to distinguish
between trips that are eligible and those that are not will be needed.

Table 1 on the following pages, adapted from the ADA Paratransit
Handbook, illustrates the relationship between ADA paratransit
eligibility and selected types of disabilities/medical
conditions/functional impairments.  For selected disabilities, the
applicability of eligibility conditions is indicated.  The types of
conditions that should be considered are also noted.  While the table
is not intended to be an exhaustive listing of disabilities or
eligibility conditions, it does illustrate the fact that conditions of
eligibility need to be considered in most cases.  There are limited
instances in which it would be reasonable to assume that paratransit
service is needed "in all cases".  This would include, for example,
individuals with profound mental retardation who are unable to
negotiate the fixed route system even with travel training.  It would
also include persons with disabilities that are episodic or
intermittent (i.e., the extent of disability can vary from day to
day).  In this latter instance, it would probably be unrealistic to
specify the condition that would trigger an inability to use fixed
route service.  Table 1.  Eligibility by Functional
Impairment/Disability



Functional Impairment/
Disability

Type of Eligibility

Determining Factors


Ambulatory Disability,
Uses Wheelchair
Conditional
(2,3)*
-    Availability of accessible fixed route service
-    Distance to/from bus stop or rail station for trip requested
-    Environmental conditions (terrain)



Ambulatory Disability, Uses
Walker
Conditional
(2,3)
-    Distance to/from bus stop or rail station for trip requested
-    Availability of accessible fixed route service
-    Environmental conditions (terrain)


Ambulatory Disability
Uses Braces
Conditional
(2,3)
-    Distance to/from bus stop or rail station for trip requested
-    Availability of accessible fixed route service
-    Environmental conditions (terrain)


Ambulatory Disability,
Uses Other Mobility Aid            
Conditional
(2,3)
-    Distance to/from bus stop or rail station for trip requested
-    Availability of accessible fixed route service
-    Environmental conditions (terrain)



Temperature Sensitivities
Conditional
(3)
-    Distance to/from stop/station
-  Waiting time at Stop/station
-  Temperature


Cardiac Condition
Conditional
(3)
-    Distance to/from stop/station
-    Environmental conditions (temperature, terrain)


Pulmonary Condition
Conditional
(3)
-    Distance to/from stop/station 
-    Environmental conditions (temperature/terrain)


Arthritis

Conditional
(3)
-    Distance to/from stop/station
-    Environmental conditions (temperature/terrain)



* Indicates category of eligibility.  (1) = unable to board, ride, or
disembark from an accessible vehicle; (2) = able to use accessible
vehicle but accessible vehicle is not available; (3) = unable, due to
impairment related conditions to get to stop/station.


                                        Table 1 (continued)



Functional Impairment/
Disability

Type of Eligibility

Determining Factors


Conditions resulting in severe
fatigue
(HIV, radiation/chemotherapy,
dialysis)
Conditional
(1,3)
-    Distance to/from stop/station             
-    Environmental (temp./terrain)



Severe lack of
coordination/motor function (e.g.,
cerebral palsy,
brain/spinal/peripheral nerve
trauma, neurological conditions)
In all cases
(1,3)
                      


Moderate lack of
coordination/motor function (e.g.,
cerebral palsy,
brain/spinal/peripheral nerve
trauma, neurological conditions)
Conditional
(2,3)
-    Distance to/from stop/station 
-    Availability of accessible fixed route service



Profound or severe mental
retardation
In all cases
(1,3)



Mild or moderate mental
retardation
Conditional
(1,3)
-    Has person received travel training for trip requested?   


Psychiatric disabilities causing
disorientation (as distinct from
behavioral)
In all cases
(1,3)



Visual impairments (blindness,
restricted vision)
Conditional
(1,3)
-    Has person received travel training for trip requested?
-    Effective fixed route communications practices in place
     (announcements, card systems, etc.)?
-    Physical barriers in the environment


Hearing Impairments

Conditional
(1)
-    Effective fixed route communications practices in place (signage,
     card system, etc.)


Communication Disabilities
(disability related speech or
reading impairments)
Conditional
(1)
-    Effective fixed route Communications practices in place (signage,
     card system, etc.)


Determining Eligibility Based on the Most Limiting Factors

Determinations of ADA paratransit eligibility must consider the
ability of applicants to travel to any origins and destinations in the
paratransit service area under all possible conditions.
Determinations cannot be based on a person's ability to use fixed
route service some of the time or under "typical" conditions.  For
example, a person with an ambulatory disability may live only one
block from the nearest bus stop and the terrain between their home and
the stop may be level and accessible.  They may not be able, though,
to independently travel more than 1/2 mile and may not be able to
negotiate steep terrain.  Even though this person could get to the
fixed route system from their home, there would be possible
destinations more than 1/2 mile from fixed routes that she or he would
not be able to reach.  There may be other destinations in areas of
steep terrain that would also be inaccessible.  Conditional
eligibility would therefore be appropriate.

Section 4.  The Importance of a Thorough Initial Determination


The development of a process that can accurately determine ADA
paratransit eligibility, including conditions and limitations of
eligibility, is important for several reasons.  First and foremost, as
mentioned in Section 3 above, individuals who are unable to use fixed
route service have a right to receive complementary paratransit
service within the service limits established by the regulations.
Because this is a right established in national law, the ultimate
arbiter of eligibility for complementary paratransit service is the
judicial system.  An applicant who feels that a local determination of
eligibility is not consistent with the regulatory criteria can take
this concern to court.  It is therefore in the interest of all
involved that initial determinations of ADA paratransit eligibility
are made accurately and in keeping with the established criteria and
procedures.

In addition, an accurate determination of eligibility has important
operational and planning implications.  These include:


Managing Demand

In many systems, the level of paratransit service that must be
provided to persons determined ADA paratransit eligible exceeds that
which was provided prior to the ADA.  Once complementary paratransit
service is brought into full compliance, individuals can request any
and all trips for which they have been determined eligible.
Essentially, unconstrained service must be provided in corridors
served by fixed routes at all times that the service is in operation.
Unless granted an "undue financial burden waiver," transit providers
will not be permitted to ration service, by limiting supply or by
other means, for these customers.

If the cost of providing fully compliant ADA paratransit service is a
local concern, it is important to carefully identify those individuals
who are eligible, determine when these persons can use the fixed route
system, and when paratransit is necessary.  Unless eligibility and
appropriate limitations/conditions are determined at the outset, it
may not be possible to implement a trip-by-trip scheduling system (see
Chapter 4) as a way to manage paratransit demand.


Documenting an Undue Financial Burden

In the event that providing fully compliant ADA paratransit service
presents an undue financial burden, the regulations permit transit
providers to request a waiver from the Administrator of the Federal
Transit Administration.  Undue financial burden waiver requests must
document the cost of providing fully compliant service and must detail
why this cost is an undue burden.  In developing service costs, the
regulations specifically note in 37.155(b) that costs must be
limited to those "required by (the regulations) to ADA paratransit
individuals" and "attributable to ADA-mandated trips".

Transit providers requesting waivers must be able to document that
they have counted only those costs associated with eligible trips made
by persons who have been determined ADA paratransit eligible.  They
must also be prepared to show that local determination of eligible
individuals and trips is consistent with the regulations.  The local
eligibility determination process is, therefore, an important concern
in any decision regarding a request for an undue financial burden
waiver.  If there is reason to believe that the process has not
accurately determined ADA paratransit eligibility consistent with the
regulations, the costs of ADA complementary paratransit service
included in a waiver request may be questioned.


Chapter 2
Elements of an ADA Paratransit Eligibility Policy

In addition to providing a definition of ADA paratransit eligibility,
the USDOT regulations establish requirements for several aspects of
the determination process.  As shown in Figure 2 below, six specific
process requirements are included in 37.125 of the regulations.
Additional process issues are discussed but left to the option of
transit providers.  Each of these required and optional policy
elements is described in this chapter.


             Figure 2.  Required and Optional Policy Elements


All transit providers should establish a written eligibility policy as
part of their ADA paratransit plan.  The policy should detail exactly
how the ADA paratransit eligibility determination process is
structured.  The policy must address the requirements of 37.125 and
indicate how compliance with each is being achieved.  It can also
address the optional elements noted above.  A checklist which can be
used to ensure that all key elements are included in an ADA
eligibility policy is provided in Appendix B.


Section 1.  Required Elements

Strictly Limiting Eligibility

The certification process that is established must strictly limit ADA
paratransit eligibility to the regulatory definition of eligibility.
Only those persons who meet the regulatory definition can be given
documentation indicating that they are "ADA Paratransit Eligible".  In
addition, if individuals who are determined to be ADA paratransit
eligible can use fixed route service under certain conditions, the
documentation which they are given must indicate the
limitations/conditions of their eligibility.


Public entities which foresee no financial difficulty fully meeting
the complementary paratransit requirements and who wish to offer a
broader service can do so.  A parallel process for determining
eligibility for this broader service can be established and
documentation of eligibility for this non-ADA service can be provided.
Documentation for this broader service cannot, however, indicate that
these other customers are ADA paratransit eligible.

Entities also may develop an integrated eligibility determination
process which they use for all local paratransit services.  Questions
included in the application material can be used to determine if
individuals qualify for broader services even if they do not qualify
as ADA paratransit eligible.  Documentation of eligibility must,
however, distinguish between those who qualify for the broader service
and those who meet ADA paratransit eligibility standards.

Similarly, if full compliance with the complementary paratransit
requirements poses no undue financial burden, entities may opt to
accept all trip requests, regardless of conditions and circumstances,
from individuals determined ADA paratransit eligible.  It may be too
administratively burdensome to implement trip-by-trip eligibility or
may not be cost effective to attempt to operationalize all aspect of
trip eligibility.  The determination process and the documentation
provided must still, however, be designed to identify the extent of
eligibility conferred on individuals.  Application or assessment forms
and guidelines must be detailed enough to allow for conditions of
eligibility to be noted where applicable.  The process must also be
thorough enough to reasonably ensure that the criteria for eligibility
are being properly interpreted and applied.

As noted in Section 4 of the previous chapter, should it become
necessary to request an undue financial burden waiver, only those
costs attributable to ADA-mandated trips can be counted in the
request.


Accessible formats

Subsection (b) of 37.125 states that "All information about the
process, materials necessary to apply for eligibility, and notices and
determinations concerning eligibility shall be made available in
accessible formats upon request."  Accessible formats include large
print, audio tape, braille, and computer disk.

Information does not need to be made available in the format a
requester prefers, but does have to be made available in a format that
the person can use.  There is no use, for example, giving a braille
document rather than a document on tape to a person who does not read
braille.

Section 4 of Chapter 3 of this manual includes a more detailed
discussion of this requirement and suggests ways to assist individuals
with sensory impairments.

     
Processing Time/Presumptive Eligibility

Applicants are to be granted presumptive eligibility if a
determination of eligibility has not been made within 21 calendar days
of the submission of a completed application.  Service must be
provided, and the applicant presumed to be eligible, until and unless
the determination is complete and the person is found to be
ineligible.

An application is considered to be complete once the person has
provided all of the information required.  Subsequent investigations
or requests for additional information by the public entity would be
considered part of the review process and within the 21 day timetable.
For example, if an application process requires that individuals
complete a form which includes the name of a professional who can be
contacted for further information, the application would be considered
"complete" once the requested information and professional contact
were indicated.  Follow-ups by the public entity in getting additional
professional verification and information would be part of the 21 day
review process.


Notice of Initial Determination

Applicants must be notified in writing of the initial determination of
eligibility.  If the determination is that the person is not eligible,
the written notification must state the reasons for the finding.

Appendix D to the regulations indicates that notification of
ineligibility must be specific.  Information provided in the
application or obtained in the review process must be related to the
eligibility criteria (e.g., the categories of eligibility) and to the
review process which the entity has designed.  Simply indicating that
the person is not ADA paratransit eligible because it has been
determined that they "are able to use the fixed route system" is not
sufficient.

Section 6 of Chapter 3 provides more information and suggestions on
the notification process.


Documentation of Eligibility

If an applicant is determined to be eligible, documentation of
eligibility must be provided.  This documentation must specifically
state that the person is "ADA Paratransit Eligible".  It must also
contain, at a minimum, the following information:

         the name of the eligible individual;

         the name of the transit provider providing the certification;

         the telephone number of the transit provider's paratransit
coordinator;

         an expiration date for eligibility (if applicable);

         any conditions or limitations on the individual's eligibility; and

         the need for a personal care attendant.

The telephone number of the transit provider's paratransit coordinator
is meant to facilitate communication between transit providers if
additional eligibility information is needed when the person travels
to another area.  The person identified (and the phone number listed)
should be the individual who has access to and can readily provide
eligibility information.


Administrative Appeal Process

Section 37.125(g) of the regulations requires that an administrative
appeal process be available to any individuals who are determined to
be ineligible for complementary paratransit service.  Because the
provision of ADA complementary paratransit service is a civil right,
the denial of eligibility is a serious matter.  A fair and effective
appeal process is not only required but is in the interest of all
parties.

The appeal process must be available not only to individuals who are
determined ineligible in all situations, but to persons who are deemed
conditionally eligible.  Limiting eligibility is in fact denying
eligibility for certain trips.

The appeal process established must comply with the following requirements:

         Individuals must be permitted to request an appeal within 60
days of the initial eligibility decision;

         Individuals must have an opportunity to be heard in person
and to present additional information and arguments regarding their
disability and ability to use the fixed route service;

         There must be a "separation of function" between those
involved in the initial eligibility determination and those selected
to hear appeals;

         Applicants must be notified of appeal decisions in writing,
or in accessible format if requested, and the notification must state
the reasons for the decision if eligibility is still denied;




         If a decision on the appeal is not made within 30 days of the
completion of the process, individuals must be considered
"presumptively eligible" and must be provided paratransit service
until and unless a decision to deny the appeal is issued. Paratransit
service does not have to be provided, however, during other phases of
the appeal.

Section 8 of Chapter 3 offers guidance on establishing an appeal
process and includes information about the processes adopted by
several selected transit agencies.



Section 2.  Optional Elements

In addition to the above items, eligibility determination policies can
include the following three additional features.  These are not,
however, required elements of the process.


Recertification of ADA Paratransit Eligibility

Transit providers can require that individuals periodically reapply
for ADA paratransit eligibility.  While a person's disability may be
permanent, other factors which go into the determination of
eligibility may change.  For example, the percent of accessible
vehicles in the fixed route service may increase.  Improved
technologies and/or operating procedures also may be introduced which
would permit greater use of the fixed route service by individuals
with disabilities.

While the regulations do not specify the period for which individuals
should be certified as ADA paratransit eligible, some general guidance
is provided.  The ADA Paratransit Handbook suggests recertification
every three to five years.  It also notes that the period of
recertification can be flexible and can consider the applicant's
particular disability.  For example, a person who is frail and 75
years old could be determined eligible without any expiration date
while an applicant whose disability might be expected to change can be
certified for a specific period of time.

Another important factor in setting the recertification interval is
whether or not changes in the level of fixed route accessibility are
planned.  A longer interval might be appropriate in an area where
fixed route service is already 100 percent accessible versus a system
that is just beginning to make fixed route vehicles and stations
accessible.

Regardless of the policy regarding recertification, individuals have
the right to request a new determination if they believe that there
have been changes in their situation.  This would include individuals
determined ineligible as well as those whose eligibility has been
limited or conditioned.


Recertification of Other Paratransit Customers

If paratransit service was provided prior to the ADA, transit
providers may elect to require that all current riders be recertified.
Such a recertification is not, however, required by the regulations.
Current riders can continue to receive service and can apply for ADA
paratransit eligibility as they choose.

If existing riders are allowed to choose whether or not to apply for
ADA paratransit eligibility, transit providers should make these
riders aware of any potential benefits of certification.  This would
include the ability to use paratransit services in other areas and
"priority" service should capacity constraints exist.  It would also
provide individuals with certain rights and "due process" protections.

A recertification of existing riders will become important, however,
if fully compliant paratransit service cannot be developed in the five
year implementation period provided by the regulation.  Any request
for an undue financial burden waiver can only count those costs
associated with the provision of required paratransit service.  A
recertification of existing riders will be needed to determine which
individuals and which trips are in fact required.


No-Show Suspension Policy

Finally, the regulations permit transit providers to suspend
paratransit service to those persons who establish a "pattern or
practice" of missing scheduled rides (i.e., "no-show").  Service can
be suspended for a "reasonable period of time".  Allowances must be
made for missed trips that are beyond the control of the individual.
The number of no-shows considered a pattern or practice and the period
of suspension must be developed through the public participation
process required for the development and updating of paratransit
plans.

Before service can be suspended for cause under this provision,
individuals must be provided with an opportunity to appeal the
proposed suspension.  A two-stage notification and appeal process is
detailed in 37.125(h) of the regulations.

Section 9 of Chapter 3 provides further guidance on no-show policies
and includes information about policies established by selected
transit agencies.

Chapter 3
Establishing an ADA Paratransit Eligibility Determination
Process

The establishment of an appropriate eligibility determination process
involves several key decisions.  Figure 3 summarizes the basic steps
that must be taken to establish a determination process.  At the
outset, a decision must be made as to the process that will be used.
It is then necessary to decide who will conduct initial
determinations.  An appeal process must be structured and no-show and
recertification policies considered.  Application materials and forms
must then be developed.  Public participation in all of these aspects
of the process is required.

A management information system for tracking reviews should be created
before the process is implemented.  Training also should be provided
to those involved in the process.  Consideration should be given to
pre-testing materials before they are widely distributed.  Once
established and operational, administrative oversight of the process
should be maintained, particularly in the initial months.

This chapter details and provides guidance on each of these steps and
decisions.  Section 1 discusses overall considerations, including
public participation in the development of the process and the issue
of application/assessment fees and charges.  Sections 2 and 3 present
alternative processes that can be used for conducting determinations,
and discuss issues


   Figure 3.  Steps in Developing an ADA Paratransit Eligibility Process

associated with conducting determination in-house versus contracting
with an outside agency or agencies for this service.  Section 4
addresses the development of application forms and related materials.
Suggestions for the development of application forms and other
materials are presented.  Issues associated with conducting reviews,
providing notification of determinations, structuring an appeal
process, and establishing details of a no-show policy and a visitor
policy are discussed in Sections 5 through 10.

Much of the information in this chapter is based on the policies,
procedures, and materials that have been developed by selected transit
providers during the first year and a half of implementation of the
complementary paratransit service requirement.  Detailed information
about eligibility determination was obtained from 25 selected transit
providers across the country.  Reference is made to these systems
throughout this chapter.  Appendix C provides a listing of the transit
systems contacted, addresses, phone numbers, and contact persons
should additional information be desired.


Section 1.  General Considerations


Public Participation

Major elements of the process must be developed with full public
participation, including a public hearing.  This would include
decisions on the overall initial determination process that will be
used, the structure of the appeal process, or a decision to establish
or change the specifics of a no-show policy.  It would also include
major changes to the application/assessment form such as the addition
or deletion of key questions regarding travel capabilities.

Procedural changes such as the wording of notification letters or
minor changes to the layout of forms and other materials can be made
without full public participation.  Obtaining less formal input is
still, however, recommended.

The ongoing mechanism for obtaining the input of persons with
disabilities in the development and implementation of the paratransit
service should be used throughout.  Given the detail involved in
developing all aspects of a determination process, consider
establishing a small but representative working group to help in the
development of draft materials and process recommendations.  Make
these draft materials and recommendations available to any advisory
committee or distribute them to agencies and interested individuals
for review and comment.  Finally, present the recommended process and
materials at a pubic hearing for broader comment and review.  If
eligibility materials are to be revised over time, consider combining
the review and revision with the required annual ADA paratransit plan
update process.

Conversations with transit providers that have successfully
implemented an eligibility determination process suggest that public
involvement in the development and implementation of the process is
vital.  Individuals with disabilities and agency staff can assist with
the preparation and testing of materials.  They will provide a
detailed knowledge about disabilities and travel capabilities and
requirements that the transit provider staff do not necessarily have.
Involving consumers and agencies will also allow for the development
of options for outside assistance with initial reviews and appeals.

For additional guidance on developing a public participation process,
see the ADA Public Participation Handbook.  This document, funded by
FTA and prepared through Project ACTION, offers numerous suggestions
and readily adapted material for strengthening local public
participation.

Public Information and Marketing

In addition to a thorough public participation process, it is highly
recommended that a public information/marketing program be developed
to educate potential applicants and local disability organizations
about ADA paratransit eligibility.  The program should utilize a
variety of media to reach persons with different types of
disabilities, and program materials should be made available in
accessible formats.  It is likely that individuals and agencies may
not fully understand the functional nature of ADA paratransit
eligibility, the difference between individual and trip eligibility,
the appeal process, or other key issues.  Misunderstanding of the
nature of eligibility for service can lead to incomplete and/or
inappropriate applications, as well as political and customer
relations problems.

Communicating the trip-by-trip nature of ADA paratransit eligibility
is particularly important.  Several transit agencies have reported
that individuals are hesitant to use fixed route services for fear
this will make them ineligible for ADA paratransit.  The public
information program should emphasize that paratransit may still be
appropriate even if fixed route service can be used some of the time.
The eligibility determination process is intended to determine when
each mode is appropriate rather than to make an absolute distinction
between those who are to use fixed route and those who require
paratransit.

Another public perception issue raised by several transit agencies was
that applicants often do not provide information about all of the
difficulties they may have using the fixed route service.  Applicants
may think that, as long as the primary difficulty using transit is
noted, they will qualify for paratransit and be able to request any
trip.  It is important that they understand that all difficulties be
noted so that appropriate conditions/limitations of eligibility can be
determined.

While a public information campaign is recommended in all cases, it is
particularly important in the following situations:

    If current paratransit customers are being required to reapply and
be recertified as eligible for paratransit service.  Differences
between past eligibility policy and ADA paratransit eligibility will
need to be explained;

    If a broader paratransit service will be provided with priority
given to those determined ADA paratransit eligible.  In this
situation, it is important that the benefits of applying for and being
determined ADA paratransit eligible be communicated to all riders.

Some public information and marketing efforts to consider are listed below.

(1) Develop a brochure that explains ADA paratransit eligibility.  It
could be displayed with other service materials and mailed to current
riders.  It could also be displayed at locations which are frequented
by the general public and persons with disabilities such as public
libraries, municipal buildings, senior centers, aggregate housing
locations, social service agencies, and medical facilities.  Appendix
D contains copies of brochures developed by Seattle Metro, the
Regional Transportation Authority of Chicago, and the Riverside
Transit Agency of Riverside, California that explain the ADA, ADA
paratransit, eligibility, and the appeals process.

(2) As mentioned in Section 4 of this chapter, include a summary of
ADA eligibility with certification materials that are sent to
applicants.

(3) Work with local human service agencies and disability
organizations to include information about ADA paratransit eligibility
in any publications that they may have. Organizations such as United
Cerebral Palsy councils, local chapters of the National Easter Seal
Society, commissions for the blind and visually-impaired, commissions
for the deaf and hearing-impaired, area agencies on aging, mental
health agencies, independent living programs, and state,regional, or
local commissions on people with disabilities prepare newsletters
which are sent to members and clients.

(4) Request the opportunity to discuss eligibility issues with the
governing boards of human service agencies and disability
organizations and to make presentations at any workshops, conferences,
or consumer meetings which they may sponsor.

(5) Make a particular effort to explain the details of ADA paratransit
eligibility to the staff of local agencies.  Depending on the
certification process employed, these individuals may be asked to
supplement applicant information or may assist individuals in
completing application materials.  Even if not involved in the
certification process, agency staff who are knowledgeable about
eligibility issues will be able to better advise clients.

(6) Sponsor a special public forum at which ADA paratransit issues,
including eligibility, can be discussed.  Invite current riders and
other interested agencies and individuals as well as advertising it to
the general public.  A notice of such a forum, prepared by the
Worcester Regional Transit Authority, is provided in Appendix D.

(7) Work with local media to develop public interest stories that help
to explain the service and eligibility.  Feature a customer who uses
the fixed route service for certain trips but has been certified for
paratransit service for other trips.

Additional Charges and Fees

Section 37.5 of the regulations, which defines general requirements
for nondiscrimination for all aspects of transportation services
covered, states that:

     "An entity shall not impose special charges, not authorized by
this part, on individuals with disabilities, including individuals who
use wheelchairs, for providing services required by this part or
otherwise necessary to accommodate them." [37.5(d)]

For determinations of ADA paratransit eligibility, this means that
there can be no charges associated with the process, including the
filing and processing of applications, any in-person assessments that
may be requested, the documentation of eligibility that is provided,
or any other aspect of obtaining eligibility.

In particular, if the process involves obtaining information from a
professional or an in- person assessment, the transit provider or any
third-party contractors acting on behalf of the transit provider
cannot impose a fee for this service.  If professional information is
needed for the initial application to be considered complete,
alternatives should be made available should the applicant not be able
to obtain this information from a professional or not be willing to
incur any costs that might be associated with obtaining this
information.  For example, the transit provider should make
arrangements with local professionals to whom applicants can be
referred and the transit agency should pay any fees associated with
this service.  Transportation to and from any in-person assessments or
other appointment required by the process also should be made
available to applicants.

Similarly, a fee cannot be charged for the preparation of
documentation of eligibility, including photo identification cards.  A
transit provider may, however, charge a nominal fee, meant to cover
the cost of production, for replacement of lost I.D. cards.  Local
policy concerning such charges should be developed with full public
participation, including the input of persons with disabilities.

In addition to prohibiting obvious direct charges, the regulations
note that the process may not impose "unreasonable administrative
burdens" on applicants.  Repetitive and superfluous documentation,
questions, or tests must not be included.









Section 2.  Alternative Processes

There are several ways that ADA paratransit eligibility determinations
can be conducted.  In general, the many approaches that have been
developed can be characterized as one of the following:

         Self-certification with professional verification as needed;

         Self-certification and professional verification;

         In-person assessment; and

         Combined approaches.

These alternative processes can be conducted either in-house by
transit provider staff or can be contracted out and conducted by a
third-party agency.  It is also possible to conduct some
determinations in-house and have third-party assistance available as
needed.

The best process and approach to conducting reviews depends on local
circumstances.  Some alternatives are better suited to smaller
systems.  Others are more appropriate for larger urban systems.
Whether or not a paratransit service was provided prior to ADA
complementary paratransit service is also an important consideration
in the alternative selected.  Each alternative also has its own
benefits and issues that must be considered.

Regardless of the approach selected, the goal of the determination
process should be the same - to enable the public entity to accurately
determine when and under what circumstances the fixed route service
can and cannot be used by applicants.  Information collected and
reviewed must be sufficient to enable the reviewer to identify the
relationship between a person's disability and their travel
capabilities given factors such as: the accessibility of the fixed
route service; the distance to and from stops/stations; environmental
factors such as snow, ice, heat, cold; and natural and man-made
architectural barriers such as steep terrain, lack of curb-cuts, and
busy roads and/or intersections.

Following is a description of each of the alternative processes listed
above.  For each, general recommendations are made concerning the
applicability of the process to different types of systems.  Major
considerations associated with each alternative are also discussed.

Self-certification with professional verification as needed

This alternative involves the completion of a form by the applicant or
a person assisting the applicant.  The form which the applicant
completes typically includes all of the information required for a
determination of eligibility.  As part of the form, applicants are
requested to identify a professional who can be contacted if more
information is needed, and are asked to sign a release authorizing the
professional to provide the transit agency with pertinent information.
While the applicant chooses the professional who can be contacted, the
transit agency can request the identification of particular type(s) of
professionals.  Professional verification can be obtained under this
model by phone, through the use of a second form which is mailed to
the professional by the transit provider, or both.

While it is theoretically possible to establish a determination
process that only utilizes information provided by the applicant, it
is highly likely that at least some determinations will require more
detailed information.  Verification of "hidden disabilities" such as
cardiac conditions, pulmonary conditions, cognitive disabilities, and
mental illness will be needed.  It is therefore recommended that the
ADA paratransit eligibility determination process allow for
professional contact, at least as an option, in all cases.

In addition to contacting the identified professional when additional
information is needed, some transit providers will randomly contact
named professionals to verify the information provided by applicants.
Verification can also be done following certification if there is
cause to believe that the information provided by the applicant is not
correct.

Applicability

Self-certification with professional verification as needed is used
extensively by smaller fixed route operators in small urban and rural
areas.  It is most appropriate in areas where the size of the system
allows transit providers to be familiar with paratransit riders.  It
is also appropriate in cases where the transit agency offered
paratransit services prior to the implementation of ADA service.  In
these instances, it is likely that the provider already has
information about riders, possibly including professional
verifications, on file.  An ADA paratransit eligibility determination
process which does not require professional verification can be used
to reduce unnecessary duplication of existing eligibility information.

Considerations

This certification process is perhaps the least burdensome on
applicants.  Appointments with professionals to have forms completed
or to have personal assessments conducted are not required.  Greater
burden is placed on reviewers, however, as follow-up may be needed if
sufficiently detailed information is not provided in the initial
application.

If this alternative is selected, particular attention should be given
to the 21 day timetable allowed by the regulations for reviewing
applications and presumptive eligibility beyond this time.
Applications must be considered complete if applicants complete all
items on the form and name a professional contact as requested.  Any
follow-up by reviewers to obtain professional verification would be
part of the 21 day review timetable.  An initial review and decision
whether or not professional information is needed should be made
within the first few days after receipt of the application.

Another important issue associated with this approach is getting
information from the most appropriate professional.  Depending on the
nature of an applicant's disability, different types of professional
verification are desirable.  For example, for someone with a physical
disability, information from a physical therapist or occupational
therapist may be most helpful.  For an applicant with a
vision-impairment, information from an opthomologist which can provide
the degree of sight which the applicant has may be helpful.  It is not
always possible, however, to control the type of professional named by
the applicant.  If allowed, many applicants may provide the name of a
personal physician with a knowledge of the person's disability but
with little understanding of their ability to travel on the fixed
route service.

If possible, applicants should be directed to identify professionals
most appropriate to their disability or medical condition.  Section 4
of Chapter 3 of this manual suggests wording that can be added to the
application form to direct applicants to identify an appropriate
professional.  It is also possible under this approach to request that
a different professional be identified if the person originally listed
cannot provide adequate information.

Finally, because this process relies on information provided by the
applicant and/or a professional, it is important that they understand
the nature of ADA paratransit eligibility.  A major issue encountered
by transit providers using this form of certification is that
applicants/professionals will identify a primary disability or travel
limitation but may not detail all problems that may be encountered
using the fixed route service.  This may be due to the fact that
applicants feel they only need to qualify and that they will then
receive service as needed.  Professionals also may have a tendency to
provide cryptic medical information.  The introductory section of the
form should describe ADA paratransit eligibility in detail.  The
notion of trip-by-trip eligibility also needs to be made clear so that
the applicant and professional understands that detailed information
is required in order to identify appropriate eligibility
conditions/limitations.

Self-certification and professional verification

In this eligibility determination process, the initial application
form contains two parts - one part completed by the applicant (or
his/her representative) and the other part to be completed by a
professional familiar with the applicant's condition.  The information
from the professional is requested as part of the initial submission
and the application is not considered complete without it.  As with
the first alternative described above, each applicant selects the
professional from which they request additional information.  Transit
providers can, however, specify the types of professionals that can
provide this information.

The professional verification portion of the application is typically
designed in one of two ways.  In some cases, the questions asked of
both the applicant and the professional are very similar and the
separate responses are compared for accuracy and consistency by the
reviewer.  In other cases, the applicant is asked only general
information and more detailed information about travel capabilities
and the nature of the person's disabilities is included in the
professional verification section of the form.

While information is requested from both applicants and professionals
under this process, follow-up may still be required.  Contact with the
applicant may be needed if a different professional, with a better
understanding of the person's functional abilities, is needed.
Follow-up with professionals may be necessary if the information
provided is not sufficiently detailed to allow a determination to be
completed.

Applicability

This process is often used by larger transit providers who, because of
the expected volume of certification requests, may find it
administratively difficult to do the necessary professional follow-up
within the required processing timetable.  The inclusion of
professional information as part of all applications received can help
to facilitate the review process.

It may also be applicable if past eligibility for paratransit service
was not functionally based or if information that may be on file as
part of past determinations needs to be updated.

Considerations

If this approach to certification is used, transit providers must
allow for those instances when applicants are not able to easily
obtain information from professionals.  While systems report that most
individuals are able to obtain the needed information from a
professional, there will be some individuals who will not have an
ongoing relationship with a professional or may have to pay for this
information to be provided.

In order for the process to be consistent with the regulatory
prohibition against special charges and unreasonable administrative
burdens, professional verification should be requested.  Applicants
should be instructed to contact the transit provider if professional
verification cannot be obtained.  A list of appropriate professionals
to whom applicants can be referred should be maintained and the cost
associated with any required appointments should be paid by the
transit provider.

As with "self-certification with professional verification as needed",
it is important that an effort be made to obtain information from the
most appropriate professional.  Applicants can be instructed to
provide verification from particular professionals or can be directed
to contact a professional appropriate to their disability.

Paratransit eligibility determination prior to the ADA often specified
that this type of professional verification be provided by a personal
physician.  Under the ADA, the use of physicians may not be
appropriate in many cases.  While personal physicians may be the
professionals most readily available to applicants, they may not
understand the applicants functional capabilities as well as other
professionals.  The interpretive appendix to the regulation offers the
following advice concerning the use of information from physicians:

     "The substantive eligibility process is not aimed at making a
medical or diagnostic determination.  While evaluation by a physician
(or professionals in rehabilitation or other relevant fields) may be
used as part of the process, a diagnosis of a disability is not
dispositive.  What is needed is a determination of whether, as a
practical matter, the individual can use fixed route transit in his or
her own circumstances.  That is a transportation decision primarily,
not a medical decision."[Appendix D to 49 CFR Part 37, Federal
Register, September 6, 1991, page 45746]

In certain instances, information from a physician will be
appropriate.  Verification of a cardiac condition or the degree of
vision impairment may, for example, be needed.  Transit providers
should consider allowing applicants to obtain information from several
different types of professionals, including physicians.  Direction
should also be provided encouraging applicants to obtain information
from a professional most appropriate to their particular disability.

It is also important that professionals understand that the
verification which they provide is not considered a determination.
Eligibility determinations are to be made by transit providers or
contractors hired to conduct eligibility determinations.
Professionals must understand that they are simply providing
information to the reviewers and that they are not being asked to make
the determination.  This should be made clear on the forms provided.
Avoid having professionals answer broad questions which ask them if
they think that the person is ADA paratransit eligible.  They should
not be asked to make a final judgement.  This will only cause problems
and possible confrontations if the final determination differs from
their professional opinion.

Many systems also indicate that information provided by professionals
is cryptic and general in nature.  Transit providers should make
questions concise and explain on the form that detailed information is
needed.  The concept of trip-by-trip eligibility should be explained
and professionals should be informed that the information needs to be
of sufficient detail to allow the reviewer to not only determine that
paratransit service is needed but to decide when and under what
circumstances paratransit service is needed.

In some cases, transit providers will allow human service agencies to
provide professional verification for their clients.  Such agencies
may have conducted assessments of clients to determine their
eligibility for other programs.  They often will have detailed
functional information on file which can be of assistance in the
process.  Because of the obvious benefit to these agencies of having
clients certified for paratransit service, it is recommended that
consideration be given to the extent of this type of agency
involvement in the process.  If the staff of human service agencies
are to be used for professional information and verification, transit
providers may want to consider limiting the types of agency
verifications accepted to those agencies that promote independent
living.  It is important that agencies authorized to provide verifying
information be concerned not just with obtaining a convenient service
for their clients but with mainstreaming them.  Independent living
centers, certain agencies for persons with vision-impairments, and
rehabilitation centers are examples of such agencies.  As with other
types of professional verification, it is important that information
provided by these agencies be one factor in the determination rather
than being used as a final eligibility decision.

If reviewers used by the transit provider are skilled in interpreting
standard human service assessments, another option available under
this model would be to request copies of any functional tests which
these agencies may have on file.

In-Person Assessments

Under this model, all applicants are required to meet with a reviewer
selected by the transit provider.  At this assessment meeting, the
reviewer will typically ask the applicant a series of questions,
similar to those contained in an application form, meant to determine
the person's disability and ability to use fixed route service.
Often, the reviewer will also elaborate on standard questions to get
more detailed information as appropriate.  In addition to a
face-to-face interview, in-person assessments may also involve the
administration of functional tests.  These may include physical tests
such as the ability to board and disembark from an inaccessible bus,
use a wheelchair-lift, or see and read signs or other visual
information.  It may also involve administering standard cognitive
tests to determine the applicants ability to perform tasks such as
asking for and following directions.

Because of the skill required to administer and interpret detailed
tests and draw immediate conclusions from such assessments,
determinations under this process are typically performed by
third-party agencies under contract to the transit provider.  Transit
providers may also work with contractors to develop testing centers
containing equipment needed to simulate travel on the fixed route
system.  The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) in Louisville,
Kentucky, for example, has created a testing center at a local
rehabilitation center that is equipped with a specially constructed
bus stop and a spare bus.  The site also contains sidewalks with
varying terrain and varying surfaces.  For applicants with visual
impairments, the site includes typical transit signage and symbols and
can simulate varying degrees of light and darkness.  For applicants
with mental disabilities, a cognitive and orientation assessment is
conducted by a clinical psychologist.

In addition to information collected by the reviewer, the process may
require applicants to complete a general information form and sign
necessary releases/certifications.

Applicability

In-person assessments may be particularly applicable in larger urban
systems with complex fixed route services.  The in-person process is
able, in these circumstances, to obtain detailed information about
using various parts of the system that may be difficult or complex to
collect on standard application forms.

This approach may also be more appropriate in areas that did not
provide paratransit service prior to the ADA.  While transit providers
with established paratransit services and longstanding customers may
not deem it necessary to require all riders to undergo an in- person
assessment, new systems will have no past record of riders to rely on.
New riders may also be more amenable to an in-person assessment
process.

Considerations

The use of in-person assessments has many advantages.  It allows
eligibility determination to be done by a limited number of
professional who can be trained by the transit provider.  Obtaining
information from an appropriate professional, which is a major concern
in self- certification/professional verification models, is
eliminated.  In-person assessments also are not bound by standard
application questions.  The process can be more personalized to the
person's particular disability.  Even though standard questionnaires
are used to guide the process, reviewers can ask follow-up questions
as needed.

This process also allows reviewers to explain ADA paratransit
eligibility in-person and to answer questions about eligibility which
the applicant may have.  The applicant also has an opportunity to
request clarification of questions before providing an answer.  The
information received is therefore more likely to be complete and
accurate.

Because of the degree of flexibility which reviewers may have, it is
important that efforts be made to maintain consistency in the process.
Transit providers should consider establishing standards for the types
of professionals who are used as reviewers.  Detailed training of
reviewers is also vital.

Perhaps the greatest drawback to requiring in-person reviews in all
cases is that many applicants may have disabilities which do not
require such elaborate assessments.  To many applicants, such a
required process may seem an unnecessary and burdensome procedure.

Another issue with this type of process is assessing disabilities that
are intermittent or episodic.  A single visit and review may not
generate the same level of information about a person's capabilities
that may be available to a professional who has worked with the
individual for years.  Consideration should be given, in such cases,
to obtaining supplemental information from a professional identified
by the applicant.

Similarly, an assessment of cognitive ability based on a single visit
or series of tests may not be as complete as information which can be
obtained from the person's social worker or mental health counselor.

Finally, it may be difficult to simulate all environmental conditions
which may affect a person's ability to use fixed route service.  The
limitations of certain physical tests need to be considered and the
applicability of these tests to the process carefully weighed against
the cost of their administration and inconvenience to the applicant.
Regardless of the sophistication of the tests administered,
information obtained in the personal interview is likely to still be
an important part of the determination.

Combined Approaches

In addition to the basic approaches described above, eligibility
determination can also be conducted by combining the features of each
of these processes.  Table 2, presented at the end of this section,
includes information about the processes used by several selected
transit providers across the country.  As can be seen, many different
combined models are possible.

Perhaps the combined model that is most widely used combines
self-certification/professional verification with in-person
assessments as needed.  For example, the Madison Metro Transit System
in Madison, Wisconsin relies primarily on a self-certification process
which asks applicants to identify a professional that can be contacted
for verification and additional information.  Metro's in-house
reviewers will seek verification as needed.  Metro also reserves the
right to ask applicants to appear in-person for an assessment by a
local rehabilitation center.

Several providers, including Lane Transit District, Baltimore's MTA,
Seattle METRO, and the Utah Transit Authority obtain information from
both the applicant and a professional ("self-certification and
professional verification").  In addition, they will refer applicants
for an in-person assessment if a final determination is still not
possible.

The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) requires an in-person assessment in
most cases.  They will, however, accept professional verification from
applicants with severe mental retardation.  An in-person assessment is
not required if a psychological evaluation is provided which indicates
severe mental retardation and has been signed by 4 or more
professionals of the regional mental health program.  It is also
interesting to note that the RTA has arranged for in-person
assessments to be conducted either at the local clinic or at the
applicant's home.

The Regional Transportation Authority of Chicago, which will be
administering eligibility determinations for CTA and PACE, combines
self-certification with in-person assessments as needed.  A similar
process is being established by the New York City Transit Authority.

It is interesting to note that in systems that employ "combined"
processes using both self- certification/professional verification and
in-person assessments, relatively few in-person reviews are necessary.
As shown in Table 2, 90 percent of all determinations can typically be
completed based on the information supplied by the applicant and/or
the named professional.  Seattle Metro, for example, has found it
necessary to refer only 5 percent of all applicants for an in-person
assessment.  The Utah Transit Authority relies on in-person reviews in
7 percent of all cases.  The Lane Transit District, located in a
medium sized urban area, finds in-person assessments necessary in only
1 percent of all determinations.

As transit providers complete recertification efforts and begin doing
determinations of new riders, in-person assessments may become more
important.  Madison Metro reports, for example, that during the
process of recertifying existing riders, only 10 percent of all
determinations of existing riders required in-person reviews.
Following the recertification of existing riders, in-person
assessments have been deemed necessary in 25-30 percent of all
determinations.

Another model developed by the Port Authority of Allegheny County's
ACCESS Program in Pittsburgh combines in-person assessment with
professional verification.  An in-person assessment is required in all
determinations.  In addition, applicants who receive services from a
local human service agency are also encouraged to bring verification
information from that agency to the assessment.  PAT provides a
"Professional Verification" form to applicants for this purpose.

Finally, the Oshkosh Transit System in Oshkosh, Wisconsin uses a
self-certification with professional verification as needed process
but also relies heavily on two local human service agencies for
verification of eligibility.  The Oshkosh Transit System recently
consolidated local paratransit services and assumed operating
responsibility from the local Red Cross and the County Committee on
Aging.  As the past operators of service, these two agencies were
familiar with existing riders.  The Oshkosh Transit System therefore
accepts professional verification from these two agencies for all
existing riders seeking ADA paratransit eligibility.

Applicability and Considerations

Combined models may be appropriate in any number of situations.  The
use of in-person assessments as needed or professional verification to
supplement an in-person review process may be needed to strengthen the
original process.  As experience is gained with the eligibility
determination process, transit providers and their reviewers may
discover that these additional steps are needed to ensure the accuracy
and consistency of determinations.

Depending on the features combined, the issues noted above for each of
the basic processes would apply.

Considerations for Future Recertification of Riders

As noted in Chapter 2 of this manual, the regulations permit transit
providers to require periodic recertification of riders.  It is
possible that the process used for this recertification will be
different from that used in the initial determination or to certify
new riders.

For example, if a self-certification/professional verification process
was used for initial determinations, it may be possible to forward the
information that was originally provided by the applicant and request
that they indicate whether this information is still current and
correct.  Updating of the original form may also be supplemented by a
limited number of new questions.  Applicants could be asked if the
professional who provided the initial verification is still the
appropriate person to contact and new verification could be sought
only in those cases where significant changes in capabilities are
noted.

Transit providers using an in-person assessment process for all
initial determinations could opt to not require another detailed
review but instead could use a self-certification type of form that
asks if the persons disability or ability to use the fixed route
service has changed.  In-person assessments may be limited to those
recertifications where significant changes are noted.  Table 2.
Eligibility Determination Processes Used by Selected Transit Providers




Name of Transit
Provider
Type of Determination
Process
Determination Performed by
%
Determination
Referred to
Outside
Contractor(s)
Cost per Contract
Review
 (in-house costs are
not included) 


Ann Arbor
Transportation Authority
Ann Arbor, MI
Self-certification and
professional verification.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Ben Franklin Transit
Richland, WA
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed
In-house
N/A
N/A


City of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC
Self-certification and
professional verification.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Delaware Administration
for Specialized
Transportation (DAST)
Dover, DE
Self-certification and
professional verification
In-house
N/A
N/A


Greater Bridgeport
Transit District
Bridgeport, CT
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Greeley, CO
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Lane Transit District
Eugene, OR
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion and professional
verification with in-
person assessment as
needed.
Initially by paratransit contractor.
Referred as needed to one of two
OT's under contract.
1%
$30-$50 per hour
(one hour review
medical)


Los Angeles County
Metropolitan
Transportation Authority
Los Angeles, CA
In-person assessment
"Certification Analysts" selected by
LACMTA - either registered nurse
with at least two years experience;
physical therapist; occupational
therapist; or clinical social worker.
100%
Initial review:
$27.60


Madison Metro Transit
System
Madison, WI
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion with professional
verification and/or in-
person assessment as
needed.
Initially in-house. Referred to
Rehabilitation Center as needed
10% during re-
certification,
25-30%
ongoing
$120 per in-person
assessment


Mass Transit
Administration (MTA)
Baltimore, MD
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion and professional
verification with in-
person assessment as
needed.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Municipality of
Metropolitan Seattle
(METRO)
Seattle, WA
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion and professional
verification with in-
person assessment as
needed
Initially in-house, referred to
Evergreen Medical Center as
needed.
5%
Cognitive Test: $82
Physical Test:$82
Both: $164


New York City Transit
Authority
New York, NY
Self-certification with in-
person assessment as
needed
In-house review of self-certification
information.  Assessments by third-
party contractors to be determined.
N/A (process
only recently
implemented)
N/A


OMNITRANS
San Bernardino, CA
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed. Also, doing
random verifications to
check accuracy of self-
certifications.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Oshkosh Transit System
Oshkosh, WI
Self-certification and
professional verification. 
Work closely with
previous operators - the
Red Cross and County
Committee on Aging for
professional verification.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Port Authority of
Allegheny County
(PAT);
ACCESS Program
Pittsburgh, PA
In-person assessment and
professional verification
Local Chapter of the Easter Seal
Society; Behavior Neuropsychology
Associates, Inc; and a network of
orientation and mobility specialist
for persons with vision impairments
100%
$20


Regional Transportation
Authority (for
CTA/PACE)
Chicago, IL
Self-certification with in-
person assessment as
needed
In-house review of self-certification
information.  Assessments by local
non-profit organizations with
occupational and physical therapists
on staff who are often involved in
administering eligibility screening
for human service programs.
N/A (process
only recently
implemented)
$150


Riverside Transit
Agency
Riverside, CA
In-person assessment or
professional verification
(for persons with severe
mental retardation).
Local medical clinic.
100%
$62 for reviewat
clinic; $85 for
assessment at
home.


SAMTRANS
San Mateo County, CA
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed
In-house
N/A
N/A


Southeastern
Pennsylvania
Transportation Authority
Philadelphia, PA
Self-certification and
professional verification
In-house
N/A
N/A


Transit Authority of
River City (TARC)
Louisville, Kentucky
Self-certification with in-
person assessment as
needed
Initial review is in-house. 
Assessments conducted by local
rehabilitation center
10%
$105


Utah Transit Authority
Salt Lake City, UT
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion with in-person
assessment as needed.
In-house initially. Referral as
needed to either: State Services for
the Visually-Impaired; University
Spine Rehabilitation Center; or
local mental health agencies and
associations for retarded citizens.
7%
State Services for
the Visually-
Impaired: $0

Others: $25


Washington Metropolitan
Area Transportation
Authority (WMATA)
Washington, DC
Self-certification and
professional verification.
Will be third party contractor.
100%
N/A


Waukesha Transit
System
Waukesha, WI
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed.
In-house
N/A
N/A


Worcester Regional
Transit Authority
Worcester, MA
Self-certification and
professional verification.
Three independent rehabilitation
specialists under contract to the
authority review forms. 
100%
$35/hour (initially
2/hour; recently 5-
10/hour).

Section 3.  Deciding Who Will Do Initial Determinations

A second major decision that must be made when designing an
eligibility determination process is who will actually review
application materials or conduct in-person screenings.  The basic
choice is to either conduct initial determinations in-house, using
staff of the public entity, or to contract with a third-party to
perform this service.  It is also possible to involve staff in part of
the process and utilize outside help for specific functions as needed.
Issues related to each of these options are discussed below.  The
approach taken by selected transit providers is also presented in
Table 2 in the previous section.


In-House Determinations

If eligibility decisions are to be made by in-house staff, it is
important to be sure that this staff has the capabilities and
qualifications to make accurate and consistent determinations.  While
ADA paratransit eligibility is a functional transportation-related
decision, it also involves relating specific types of disabilities to
reported functional capabilities.  A knowledge of various types of
disabilities and the likely functional capabilities of persons with
such disabilities is, therefore, important.

Public entities which operated paratransit services prior to the ADA
and have been conducting eligibility determinations may already have
staff with such capabilities.  Others may elect to hire new staff or
train existing staff to handle this job.  Consideration should also be
given to combining the task of doing ADA paratransit eligibility
determinations with other similar in-house tasks.  For example, it may
be possible to combine the job of ADA eligibility determinations with
the review of applications for reduced fare cards.  If an in- house
travel training program is developed, staff in this program could also
assist with determinations of eligibility.  A medical officer hired to
work on drug and alcohol testing might also be a good person to
involve in the eligibility determination process.

In-house determinations are more common among providers that have
elected to use either a self-certification with professional
verification as needed or a self-certification with required
professional verification system.  It is also common among smaller
providers and providers which offered paratransit services to persons
with disabilities prior to the ADA.


Utilizing Contract Reviewers

It is likely that there are a variety of local organizations in the
area that could be hired to either do or assist in initial eligibility
determinations.  This might include a clinic that employs occupational
or physical therapists, a rehabilitation center, an independent living
center or program, a rehabilitation center, or a visiting nurses
program.  If it is determined that in-house staff capabilities are not
adequate, or if the impartiality of having an organization other than
the transit provider is an important consideration, contracting with
one of these organizations may be appropriate.

When selecting a third-party contractor for eligibility reviews,
consider both the capabilities of the employees of the agency as well
as the general philosophy and mission of the agency.  Figure 4 on the
following page identifies several types of professionals that can
assist in the process.  Certain professionals will have the skills
necessary to perform determinations of functional capabilities.
Others will be most helpful in verifying the nature and extent of
particular disabilities.  Note in particular the capabilities of
physiatrists.  Doctors of physiatry specialize in the mobility and
travel capabilities of persons with disabilities - skills ideally
suited to ADA paratransit certification.  Physiatry is a narrow
specialty, however, and such doctors may not be available in many
areas.  If there are physiatrist(s) in the area, consideration should
be given to involving them in the process - either to assist with
development of the process or to assist with actual determinations.
Doctors of physiatry may be particularly well suited to assisting with
appeals, for example.  Occupational therapists are also well suited to
determine capabilities associated with activities of daily living.

In addition to considering the type of professional to be used,
transit providers may want to develop specific qualifications for
reviewers who may be proposed or used by third-party contractors.  As
noted in Table 2, for example, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority includes certified nurses in the list of
professional that can be "Certification Analysts" but requires persons
in this profession to have at least two years of experience.

When involving human service agencies in the process, consider any
conflicts or biases which may exist - particularly with agency
clients.  Organizations which support the concept of independent
living and mainstreaming of persons with disabilities are also more
likely to make determinations which strictly limit eligibility to
those who are unable to use the fixed route system.

Third-party contractors can be particularly appropriate if a large
number of existing paratransit riders are to be recertified as part of
the implementation of the program.  Conducting a large-scale
recertification process in-house may require several reviewers who
would only be used for a limited period of time.  The scope of a
third-party contract, on the other hand, could be adjusted to meet the
particular demand.

Third-party review contractors also should be considered if it is
decided that the determinations will be done through in-person
assessments.  Correctly interpreting responses to questions and/or the
results of specific tests may require skills not available in-house.
Both of the transit providers contacted as part of the preparation of
this manual which require in-person assessment in all cases utilized
third-party reviewers.  The Port Authority of Allegheny County's
ACCESS Program utilizes the local chapter of the Easter Seal Society,
a local neuropsychology agency, and a network of orientation and
mobility specialists for persons with vision-impairments.  Los Angeles
has developed a network of "Certification Analysts" representing
various professions.  Figure 4.  Examples of Types of Professionals
that can Assist with Eligibility Determinations


Sources: Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary, the
C.V. Mosby Company, 1990; and, Dictionary of Occupational Titles,
Volume 1, Fourth Edition, U.S. Department of Labor, 1991.  In-House
Determination with Third-Party Assistance as Needed

It is also possible to combine an in-house staff review with the
option to obtain third-party assistance as needed.  A significant
percentage of the reviews of eligibility may be relatively
straightforward.  In-house staff may be able to easily make
determinations in these cases.  Other applications or assessments may
be more difficult.  In these cases, the application material can be
forwarded to a contract reviewer for further review and
recommendation.  If information forwarded by the applicant or the
named professional is not sufficient to make a determination, it may
be desirable to request that the person appear in person for a more
in- depth assessment.  Such assessments can then be contracted out.

Many of the transit providers contacted as part of the preparation of
this manual used third- party reviewers as needed.  The Utah Transit
Authority utilizes a self-certification with professional verification
as needed process.  In-house staff have been able to determine
eligibility in 93 percent of the cases using information initially
submitted and follow-up information obtained from named professionals.
In the remaining instances, applicants have been requested to
participate in in-person assessments conducted by several local
organizations.  The assessment is done by an agency familiar with the
particular disability of the applicant.  The UTA utilizes the Spine
Rehabilitation Center of the University of Utah, the State Services
for Visually Impaired, and local Associations for Retarded Citizens to
conduct assessments.  Seattle Metro, which utilizes a
self-certification with required professional verification process,
works with the occupational and physical therapists at a local medical
center when in-person assessments are required.  Metro reports that 5
percent of all applicants are referred to the Center for in-depth
assessments.

One consideration in using third-party review contractors, either as
needed or in all cases, is the cost of these services.  The cost of
contracting out for this service must be compared to the costs that
would be incurred if in-house staff performed this function.  Current
availability of qualified staff, training costs, and long-term
employment issues must all be considered.  Table 2, included in the
previous section of this manual provides a summary of cost information
obtained from providers who utilize third-party review contractors.
As can be seen, costs range from about $18 to $164 per review,
depending on the type of review performed.  In person assessments
contracted by Lane Transit, Los Angeles, Madison Metro, Seattle Metro,
Riverside Transit, and the Utah Transit Authority range from $25 to
$164.  It appears that assessments done only as needed (implying a
lower volume) may be more expensive while assessments of all riders in
Pittsburgh and Los Angeles are considerably less expensive ($20 -
$30).  The transit provider that contracts for the review of
self-certification forms, Worcester Regional Transit Authority,
reported that this service costs approximately $18 per review.

It may also be possible to lower the cost of needed assessments by
working with other available public agencies.  The Utah Transit
Authority, for example, refers individuals with vision impairments to
the State Services for the Visually-Impaired.  This state agency has
agreed to conduct assessments free of charge.


Reviewer Training

Regardless of whether determinations are conducted in-house or by a
third-party, it is important that those involved in the determination
are adequately trained.  As noted above, in-house staff may have an
adequate knowledge of the existing transit system but may need
training regarding types of disabilities and their functional
characteristics.  Such training could be provided by local
organizations.  Sensitivity training materials, such as that developed
by the Rural Transportation Assistance Program, may also be helpful.

Third-party staff may need a more complete understanding of the
services offered on the fixed route system.  They may not be aware,
for example, of the extent of accessibility and driver assistance that
is now offered.  They may also not be aware that individuals with
ambulatory impairments are permitted to enter the vehicle by standing
on the lift.

Both in-house and third-party staff should also be given thorough
instruction about ADA complementary paratransit and ADA paratransit
eligibility.  A complete understanding of the concepts discussed in
Chapter 1 of this manual will be needed.  Section 4.  Developing
Application Forms and Materials

Once decisions have been made concerning the process to be used and
the persons or agencies that will actually conduct reviews, the next
step in the process is to develop application/assessment forms and
related materials.  This section discusses the development of this
material.

Before addressing the development of application material, it is
important to note two general considerations - accessible formats and
terminology - that apply to all forms and materials.  These are
discussed below.


Accessible Formats

As noted in Chapter 1, the regulations require that all information
about the eligibility determination process, including materials
necessary to apply, notifications of determinations, and other related
correspondence be made available in accessible format upon request.
This could include large print, audio tape, braille, or computer disk.
The requested format does not always have to be provided, but the
format provided must be usable and appropriate for the purpose.

While all materials must be available in accessible formats upon
request, transit providers can require that application be made in a
standard format.  Making information available in accessible formats
does not mean that applications and information must be accepted on
tape or in braille.

Even though individuals may be asked to complete a standard form,
providing the form and related information available in an accessible
format is important.  It allows individuals to study the information
and questions.  This allows for a better understanding of ADA
eligibility and the process for applying than could be obtained by
having the information read over the phone.

As part of the application process, transit providers should determine
if applicants would like to have future correspondence sent in an
accessible format.  The application should also ask if another person
assisted in the completion of the form(s).  The determination letter
and other correspondence could then be sent to this other person as
well.

In some cases, it may be necessary to provide documentation of ADA
paratransit eligibility in a standard as well as an accessible format.
A standard letter or pass would be needed as proof to present to other
transit agencies if the person traveled to another area.  Providing
the same information in an accessible format would be important if the
person needed to periodically refer to the exact conditions associated
with their eligibility.



Terminology

Several of the transit providers contacted reported that many of the
modifications made to original materials related to terminology.
Applicants had difficulty understanding the questions being asked.
Much of this difficulty was due to the inclusion of industry jargon in
the application or other materials.

Particular attention should be given to using terminology that can be
easily understood by the general riding public.  For example,
applicants and professionals providing verification may not understand
what a "paratransit" service is or even what the "fixed route" system
is.  Use terms such as the "regular city buses" or "van service" and
refer to services by their public name, such as "ACCESS-A-RIDE" or
"OMNITRANS".  The public also may not fully understand what an
"accessible" bus is.  Provide more detail on the features of the
vehicle or use terms such as "wheelchair-lift-equipped".


Transmittal/Cover Letter

If the process selected involves sending application forms to
individuals and/or professional for completion, it is strongly
recommended that a detailed transmittal letter explaining the material
and ADA paratransit eligibility be developed and included.  The
transmittal letter should include:

    a summary and description of the material attached and
instructions for completing and submitting the forms;
    A concise and clear description of ADA paratransit eligibility; and
    A description of the fixed route transportation services provided,
particularly policies designed to facilitate use by persons with
disabilities.

Particular attention should be given to explaining the trip-by-trip
nature of ADA paratransit eligibility.  It is important that
individuals and professionals realize that the process is intended to
determine not only if they require paratransit service but when and
under what conditions they require paratransit service.  It should be
stressed that in order to make a complete and accurate decision,
detailed information about their travel capabilities is needed.

Information about the fixed route service should include the latest
changes made to improve accessibility.  Describe the level of
accessibility in the fleet, improvements in signage, recent driver
training efforts, new policies such as the standee policy and the bus
stop announcement policy.  Also describe available services such as
route identifier or destination card systems that are available.  Many
applicants may have a preconceived notion about the service or may
have attempted to use the service when there was a low level of
accessibility and/or operational problems with the service.



Application/Assessment Forms

Once a decision has been made about the type of process to be used and
the person(s) who will conduct determinations, a form or forms will
have to be developed for obtaining information, either by mail or in
person, from individuals requesting ADA paratransit eligibility
certification.  This form or set of forms can be completed by the
applicant, a professional verifying the applicant's disability and
capabilities, an evaluator conducting an in-person assessment, or a
combination of these people.  The information obtained will then be
used to determine whether or not the person is ADA paratransit
eligible and under what conditions they require complementary
paratransit service.

Regardless of the type of determination process selected, the same
basic information should be collected.  This includes:

    General information about the applicant;
    The nature of the person's disability or disabilities;
    The person's ability to use the fixed route service;
    Information which may be needed for operations; and
    Administrative information needed to complete the determination.

How the form(s) and questions are organized depends on the type of
review process used.  In a "self-certification with professional
verification as needed" process, the form completed by the applicant
is typically comprehensive.  All of the basic information needed is
requested of the applicant.  In a "self-certification and professional
verification" process, the applicant is often only asked for general
information and some basic information about their disability and
travel capabilities.  The professional is then asked more detailed
questions about the exact nature of the person's disability and
functional capabilities.  In "in-person assessment" processes, the
applicant may be requested to file a form with general information.
The professional(s) conducting the assessment then complete the more
detailed form based on their discussion with the applicant and/or
functional tests that are administered.

The type of questions used can also vary.  Some forms use open-ended
questions that rely on applicants to clearly detail their situation
and capabilities.  Other forms are more detailed and use multiple
choice answers to guide the applicant in providing information in the
required level of detail.  The approach used will depend on local
needs and circumstances.  It is important, however, that if open-ended
questions are used, applicants and/or professionals are clearly
instructed to provide enough detail to describe all of the factors
that affect their use of the fixed route service.  Similarly, if
directed, multiple-choice questions are used, the possible answers
suggested must be comprehensive.

Several sample forms, developed by transit providers which use various
determination processes, are included in the appendices to this
manual.  A summary of the sample forms included and the type of
process within which they are used is provided on the following page.





APPENDIX
TRANSIT PROVIDER
TYPE OF PROCESS



E
San Mateo County Transit
District (SAMTRANS)
San Carlos, CA
Self-certification with
professional verification as
needed



F
Madison Metro Transit System
Madison, Wisconsin
Self-certification with
professional verification and in-
person assessments as needed 


G
Utah Transit Authority
Salt Lake City, Utah
Self-certification with in-person
assessment as needed



H

Worcester Regional Transit
Authority
Worcester, Massachusetts
Self-certification and professional
verification



I
Municipality of Metropolitan
Seattle (Metro)
Seattle, Washington
Self-certification and professional
verification with in-person
assessment as needed



J
Washington Metropolitan Area
Transportation Authority
(WMATA)
Washington, D.C., Northern
Virginia, and Suburban Maryland


Self-certification and professional
verification



K
Delaware Administration for
Specialize Transportation (DAST)
Dover, DE
Self-certification and professional
verification


L
Regional Transportation Authority
(for CTA and PACE)
Chicago, IL
Self-certification with in-person
assessment as needed



M
Port Authority of Allegheny
County (PAT)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In-person assessment and
professional verification


Following is a summary of the type of information that can be
collected in each of the basic sections of the application/assessment
form.  Sample questions are also provided.


General Information

The first part of the form should request information about the
applicant.  Following is the type of information that is commonly
requested in this first part of the application form.

    the applicant's name
    street address, apartment number, city/town, state, and zipcode
    mailing address (if different)
    telephone number, including home and work number, and TDD number
(if applicable)
    Social Security Number (optional)
    date of birth
    the name and phone number of a person to be contacted in an
emergency and the
     relationship of this person to the applicant

To assist in communicating with the applicant in the future, many
forms also ask if applicants would like communications to be sent in
an accessible format.  For example, the following question could be
included:


A question such as the following can also be included to determine if
communication in another language would be helpful.  This question
should be tailored to include the languages, other than English, that
are common to the area.



Questions about Mobility Aids Used

Application/assessment forms also should include a section which
requests information about the types of mobility aids used by the
applicant following the "General Information" section.  This
information is not only useful in the eligibility determination
process but is important information that will be needed in daily
operations should the applicant be determined eligible for service.
As shown in the sample question below, information about mechanical
aids, life support, as well as service animals should be requested.
It may also be helpful to request detailed information about the type,
size, and weight of wheelchairs to determine if the applicant uses a
"common wheelchair".  Some forms indicate prior to this question that
the information is needed to ensure that appropriate paratransit
service is provided.



Information can also be requested in this section about the
applicant's need for a personal care attendant (PCA).  When asking
about the need for a PCA, it is important to note that assistance may
be needed at the final destination, not just in transit.  It is also
important to consider that some applicants, particularly frail elders,
may not consider those who assist them to be "PCAs" or "attendants".
General language, as shown below, may be appropriate.


Additional information about the need for attendants can be requested
if there is particular concern about this issue.  The Port Authority
of Allegheny County, for example, requires applicants to complete and
sign a "Personal Assistance Certification" (see Appendix M).

Questions about the Applicant's Disability

Complementary paratransit service is required if trips cannot be made
on the fixed route system due to a person's disability.  In order to
verify that a person's inability to use the fixed route service is due
to a disability, the application/assessment form should include a
question or questions requesting information about the nature and
extent of the applicant's disability.  This could include a functional
description of the disability (e.g., "Difficulty Walking", or "Vision
Impairment"), a medical diagnosis (e.g., "Cerebral Palsy", or
"Glaucoma"), or both.  For sensory impairments and hidden
disabilities, it may also be helpful to obtain information about the
extent of the disability (e.g., the degree of vision loss or the
mental/cognitive disability).  Questions that determine if the
disability is temporary or if it is episodic (the effects vary over
time) can also be included here.

If the process selected involves getting information from the
applicant as well as from a professional, general information
(functional descriptions) can be obtained from applicants and more
detailed information (degree of impairment, diagnosis, etc.) can be
obtained from the professional.

The type of information requested should also match the expertise of
those responsible for conducting reviews.  If non-medical, in-house
transportation staff will be reviewing application forms, request
applicants and/or professionals to describe the disability in non-
clinical terms.

It is important to realize that many applicants may have multiple
disabilities that affect their ability to use fixed route service.
Questions should be structured to encourage applicants to list all
applicable conditions.

Information can be obtained using general open-ended questions or
detailed multiple-choice questions.  For example, many forms begin
this section by asking:


Information on the type of disability can also be obtained by
providing applicants with detailed lists of various
conditions/disabilities and asking them to check all that apply.  The
application form used by Seattle Metro (see Appendix I) includes such
a comprehensive list.


Questions/Functional Tests Regarding Travel Capabilities

Perhaps the most critical part of the application/assessment form is
the section that requests information about the person's functional
capabilities as they relate to using the fixed route service.
Questions in this section should be designed to reflect the functional
capabilities needed to use the local transit system.  They also should
allow applicants to explain how environmental and architectural
barriers affect their ability to travel.  Finally, it is important
that questions be detailed enough to enable reviewers to determine not
only if the person is ADA paratransit eligible but under what
conditions they need to use paratransit.

As in previous sections, information can be obtained using general
questions, detailed lists, or both.  For example, the following
general question could follow one regarding the nature of the person's
disability:



This general question could then be followed by more detailed
questions that ask specific questions about the capabilities
associated with using the fixed route service. These questions can be
organized around the regulatory categories of eligibility or the four
"tests" detailed in Chapter 4 of the ADA Paratransit Handbook.  When
structuring this section, simulate the decisions that must be made and
actions that must be taken to make trips on the fixed route system and
consider the environmental and physical barriers that might prevent a
person with a disability from making a trip.

In order to identify conditions under which travel is and is not
possible, ask not only if applicants are or are not able to perform
certain functions, but allow for a "Sometimes" response and follow
this with a request for an explanation of barriers that can prevent
travel.

The types of questions asked in this section will vary somewhat
depending on the local transit system.  Transit providers that operate
rail as well as bus services should consider questions about climbing
flights of stairs in addition to getting on and off of vehicles.
Assessing an applicant's capability to learn the system and make
complex connections and transfers will also be important.

Depending on the type of process used, some questions can be asked of
applicants and other may be more appropriate for professionals asked
to provide an assessment of the applicant's abilities.  Certain
questions about cognitive ability, in particular, may be more
appropriately addressed to a professional.

The general categories of capabilities that should be considered and
sample questions that could be used are presented below.  In several
categories, two sample questions are provided - an open-ended question
and one that is more structured.











The ability to obtain information about the fixed route service and to
understand and "negotiate" the system:

Questions under this category should address issues such as the
ability to read and understand schedules, to call for information
about the service, and to understand and follow directions.  As noted
above, if professional verification is part of the process, this
information may be more appropriately included on a verification form.
Specific questions that might be asked are shown on the following
page.

In-person assessment processes can utilize accepted tests to obtain
this information or to augment information from these questions.  For
example, Behavior Neuropsychology Associates, Inc., under contract to
the ACCESS Program in Pittsburgh, uses sections of the following
standardized tests to determine the applicant's cognitive ability:

         the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)
         the Weschler Adults Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R)
         the Communicative Abilities in Daily Living (CADL)
         the Cognitive Competency Test (CCT)
         the River Mead Behavioral Memory Test
         Trail Making


A description of the various tests performed, along with the forms
used, is included in Appendix M.




 Sample Questions Regarding Ability to "Negotiate" the Fixed Route System





The ability to get to and from bus stops/stations within the ADA
paratransit service area:

This section should ask/assess the applicant's ability to travel
certain distances to get to and from stops/station.  The effects of
environmental conditions and architectural barriers on the distance
that can be traveled should also be determined.

Because eligibility must be based on the most limiting condition (see
Section 3 of Chapter 1 of this manual), information obtained in this
part of the form/assessment should not be limited to travel to and
from specific stops/stations.  For operational reasons, it may be
helpful to know if applicants can get to the stop/station closest to
their home, but this information cannot be used to determine overall
eligibility.  An individual should be provided paratransit service if
there are any trips that they cannot make within the entire service
area.

When asking about maximum distances that can be traveled, consider a
measure that will be most easily understood by applicants in the area.
In urban settings, it may be appropriate to ask about the number of
blocks that can be traveled.  In general, nine city blocks are
approximately 3/4 of a mile in length.  In non-urban areas, measures
could include fractions of a mile, feet, or yards.

For example, the following questions could be asked to determine how
far applicants are able to independently travel:

The effects of environmental conditions and/or architectural barriers
on applicants' ability to travel these distances could be determined
by asking:

or, a specific list of environmental/architectural barriers could be
provided as follows:


The ability to wait at a stop or station: 

Questions in this section should determine if applicants are able to
wait for a bus or train.  This can be determined by asking for the
maximum time that applicants can wait or by asking if they can wait
more than a predetermined time (e.g., 10 minutes or 30 minutes).  If a
predetermined time is used, it should relate to typical headways and
expected wait times on the fixed route service in question.  As with
travel distance, conditions that might affect applicants' ability to
wait at a stop or station should be determined as well.

Possible questions regarding this ability could include:


The person's ability to board, ride, and disembark from accessible and
non-accessible vehicles or in and out of transit stations:

Questions in this section should address applicants' ability to use
bus or rail services once at the stop or station.  Abilities that need
to be determined include: climbing the steps of a vehicle or a flight
of stairs at a subway stop; getting on and off a lift; getting to and
from a seat or securement area; paying fares; riding on the bus or
rail car if a seat is not available; and recognizing when to get off
the bus/rail car.

Some forms include a direct question about the ability to use fixed
route service, such as:


The response to this question can then be compared to answers to more
detailed questions about use of fixed route service.  If the fixed
route service in question is fully accessible, a determination of
applicants' ability to use non-accessible services is not required.
As mentioned in Section 2 of Chapter 1 of this manual, it may be
beneficial to include questions about using non-accessible services,
however, to assist riders who may travel to areas where the fixed
route service is not yet fully accessible.

Possible questions that should be considered in this part of the form
could include:


Travel Training Information

While transit providers cannot require that applicants undergo travel
training, complementary paratransit service does not have to be
provided if individuals have been travel trained and are able to use
part of the fixed route service.  The application form should,
therefore, include a question that asks if the person has received
travel training.  For example:

 

The eligibility determination process provides an excellent
opportunity to determine if applicants could benefit from travel
training, to make them aware that training is available (or may be
made available), and to ask if they would be interested in receiving
training.  Consider adding a question that describes what training is
available and asks if the applicant would be interested in learning
more about the program.  For example:





If travel training is an important part of the overall strategy to
serve persons with disabilities, it may be useful to obtain
information about the possible benefits of travel training throughout
the form.  Examples of how questions on travel training can be
integrated in several parts of the form/assessment, see the material
developed by Seattle Metro (Appendix I) and the forms developed by the
Regional Transportation Authority of Chicago (Appendix L).


Other Service Information

The application process also provides an opportunity to get important
travel information for later use in daily operations.  For example,
questions can be added to determine:

    If the person is able to use a standard taxi.  This could be
important if part of the service is provided through a contract with a
local taxi company;

    If the person currently uses the fixed route service or if they
used it in the past.  If the person tried to use the service but
stopped, it may be useful to determine why.  There may have been
equipment issues or policies that did not meet their needs.  They may
not be aware that current service can meet their travel needs.

    If the person can travel from their place of residence to the
nearest stop/station.  A large percentage of a person's trips
originate and end at the home.  Determining if applicants can get to
and from the fixed route service from their place of residence can
help in making trip-by-trip eligibility determinations.

    The most frequent destinations to which the applicant travels.
Again, this information can be helpful in making trip eligibility
determinations.


Administrative Information

Finally, the form may need to include reference(s) for professional(s(
that can be contacted for additional information, a release to request
this information, and other administrative items.

At the end of any form completed by the applicant, space should be
provided for the applicant's signature.  A statement should proceed
the signature indicating that the person has provided true and
accurate information and noting any consequences that may be
associated with the provision of false information.  Following is an
example of language that could be used for this purpose:

If the form or a part of it must be completed by the applicant, it is
also important to determine if another person assisted the applicant
with the completion of the form.  This other person can then be
notified, in addition to the applicant, about the final determination
or if additional information is needed.  For example, the following
question can be included:


Request for Professional Reference(s)

If a "self-certification with professional verification as needed"
process is used to determine eligibility, the application form must
include a request for the name of a professional who can be contacted
for additional information about the person's disability and travel
capabilities.  As noted in Section 2 of this Chapter, it may be
helpful to direct applicants to identify professionals who are
familiar with their ability to use the fixed route service.  Following
is an example of the type of language that could be included in this
section of the application to direct the identification of
professionals:




Professional Verification Form

If the eligibility determination process selected includes obtaining
information from a professional, a "Professional Verification Form"
will need to be developed.  As noted in Section 2 of this chapter,
professional verification can be obtained as needed or can be
requested as part of the initial application.  It is also possible to
contact identified professionals by phone rather than in writing.
Even if contact is by phone, it is recommended that a standard form be
prepared for use by staff or contractors collecting the information.

If the professional verification form is sent separate from the
standard application material, it should include basic information
about ADA paratransit eligibility and the purpose of the request.
This introductory information should also indicate that the applicant
has authorized the release of records pertaining to their disability
and functional capabilities.  A copy of the release form signed by the
applicant can also be included.  If the professional verification is
part of the application form, this information should be provided for
both the applicant and the professional.

As noted in Section 2 of this chapter, verification forms should not
be used solely to request a definitive opinion as to the applicants
eligibility.  It should be clear that the information requested will
be one element in the determination made by the transit provider's
staff or contractor.  Instead, professionals should be asked to verify
the disability claimed by the applicant, the extent of this
disability, and for functional assessments as to the applicant's
ability to perform activities related to using fixed route transit
service.  If a general opinion is requested, it should be supplemented
by more specific questions about the applicant's disability and
capabilities.

Professional verification will be particularly important in cases
where applicants have claimed a "hidden" disability or a medical
condition such as a cardiac or pulmonary condition, mental illness, or
a joint disease.  Verification will also assist in determining the
extent of a sensory impairment (e.g., level of vision or visual
acuity) or the degree of cognitive capability.

Several sample professional verification forms are contained in the
appendices to this manual.  A verification form used by the Delaware
Administration for Specialized Transportation (DAST) which is part of
the initial application (a "self-certification and professional
verification" process) is provided in Appendix K.  A verification form
used by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority which is sent by the
WRTA separate from the initial application is provided in Appendix H.

Section 5.     Reviewing Applications and Making Determinations


Pre-Tests of Materials

Before formally initiating the eligibility process or broadly
distributing application materials, it is strongly recommended that a
pre-test be conducted using draft materials.  Request the assistance
of members of the advisory committee who have not been closely
involved in the development of materials.  Ask local human service
agencies if they would be willing to have clients complete a few
forms.  Be sure to have draft materials completed by persons with
different types of disabilities.  Requesting the assistance of a local
independent living program may be an effective way to obtain
information from a full cross-section of the population.

Collect the completed test materials and have the staff or third-party
agency that will be responsible for reviews go through the process of
making determinations.  Have them note if they are getting adequate
information to make thorough determinations.  Also talk with
individuals and professionals who have completed the draft forms to
see if they fully understood the directions and questions.

Such a pre-test can provide valuable insights and result in important
revisions to materials before full-scale certification or
recertification is undertaken.


Regulatory Review Timetable and Presumptive Eligibility

Determinations of eligibility should be made within 21 calendar days
of the submission of a completed application form.  If a determination
is not made by the 21st day, the applicant must be treated as eligible
and paratransit service provided on a presumption of eligibility until
the review is completed.  Unconditional service must be provided
during this period of presumed eligibility unless the applicant has
specifically requested conditional eligibility.

In the case of a self-certification with professional verification as
needed process, the calculation of the 21 day period would commence
when the applicant submits requested information including the name of
a professional who can be contacted.  Follow-up information requested
by the transit provider and provided from the professional would be
considered part of the 21 decision period.  In the case of
self-certification with required professional verification, an
application would be considered complete only if all information,
including information required of a professional, is provided.  For
processes that involve in-person assessment, the 21 day period would
begin when the person fulfills established requirements for requesting
that an assessment be conducted.  This could be a telephone request or
could involve the completion of a brief request for determination
form.


Establishing a Management Information System to Track Determinations

To ensure that reviews are handled expeditiously and that they are
referred to the appropriate person or agency as needed, transit
providers should establish a management information system to track
applications as they go through the process.

The first step in establishing this system is to determine all
possible actions that could be required given the determination
process selected.  To do this, work back from the regulatory limit of
21 days to determine when each of these actions would need to be
completed in order to complete the review in the required time.
Develop a flow chart or outline that summarizes the timing of required
actions for use by all staff involved in tracking or reviewing
applications.  Figure 5 provides an example of such a chart developed
by the Commonwealth of Virginia in their guide on ADA paratransit
eligibility.

A system for tracking each application, according to the established
timetable, should then be established.  This could be accomplished by
attaching a cover "tracking" sheet, which includes the date of receipt
and the subsequent date of each required action, to each application.
The date which is 21 days from the date of receipt should be added to
the tracking sheet to alert reviewers to the target completion day.
The tracking sheet should also include information and dates which
pertain to the appeal process.

A master file should then be maintained which includes critical dates
from each individual tracking sheet.  This file will provide
information on overall progress as well as indicate which reviews have
exceeded the maximum allowed determination times (21 days for initial
reviews and 30 days for appeals).  Information about the applicants
who will then need to be treated as eligible can then be transmitted
to the service operator(s).

In larger transit systems, it may be necessary to utilize a
computerized database system or other automated tracking system.  One
alternative is to use software developed for the human resource field
to log and track job applications.  Seattle Metro has customized
software developed by Sigma to track ADA applications and
determinations.  In addition to accurately tracking progress in making
determinations, the software allows Metro to print reports that
include key information such as the number of applications received,
the number in each stage of review, and a breakdown of determinations
by type of finding (e.g., conditionally eligible, unconditionally
eligible, ineligible, etc.).  Information about the Seattle tracking
system is contained in Appendix N.  Figure 5.  Sample Flow Chart of
Eligibility Determination Process (sheet 1 of 3)
Developing Reviewer Guidelines and Maintaining Consistency in Reviews

Transit providers should develop reviewer guidelines and final
evaluation forms to assist reviewers in properly interpreting answers
and information provided by applicants and/or professionals.
Guidelines and forms can also help to ensure consistency in the
determination process.  As mentioned in Section 3 of this chapter,
reviewer training is also recommended.  Ensuring consistency in the
review process is particularly important if determinations will be
conducted by several different individuals.

A number of transit agencies have developed evaluation forms which are
correlated with the information requested in the application forms.
These evaluation forms ask the reviewer to draw conclusions from
answers provided by applicants and/or professionals to particular
questions.  Depending on the responses provided, certain eligibility
findings are suggested.  For example, if an applicant indicates that
she/he can usually travel independently up to half a mile but cannot
negotiate in snow and ice, conditional eligibility based on distance
from stops/stations and times of the year could be granted.
Similarly, applicants who note that they use wheelchairs would
automatically be eligible when they travelled on routes not yet fully
accessible.

Several examples of this type of summary evaluation form are contained
in the appendices to this manual.  Of particular note are forms
developed by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (see
Appendix J), the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (see Appendix
H), and San Mateo County (see Appendix E).

Applications which use closed/multiple-choice type questions, such as
the WMATA application, can be more directly correlated to particular
types of eligibility.  More open- ended questions will require the
reviewer to draw a conclusion from the information provided.

Other suggestions for ensuring consistency and for building important
checks into the determination process include:

    Consider having reviewers double-check with supervisors or other
review staff if a determination of ineligibility or conditional
eligibility is being recommended.  This type of confirmation and
reinforcement may help reduce inappropriate findings and will be
helpful if an appeal is requested.

    If several individuals are involved in making determinations, have
them periodically exchange applications and compare findings.  If
there are differences in the recommendations that would be made,
encourage general discussion on key issues and incorporate the results
of this discussion in updated reviewer guidelines.

    Conduct random post-determination checks of findings.  This may be
particularly important if third-party contractors are utilized for
determinations.  Have staff who are familiar with ADA paratransit
eligibility review the complete file, including the application form
and related information and the final eligibility determination.  Such
administrative reviews will be an important part of the management of
the determination process and will provide valuable insight needed to
revise existing materials or strengthen reviewer training programs.


Observing Privacy Rights

The medical information that may be gathered as part of the ADA
paratransit eligibility certification process should not be shared
with any other party.  This would include specific diagnosis provided
by professionals and information about the nature of disabilities
provided by the applicant.  Access to eligibility files should be
limited and those with access to these files should be informed and
instructed to respect the privacy of applicants.  This should include
in-house staff as well as any third-party contractors used in the
determination process.

Information regarding a person's functional ability to use fixed route
service, derived from the determination process can, however, be
shared with other transit providers.  Other entities may call to
obtain more detailed information about a person's ability to travel if
that person has requested service in another area as a visitor.


Recent Certification Experiences of Selected Providers

Table 3 on the following pages provides general information about the
outcome of determinations conducted by selected transit providers to
date.  Information about the percent of applicants that have been
determined ineligible, the percent determined conditionally eligible,
and the number or percent of appeals of determinations is given.

As shown, the general experience to date has been that relatively few
applications are denied outright.  Approximately half of the systems
which had this information reported a denial rate of less than 3
percent.  Several systems reported denials of between 7 and 15
percent.  In general, it was the opinion of these transit providers
that very few individuals were attempting to obtain certification
inappropriately.  It was reported by several providers that a
significant number of those persons determined ineligible had
misunderstood the nature of ADA paratransit eligibility.  This general
sense is supported by the fact that, typically, very few appeals are
requested.  Many individuals verbally question the final decision but
are satisfied with the explanation given once they better understand
the nature of the determination.

Some of the variance may also be explained by differences in pre-ADA
eligibility policy.  Transit providers which previously used a
functional eligibility criteria close to that established in the ADA
have had relatively few ineligible determinations as most existing
riders were eligible.  This was noted by both the Ann Arbor
Transportation Authority and Table 3.  Eligibility Determination
Results for Selected Transit Providers




Name of Transit Provider
Type of Determination
Process
Determination Performed
by
%
Inelig.
%
Cond.
Elig.
% Appeal


Ann Arbor Transportation
Authority
Ann Arbor, MI
Self-certification and
professional verification.
In-house
1%
75%
N/A


Ben Franklin Transit
Richland, WA
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed
In-house
2%
less
than
1%
no appeals
(1100 apps.
processed)


Greater Bridgeport Transit
District
Bridgeport, CT
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed.
In-house
Less
than 1%
N/A
no appeals
to date


Greeley, CO
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed.
In-house
1%
50%
no appeals
(500 apps.
processed)


Lane Transit District
Eugene, OR
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion and professional
verification with in-
person assessment as
needed.
Initially by paratransit
contractor. Referred as
needed to one of two
OT's under contract.
10%
20%
Only one
appeal to
date


Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation
Authority
Los Angeles, CA
In-person assessment
"Certification analysts"
selected by LACMTA.
Are either registered
nurse with at least two
years experience;
physical therapist;
occupational therapist; or
clinical social worker.
10%
40%
4% 


Madison Metro Transit
System
Madison, WI
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion with professional
verification and/or in-
person assessment as
needed.
Initially in-house.
Referred to Rehabilitation
Center as needed
15% of
new
appli-
cants
less
than
20%
1%


Municipality of Metropolitan
Seattle (METRO)
Seattle, WA
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion and professional
verification with in-
person assessment as
needed
Initially in-house,
referred to Evergreen
Medical Center as needed
4%
35%
2 of 1800


OMNITRANS
San Bernardino, CA
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed. Also, doing
random verifications to
check accuracy of self-
certifications.
In-house
2.5%
7%
no appeals
to date


Oshkosh Transit System
Oshkosh, WI
Self-certification and
professional verification. 
Work closely with
previous operators - the
Red Cross and County
Committee on Aging for
professional verification.
In-house
Less
than 1%
N/A
no appeals
to date


Port Authority of Allegheny
County (PAT);
ACCESS Program
Pittsburgh, PA
In-person assessment and
professional verification
Local Chapter of the
Easter Seal Society;
Behavior
Neuropsychology
Associates, Inc.; 
orientation and mobility
specialists for persons
with vision impairments.
7-10%
36%
Less than
1%


Riverside Transit Agency
Riverside, CA
In-person assessments or
professional verification
(for persons with severe
mental retardation).
Local medical clinic.
2%
9%
4 appeals
(25% of
those
ineligible
and cond.
eligible)


San Mateo County Transit
District (SAMTRANS)
San Carlos, CA
Self-certification with
professional verification
as needed
In-house
1-2%
less
than
1%
no appeals
to date


Southeastern Pennsylvania
Transportation Authority
(SEPTA)
Philadelphia, PA
Self-certification and
professional verification
In-house
8-9%
N/A
no formal
appeals to
date; only
verbal
requests for
clarification


Transit Authority of River
City (TARC)
Louisville, KY
Self-certification with in-
person assessment as
needed
Initial determinations in-
house.  Assessments by
local rehabilitation center

1.7%

N/A
5 appeals
(1800 apps.
processed)


Utah Transit Authority
Salt Lake City, UT
Combined: Self-certifica-
tion with in-person
assessment as needed.
In-house initially.
Referral as needed to
either: State Services for
the Visually-Impaired;
University Spine
Rehabilitation Center; or
local mental health
agencies and associations
for retarded citizens.
10%
2%
no appeals
to date


Worcester Regional Transit
Authority
Worcester, MA
Self-certification and
professional verification.
One of three independent
rehabilitation specialists
1.2%
8%
Less than
1%

Ben Franklin Transit.  Agencies which had broader criteria in the past
might expect a higher rate of ineligible determinations.

There appears to be greater variance in the percentage of applicants
being granted conditional rather than unconditional eligibility.
Several systems reported that their initial determinations have not
focused on conditions of eligibility.  There is even a considerable
range among those systems that are doing a more detailed
identification of limitations/conditions of eligibility.  The percent
of applicants certified as eligible under particular conditions ranges
between 20 percent and 75 percent.  Some of this variance is probably
attributed to whether or not the transit agencies intend to rely on
trip-by-trip eligibility determinations to manage demand.

Section 6.  Notifying Individuals of Initial Determinations


Applicants must be notified of initial eligibility determinations in
writing.  Efforts must also be made to provide this notification in a
format that the individual is able to use and in a way that ensures
effective notice.  For example, as noted in Section 4 of this chapter,
consider including a question in the application form which identifies
whether the applicant needs to have information and correspondence
provided in accessible formats.  If so, notice of the initial finding
should be provided in the requested format.  Also, include a question
in the application which identifies whether the form has been
completed by someone acting on behalf of the applicant.  If so, send
the notice of initial determination to this person as well as to the
applicant.

If the initial determination finds that the applicant is ineligible,
specific reasons for this finding must be included in the notification
letter.  Simply including a general statement that the person "is able
to use the fixed route service" and is therefore not eligible for
paratransit service is not acceptable.  Reasons cited should relate
directly to information contained in the application, obtained as part
of the professional verification process, or derived through an
assessment of the individual.  For example, specific reasons for a
finding that a person is not eligible might be stated as follows:

    "The particular reason included in the application for why you
could not use regular bus service was that you are unable to
independently travel distances greater than 1/2 mile to get to or from
bus stops.  Your diagnosis of disability, provided by the professional
named in the application, did not, however, indicate a disability that
limits your ability to independently travel throughout the full
service area."

    "Your application indicated that you do not feel safe traveling on
the regular bus and subway system.  While the possibility of an
incident occurring while traveling may be a factor in your decision to
use available public transit service, it is not a reason, in and of
itself, which requires that separate van service be provided.

Similarly, if the initial determination is that the applicant is
eligible for paratransit services under certain conditions, the
reasons for limiting eligibility should be explained in the
notification letter. For example, a person may be determined eligible
but may have indicated that they have been travel trained for daily
trips that they make to work.  The letter of notification should,
therefore, state that the person is ADA paratransit eligible with the
following limitation:

    "Trips to your current work site from your current place of
residence are not ADA paratransit eligible as you indicated in the
in-person assessment that you have received instruction in the use of
the regular bus service to make this particular trip."


If strict control of travel with personal care attendants is an
important consideration, consider noting any limitation on travel with
PCAs directly in the notification letter.  For example, if the
application or assessment includes a specific question about the need
for a PCA, a condition of eligibility that should be noted for all
applicants that PCAs are not required could be:

    "As stated in the application (noted in the assessment), travel
with a personal care attendant is not required."

The notification letter should also contain information about the
appeal process that is available if the initial determination is that
the person is not eligible or if limitations are placed on the
person's eligibility.  Individuals must be able to question
limitations of eligibility as well as findings of ineligibility in
general.  A copy of the appeal policy, noting the procedure for
requesting appeals, the number of days within which appeals must be
requested, and other aspects of the policy should be attached to the
letter.

Individuals determined ineligible or eligible with certain
condition(s) should also be apprised of the fact that they can reapply
should their situation or disability change.

As noted in Section 7 below, many transit providers also use the
notification letter as formal documentation of ADA paratransit
eligibility.  Others use it as an opportunity to promote specific
incentive programs that encourage use of the fixed route service.  In
Los Angeles, for example, persons who are determined conditionally
eligible are informed that their ADA paratransit eligibility
documentation also serves as an identification card for a reduced
fixed route fare.

As part of the development of the eligibility determination process,
several form letters should be developed.  Separate letters should be
developed for those determined unconditionally eligible, conditionally
eligible, ineligible, and temporarily eligible.  Additional letters
may be needed if you combine ADA paratransit eligibility determination
with other processes such as eligibility for other paratransit
services.  Sample letters of determination are provided on the
following pages.



DATE

NAME
ADDRESS
CITY, STATE  ZIP

Dear                                 

Based upon a review of your application for certification of ADA
paratransit eligibility, the (name of Transit agency) has determined
that you are eligible for ADA paratransit service for any trip in our
service area.  This determination also enables you to use similar
paratransit services nationwide.

This certification of eligibility is valid until (expiration date) .
You will automatically receive a recertification form in the mail so
that you can reapply at that time.

Attached is your identification card.  Please carry it with you at all
times.  The identification number contains important information
regarding your functional capabilities and requirements and must be
given whenever you make a trip request.

Also attached is a Rider's Manual which provides important information
about the ADA paratransit service.  It also describes how to use the
service.  Please read it carefully.

If you have any questions about the service, or need any other
assistance, please feel free to call the paratransit service office at
(phone) , (TDD) , (FAX) .


Sincerely,




Enclosures:    ADA paratransit eligibility ID
               Paratransit Rider's Manual









DATE

NAME
ADDRESS
CITY, STATE  ZIP

Dear                                 

Based upon a review of your application for certification of ADA
paratransit eligibility, the (name of Transit agency) has determined
that you are eligible for ADA paratransit service when one or more of
the following conditions exist:

(1)

(2)

(3)

This determination also enables you to use similar paratransit
services nationwide.

The above conditions may be used by (name of transit agency) to
determine if and when you may be able to use the regular bus/rail
service.  If you can use these services, federal law does not require
that paratransit service be provided.  You are encouraged to use the
regular bus/rail service whenever possible.

If you do not agree with the limitations that have been placed on your
eligibility, you have the right to appeal this determination.  Any
request for an appeal must be made in writing and must be mailed
within 60 days of the date of this letter.  The enclosed description
of the appeal policy provides additional information about the
process.

This certification of eligibility is valid until (expiration date) .
You will automatically receive a recertification form in the mail so
that you can reapply at that time.  Please note that you may also
reapply at any time if you feel that changes in your ability to use
the regular bus/rail service could affect this determination.






NAME
DATE
PAGE -2-



Attached is your identification card.  Please carry it with you at all
times.  The identification number contains important information
regarding your functional capabilities and requirements and must be
given whenever you make a trip request.  Also enclosed is a Rider's
Manual which provides important information about the paratransit
service.  Please review it carefully.

If you have any questions about the service, or need any other
assistance, please feel free to call the paratransit service office at
(phone) , (TDD) , (FAX) .


Sincerely,




Enclosures:    ADA paratransit eligibility ID
               Paratransit Rider's Manual
               Description of appeal policy






















DATE


NAME
ADDRESS
CITY, STATE  ZIP


Dear                                 


Based upon a review of your application for certification of ADA
paratransit eligibility, the (name of Transit agency) has determined
that you are not eligible for ADA paratransit service.  This
determination is based on the following factors:

(1)

(2)

(3)

Federal law restricts eligibility for ADA paratransit service to
persons who cannot, due to a disability, utilize fixed route transit
service (regular bus/rail service).  This determination applies only
to your eligibility for ADA paratransit service offered by (name of
transit agency) .

We would encourage you to use the fixed route service and hope you
will become a regular customer.  For that reason, we have enclosed
information about the bus/rail service and a complementary monthly
pass to encourage you to find out just how convenient our services
really are.  You can also call our customer information office for
assistance in planning trips.  That number is (phone) , (TDD) .  We
hope to have you as a customer often.












NAME
DATE
PAGE -2-


If you do not agree with the decision that has been made, you have the
right to appeal this determination.  Any request for an appeal must be
made in writing and must be mailed within 60 days of the date of this
letter.  The enclosed description of the appeal policy provides
additional information about the process.  Please also note that if
there is any change in your ability to use the fixed route service in
the future, you may submit a new application.



Sincerely,




Enclosures:    Complementary monthly pass
               Regular bus/rail service information
               Description of appeal policy





















Section 7.  Documentation of ADA Paratransit Eligibility

All persons determined eligible must be provided with documentation
stating that they are "ADA Paratransit Eligible".  The following
information is required by the regulations to be part of the
documentation provided:

    the name of the eligible individual

    the name of the transit provider making the determination

    the telephone number of the transit provider's paratransit coordinator

    an expiration date for eligibility (if applicable)

    any conditions or limitations on the individual's eligibility
including the use of a personal care attendant.

As indicated, an expiration date is necessary if recertification will
be required at some future date.  The regulations allow such a
recertification at "reasonable intervals". For a more complete
discussion of recertification, see Section 2 of Chapter 2 of this
manual.

The "telephone number of the transit provider's paratransit
coordinator" should be the number at which eligibility can be
confirmed and specific information about the individual's functional
ability to travel and any limitations or conditions of eligibility can
be obtained.  This requirement is meant to facilitate the exchange of
specific eligibility information between transit providers.  The
number listed could be for the office which oversees determinations
and maintains eligibility files, the system broker, or the service
operator, depending on where this information is kept and is most
readily available.

Documentation can be provided in the form of an identification card,
as part of the notification letter, on standard paper, or in other
forms as long as the information required is included.  It is also
possible to provide detailed documentation in a letter or on standard
paper and to supplement this with an I.D. card that contains more
cryptic information.  For example, the detailed documentation may
describe conditions of eligibility and the reasons for such conditions
as detailed in Section 6 above.  The I.D. card, for obvious reasons of
space, may include concise statements of limitations such as "can use
accessible vehicles", "seasonal eligibility May through September" or
"Requires PCA?  X Yes No".

When deciding on the type of documentation to be provided, take into
consideration the ease of use by persons with disabilities.  An
I.D. card may be more durable and easier to carry by persons who will
be traveling frequently to other transit districts.  If the standard
form of documentation provided is a letter, consider also offering a
laminated I.D. which can be obtained by those who desire it.

Also consider current and possible future uses of the documentation
that is provided.  For example, if ADA paratransit eligibility
documentation will also be used to provide reduced fare access to
fixed route services, an I.D. card should be considered.  Similarly,
if a user- side subsidy program is used to provide service or to
supplement basic paratransit service, and I.D. card may be required.

If the documentation will have a cash value (e.g., will be used for
fare discounts, etc.)  consideration should also be given to security
and fraud issues.  Typically, a photo I.D. is used and a "security
seal" is incorporated.  Figure 6 below offers a sample format for a
photo I.D.



Figure 6.  Sample Photo ID Format for ADA Paratransit Eligibility Documentation



Section 8.  Appeals Procedures

Individuals who are determined to be either ineligible or
conditionally eligible must have an opportunity to appeal the initial
decision.  As noted in Section 1 of Chapter 2 of this manual, the
regulations include a number of specific requirements related to this
appeal process.  These are:

    An individuals must be able to request an appeal for within 60
calendar days of the denial of their initial application;

    An individual must have an opportunity to be heard in person to
present information and arguments;

    There must be a "separation of function" between those involved in
the initial determination and those deciding appeals;

    Written notification of the appeal decision, stating the reasons
for the finding, must be provided; and

    Presumptive eligibility must be granted to the individual if a
decision is not made within 30 days of the completion of the appeal
process.

As indicated in Section 6 of this chapter, written notification to
applicants determined eligible or conditionally eligible should
include information about the appeal process.  This information should
indicate how to file an appeal and what they can expect if they
request an appeal.  One way to provide complete information would be
to enclose a copy of the full appeal policy with the notification
letter.

Transit providers can require that appeals be requested in writing.
Accommodation should be made, however, for individuals with vision
impairments who may not be able to independently communicate in
written form.  Providers may also request that reasons for requesting
an appeal be detailed by individuals.  Some transit providers have
people with different knowledge and specialties hear appeals depending
on the individual's particular type of disability.  Information about
the reason(s) for the appeal may be helpful in structuring the
process.  The absence of such detailed information cannot, however, be
used to preclude the scheduling of an appeal hearing.  Individuals
must still be given the opportunity to be heard in person, even if
they decide not to provide written arguments in advance.

As noted above, appeals must be able to be requested within 60
calendar days of the denial (or the limiting) of an individual's
request to be determined ADA paratransit eligible.  This 60 day period
should be calculated from the time that the person is notified of the
initial decision.  There are several ways to administer the process to
ensure that a full 60 days have been allowed for appeal.  These
include:

(1) Sending notice of initial determinations by registered mail and
then calculating the time between certified receipt and the date that
the appeal request is received;

(2) Adopting a policy that allows appeals to be filed for a period
somewhat longer than 60 days from the date of the notification letter
(e.g., 65 days) to account for time in the mail;

(3) Calculating the period of time based on the date stamp on both the
notification letter and the appeal request.

Once a request for an appeal has been made, a hearing date should be
established and the applicant should be provided with adequate written
notice (in accessible formats if appropriate).  The notice should ask
what accommodations may be needed (such as an interpreter) and could
request that adequate notice of the need for these accommodations be
provided.  In many areas, one or two weeks may be needed to arrange
for interpreter services.

A critical factor in ensuring that the individual is afforded "due
process" is the separation of function between those involved in the
initial determination and those hearing appeals.  To the extent
practicable, appeals should not be heard by individuals in the same
office as those responsible for initial determinations.  Similarly, if
practicable, appeals should not be heard by subordinates or
supervisors of staff responsible for initial decisions.  Such a daily
working relationship could bias those hearing appeals.

If appeals are heard by a committee rather than an individual,
person(s) involved in the initial decision should not sit as voting
members on the committee - even if they do not constitute a majority
of the committee members.  It may be desirable to have those involved
in initial determinations available at hearings to provide information
and reasons for the initial finding, but they should not have a formal
say in any appeal decision.

The regulations recognize that the degree of separation of function
may be less in smaller transit systems.  With limited staff, all
employees may have a daily working relationship.  In these cases, if
the appeal process is kept in-house, efforts should be made to ensure
that the person(s) hearing appeals have not been involved in the
original decision in any way and do not discuss appeals with initial
decisionmakers prior to the hearing.  It is also recommended that
there be an elevation of authority between the initial decision and
the appeal.  Supervisors should hear appeals rather than subordinates
to avoid the obvious influence that superiors hold over those they
manage.  To establish a clear "separation of function", transit
providers both small and large should consider involving individuals
from outside the agency in the process.

Those responsible for making the appeal decision must be present at
the hearing.  It would not be acceptable, for example, to have a
person appear before an advisory committee that makes a recommendation
to the transit provider.  Having the decisionmaker(s) hear firsthand
the issues and the person's argument is an inherent part of the right
to be heard "in-person".

The appeal must be more than an administrative review of the initial
determination.  In addition to ensuring that the approved policy was
followed, the appeal must also review the judgement(s) made regarding
the individual's eligibility in the initial determination.  The appeal
should be based on additional information provided prior to or during
the hearing as well as on information contained in the original
application.  For this reason, the process should allow those involved
in deciding appeals to have access to all pertinent information and
adequate time to review file documentation.

As with the initial notification, the appeal finding must be
communicated in writing and must include specific reasons for the
decision.  A simple statement that the person can use fixed route
service or a statement that there was agreement with the original
decision is not sufficient.  The written decision should relate to the
additional information provided (or lack thereof) and why these
additional facts, combined with the information in the initial
application, support the finding made.

While the regulations establish a maximum time for deliberation on an
appeal before presumptive eligibility must be granted, they do not set
a maximum time for the holding of a hearing following the receipt of
an appeal request.  The amount of time that is required to bring
appeals to a hearing will depend on the number of appeals received and
the appeal structure selected.  In keeping with the general principle
of due process, transit providers should schedule and conduct hearings
as soon as is administratively possible within the constraints of the
established process.  The public, including persons with disabilities,
are required to have input into the appeal policy that is established.
The expeditious handling of appeals should be one factor considered in
the creation of the policy.  Hearings that involve a large independent
appeal panel, or a panel that relies solely on volunteers, may be more
difficult to schedule or may be able to meet less frequently.


Structuring an Appeal Process

Appeals can be heard by single individuals or by panels comprised of
several persons.  Within the basic requirements for a "separation of
function" detailed above, appeals can be decided by persons from other
offices or divisions within the agency, by persons from other
agencies, by rehabilitation or medical professionals, by consumers, or
by a panel comprised of persons from several of these groups.

Regardless of the size or make-up of the appeal "panel", several
factors should be considered when structuring the process.  First, it
is vital that the process not only is but is perceived as being
objective and unbiased by individuals with disabilities and the
agencies representing them.  The regulations require that the process
and policy be established with full public participation.  Suggestions
made in this process should be carefully considered.  If there appears
to be general distrust with an in-house process (i.e., both initial
decisions and appeals are decided by transit provider staff or
representatives), serious consideration should be given to outside,
independent representation in the process.  Transit providers should
avoid the temptation to want to "control" the process, the
decisionmakers involved, or the findings made.  Public trust in the
objectivity of the process will help to avoid costly legal action and
equally costly public skepticism.

Second, individual(s) involved in appeal decisions should possess,
either individually or collectively, certain knowledge and skills.
Among these are:

    a working knowledge of the ADA complementary paratransit
regulations, particularly the regulatory definition of ADA paratransit
eligibility and the appeal process;

    an understanding of different types of disabilities and the
functional capabilities characteristic of each;

    a knowledge of the fixed route system and the skills needed to
understand and use it; and

    an understanding of the complementary paratransit service and the
policies and procedures related to the service.

Not all individuals need to be expert in all areas listed above.  Many
transit providers have structured their appeal panels to include
several persons, each with particular knowledge.  Training should be
provided to appeal decisionmakers to augment the knowledge that they
bring to the process.  Individuals from outside the transit agency
will need to be educated on the specifics of the ADA and the fixed
route and paratransit services that are provided.  Information on
existing services should include the latest policies and equipment
used (such as the level of operator assistance provided, allowing
standees on lifts, mobility aid restraints, and lift specifications)
as these will affect their understanding of the capabilities needed to
use the service.  Individuals representing the transit agency, on the
other hand, may need training on types of disabilities and their
effect on travel.

Transit providers may also want to consider utilizing different appeal
decisionmakers depending on the disability of the applicant.  A pool
of available panel members with different specialties could be
created.  Panel members could then be called to attend a hearing if
the applicant has reported a disability similar to their area of
expertise.  Professionals specializing in mental retardation, vision
impairments, physical disabilities, etc.  would be included in the
process as needed.

Third, the ability of the structure selected to handle the expected
number of appeals in an expeditious manner should be considered.
Large panels may provide representation but may be difficult to
schedule on a frequent basis.  In addition to the ease of
administration, consideration should also be given to the level of
effort being requested from panel members, particularly if they are
expected to volunteer their time.  If a large number of appeals is
expected, consideration should be given to creating a pool of
available panel members and establishing a rotating schedule.

Finally, regardless of the structure selected, consider the liability
which individuals may be incurring by participating in the appeals
process - particularly if they are consumers or volunteers who may not
be covered by insurance which a contractor or medical professional may
have.  Consider providing professional liability insurance to these
individuals, either through a separate policy or by adding them to a
policy which may already exist.

Table 4 on the following pages provides information about the appeal
processes used by selected transit providers across the country.  As
can be seen, a wide variety of structures are used.  In a number of
instances, appeals are heard by employees of the transit agency who
are not involved in the initial decision.

Seattle Metro, which uses a third-party contractor for the initial
review, uses other employees at this organization for appeals.  The
LACMTA in Los Angeles, which also uses third-party contract reviewers,
uses a higher level professional for the appeal.  For example, if an
occupational therapist conducted the initial assessment, a physiatrist
may hear the appeal.

Several transit providers utilize appeal panels of between three and
seven members.  In some cases, panel members are selected based on
their familiarity with the applicant's particular disability.  In
other cases, panels are structured to have members who are each
familiar with a specific type of disability.

Ben Franklin Transit works with the applicant to select panel members
that are mutually agreed upon by both parties.  The Regional
Transportation Authority of Chicago has established a three-person
Eligibility Review Board.  One standing member is selected by the RTA
and the other by its consumer advisory group.  The third member is
chosen by these standing members.  SEPTA in Philadelphia has
established a panel of three members plus one alternate who each serve
two-year staggered terms.  SEPTA and its consumer advisory committee
share in the selection of these members.  TARC, in Louisville, has
established eight appeal panels so that appeal hearing
responsibilities can be shared and will not become burdensome on any
one panel.

It is also interesting to note that several transit providers have
established more than one level of appeal.  A number of the agencies
contacted use an informal review process if applicants verbally
request an explanation of the decision.  A more formal appeal is
available if the applicant desires.  Six of the agencies contacted
have more than one level of formal appeals.  OMNITRANS works with a
private, non-profit mediation board and offers applicants an
opportunity to obtain a non-binding recommendation from this board at
any time during the process.  The formal appeals process is also
available.


Table 4.  Descriptions of Appeal Procedures for Selected Transit Providers




Name of Transit Provider
Person or Panel that Hears Appeals 


Ann Arbor Transportation
Authority
Ann Arbor, MI     
1st Appeal:  Paratransit Coordinator
2nd Appeal:  Executive Director


Ben Franklin Transit (BFT)
Richland, WA
Panel of three people mutually agreed upon by the
applicant and BFT.  Panel to consist of two people
from the community familiar with the applicant's
disability and one person from BFT. 


City of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC
Three person panel (Independent Living Center
staff person, Transit Agency staff person, and one
person from the City Manager's office)


City of Durango, CO     
Transit Advisory Board


Delaware Administration for
Specialized Transportation (DAST)
Dover, DE
1st Appeal: Paratransit Administrator
2nd Appeal: Paratransit Advisory Committee
(comprised of consumers and disability
organizations)


Greater Bridgeport Transit District
Bridgeport, CT
Consumer Advisory Committee (20 people)


Greeley, CO
General Services Manager of City DPW



Lane Transit District
Eugene, OR     
Informal Review:  If verbal questions by applicant,
informal review by paratransit coordinator.
Formal Appeal:  If formal appeal: Appeal
Committee (5 person: Director of group homes;
two persons with disabilities; transit district
representative; ad hoc person selected by
applicant).


Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority
Los Angeles, CA     
Higher level professionals appropriate to the type
of disability (such as physiatrists, doctors,
psychiatrists) under contract to the Authority.  Cost
is $60/appeal review.


Madison Metro Transit System
Madison, WI     
1st Appeal:  To general manager
2nd Appeal:  Four person panel (paratransit/fixed
route user with a disability; city council
representative; city disability commission
representative; ADA paratransit eligible senior.


Municipality of Metropolitan
Seattle (METRO)
Seattle, WA     
Another professional staff person of the eligibility
review contractor (Evergreen Medical Center) not
involved in the initial determination.


New York City Transit Authority
New York, NY     
Three person appeal board (medical professional
familiar with applicant's disability; NYCTA staff;
consumer).


OMNITRANS
San Bernardino, CA     
Informal review: If applicant verbally questions the
initial decision, the determination is reviewed by
other OMNITRANS staff person.
Formal Appeal: If appeal is formally requested, it
is heard by OMNITRANS Board of Directors.
Supplemental Review: Third-party mediation is
available at any time upon request of the applicant. 
The recommendation, by the non-profit In-land
Mediation Board, is non-binding. 


Oshkosh Transit System
Oshkosh, WI     
1st Appeal:  City transit director.
2nd Appeal:  County Coordinating Committee of
Elderly and Handicapped Transportation.


Port Authority of Allegheny
County (PAT);
ACCESS Program
Pittsburgh, PA      
1st Appeal:  Nine person panel (orientation and
mobility specialist for visually-impaired; mobility
specialist for mentally retarded; consumer advisory
committee member; physical therapist; specialist in
cognitive disabilities; local advocacy agency
representative; representative of area agency on
aging; two consumers).
2nd Appeal:  Paratransit Director or Assistant
Director


Regional Transportation Authority 
Chicago, IL
Informal Review:  Voluntary informal meeting
with RTA staff within 30 days of the initial
determination.
Formal Appeal:  Heard by a three-person
Eligibility Review Board. The Board consists of
two permanent members, one selected by the RTA
and the other approved by the RTA's consumer
advisory group.  The third member is chosen for
an individual hearing by the two standing members
(from a list of persons with expertise in the type(s)
of disability(ies) of the applicant).   


Riverside Transit Agency
Riverside, CA     
Another professional not involved in the initial
decision at the medical clinic which does initial
determinations.



San Mateo County Transit District
(SAMTRANS)
San Carlos, CA
Three person panel (one person from the ADA
Technical Advisory Committee, one health
professional from the community, and one
SAMTRANS representative)


Southeastern Pennsylvania
Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
Philadelphia, PA
Four people are selected (two by SEPTA and two
by the consumer advisory committee) to serve on
an appeal panel.  All serve a two-year term and
terms are rotating.  Three panel members hear the
appeal and one serves as an alternate.


Transit Authority of River City
(TARC)
Louisville, KY
Eight panels have been established to hear appeals. 
Each panel has three members; one with a visual
impairment, one with a physical disability, and one
from an agency representing persons with mental
impairments. 


Utah Transit Authority
Salt Lake City, UT
1st Appeal:  Advisory Review Board (2 or 3
representatives from larger consumer advisory
committee.
2nd Appeal:  Transportation Disabled Advisory
Committee (2 authority board members, 2 local
operator staff, 1-2 consumers).


Waukesha Transit System
Waukesha, WI     
Transit System Board of Directors.


Worcester Regional Transit
Authority
Worcester, MA
Three person panel (occupational therapist;
paratransit customer; independent living center
representative).

Holding an Appeal Hearing

It is recommended that transit providers develop written guidelines
for conducting appeal hearings.  These guidelines will provide
structure to the hearing and will ensure that the process is
consistent from one review to the next.  Guidelines should indicate
the basic agenda and when and how the final decision will be reached.
For example, they could indicate that the hearing will include:

     (1)  an introduction of panel members (if appropriate);

     (2) an explanation of the appeal policy and the applicant's
rights to ensure that there is a clear understanding of process;

     (3) a brief overview of eligibility policy to ensure that the
applicant has a clear understanding of key issues such as the
functional nature and trip-by-trip nature of ADA paratransit
eligibility;

     (4)  a summary of initial determination findings;

     (5) an opportunity for the applicant and/or her representative to
provide additional information or dispute the initial determination
findings;

     (6) an opportunity for the hearing officer or panel members to
ask the applicant or her representative questions; and

     (7) the restatement of policy concerning a decision on the appeal
so that the applicant clearly understands what will happen following
the hearing.

In addition to the basic agenda, the guidelines might indicate who
will preside over the hearing (if a panel is involved) and who will be
responsible for making presentations at certain stages.  If large
panels are involved, it may also be useful to specify in what order
questions will be asked or who will be primarily responsible for
responding to any questions asked by the applicant.

The issue of conflict of interest should also be addressed should an
applicant have a professional or personal relationship with a
decisionmaker.  The basis on which decisions will be reached (e.g.,
majority vote, etc.) also should be stated in the guidelines.

Finally, because ADA paratransit eligibility can become the subject of
a civil rights complaint and ultimately be reviewed by the courts, it
is important that there be documentation of the proceedings.  It is
not required or necessary to have hearings transcribed, but
documentation should be complete enough to capture the essential
issues raised and note that the established process was followed.
Section 9.  Refusing, Conditioning, or Suspending Service


The regulations provide for the refusal, conditioning, or suspension
of complementary paratransit service only under specific, defined
conditions.  These are described below.  Local policies regarding the
refusal, conditioning, or suspension of service should be developed
with full public participation, including the input of persons with
disabilities.


Circumstances Under which Service Can be Refused

Section 37.5(h) of the regulations allows public entities to refuse to
provide fixed route or paratransit service to persons with
disabilities if they engage in "violent, seriously disruptive, or
illegal conduct."  This may include a person who assaults a driver or
another passenger, who smokes or drinks on the vehicle in violation of
established laws, or who engages in conduct that is so severe that the
delivery of service is seriously disrupted.

Conduct which is related to a person's disability and which annoys or
offends is not to be considered "seriously disruptive".  The
interpretive appendix to the regulation uses the example of a person
with Tourette's syndrome who may make involuntary profane statements.
Such behavior would not be grounds to refuse service.  Similarly,
service cannot be refused based on an unfounded fear of a particular
disability.  For example, a person with HIV disease cannot be refused
service because drivers or passengers are afraid of being near and
being exposed to the condition.  On the other hand, a person who
refuses to use a seat belt and has a habit of not staying seated
during transport could distract the driver and seriously disrupt
service.  Refusing service or requiring that the individual ride with
an attendant might be appropriate in such a case.  Similarly,
customers are responsible for the behavior of service animals.
Service can be refused or conditioned if a service animal is seriously
disruptive.

In determining what constitutes "seriously disruptive" or "violent"
behavior, transit providers may want to rely on local ordinances.
Most communities have established laws and standards that define
unacceptable public behavior.

Accurate and correct information about various disabilities and
medical conditions is vital to ensuring that passengers are not
subjected to discrimination.  For example, it may be necessary to
determine if a passenger's disability causes annoying behavior or if
(s)he is prone to violence.  As suggested in Section 4 of this
chapter, information can be requested in the application form or from
a professional that will assist with making these decisions.
Follow-up with a professional identified by the passenger might also
be necessary to request further guidance on actual incidents.  This
information should be available to operators of the service so that
they can respond appropriately to the person's disability.

The policies used in paratransit operation should also be consistent
with those established for the fixed route service.  Policies should
not be adopted solely for the paratransit service unless the issue is
unique to that mode.  If particular issues arise in paratransit
operation, examine the current general service policy and revise it
for all types of service if necessary.  For example, an agency or
parent may request that paratransit service be provided to an infant
or child with a disability.  If the transit provider had a policy for
the fixed route service that requires children under a certain age to
be accompanied by a parent or guardian, the same policy could be
applied to the paratransit service.  Determination of the child's
ability to use the fixed route system could then assume the assistance
of a parent/guardian.

The period for which service is refused should also be consistent
between modes of service.  For example, riders may be refused service
for a particular trip on the fixed route service if they do not pay
the fare.  Similarly, paratransit service can be refused if the fare
is not paid.  It would not be acceptable, however, to not accept
future trip requests on the paratransit service for a previous lack of
payment if this is also not the policy on the fixed route system.


Circumstances Under which Service Can be Conditioned

In certain circumstances, it may be possible to mitigate the effects
of a person's conduct by requiring that they meet certain conditions
(e.g., use the service with an attendant).  While the regulation does
not allow transit agencies to require attendants in other cases, such
a condition of use is permitted if the rider would otherwise be
refused service.  In other words, transit providers may place
conditions on the use of service if they otherwise would have the
right to refuse service.

For example, a rider with mental retardation may have a tendency to
move around the paratransit vehicle and accost other passengers.  The
behavior may be able to be controlled by the presence of an attendant.
Because such conduct would be seriously disruptive to the service, the
transit provider would have the right to refuse service.  They could
also, therefore, require that the person travel with an attendant.


Circumstances Under Which Service Can be Suspended

In addition to permitting service to be refused or conditioned as
described above, the regulations also specify one additional
circumstance under which paratransit service may be suspended.
Section 37.125(h) of the regulations allows paratransit service to be
suspended, for a "reasonable period of time," for individuals who
establish a "pattern or practice" of missing scheduled trips.  This
provision is included in the regulations to allow transit providers to
respond to chronic "no-shows".

This provision does not apply to trips that are beyond the rider's
control.  For example, a rider could not be considered a "no-show" if:

    the vehicle arrived at the pickup location early or late and the
person was not ready or had left to call or make other arrangements;

    a sudden family emergency caused the person to change plans and
did not allow time to notify the dispatcher of this change;

    the person had made a reasonable effort to notify the operator
that service would no longer be needed but experienced an unreasonable
delay getting through on the phone;

    a sudden turn for the worse in someone with a variable condition
causes them to miss the trip.

It is important to note that "no-shows" are different than
cancellations and that the regulations do not specify that service can
be suspended for a pattern or practice of cancellations.  A major
cause of cancellations is the advance notice required for use of
paratransit service - a policy that does not exist for fixed route
service.  Sanctions cannot be imposed on individuals whose schedules
change frequently and who are therefore required to change or cancel
their scheduled paratransit trips.


Developing a "No-Show" Suspension Policy

Before service can be suspended, a "no-show" suspension policy must be
developed.  Because the policy is part of the overall eligibility
policy, it therefore must be developed with full public participation
as specified in 37.137 of the regulations.  This includes
consultation with persons with disabilities (following an outreach
effort to identify interested and affected persons), a public comment
period, and a public hearing.

The no-show policy should address the following items:

    the amount of notice that riders must give if they want to cancel
a scheduled trip;

    the frequency of no-shows that will constitute a "pattern or practice"; and

    the length of time for which service will be suspended.

Notice required for canceling a trip cannot exceed the amount of
advance notice required to make a trip reservation.  For example,
riders cannot be asked to give 24 hours notice of a trip cancellation
if "next day" service is provided.

Suspension of service for no-shows must be based on a "pattern or
practice " of such activity rather than infrequent, one-time
incidents.  The frequency of no-shows that will be considered a
pattern or practice can be either an absolute measure or a relative
measure.  An absolute measure would establish a specific number of
no-shows in a given period of time that would be considered excessive.
For example, such a policy could set three no-shows in a three-month
period as a "pattern or practice".  A relative measure would set a
percentage of no-shows to total trip requests.  For example, it would
be considered a pattern or practice if three percent of a person's
trip requests in any three-month period resulted in no-shows.

The advantage of an absolute measure is that it is easier to measure
and easier for riders to understand.  It also lends itself to
progressive action (e.g., a call after one no-show, a letter after
two, and suspension after three).  The primary disadvantage is that it
does not account for differences in the number of trips made by
riders.  For example, three no-shows in a three-month period for
someone who makes four one-way trips per week would mean that the
person no-shows six percent of the time.  A person who uses the
service five days a week for work and makes 20 trips per week would be
no-showing one percent of the time.

Regardless of the method used, the measure should be able to be
defended as a pattern or practice.  One way to do this is to compare
the measure that is considered excessive to the systemwide average for
no-shows.  For example, if there is a one percent no-show rate for the
entire system, establishing a standard that would equal a three
percent rate, even for frequent users of the service, would be
defensible.

The regulations do not provide guidance on what would constitute a
"pattern or practice" of no-shows or what would be a reasonable period
of suspension.  Table 5 provides the no- show policy details of
selected transit providers.  As shown, most providers use an absolute
standard.  Many also have a standard that will lead to an escalation
of actions (e.g., a number that will trigger a letter and a number
that will result in suspension).  The Southeastern Pennsylvania
Transportation Authority has established a sliding scale that allows a
different number of no-shows depending on the frequency with which the
customer uses the service.  Before suspending service, Ben Franklin
Transit and the Port Authority of Allegheny County consider each
situation on a case-by-case basis.

In general, the period of suspension should be long enough to be a
deterrent but should not cause undue hardship.  As shown in Table 5, a
period of suspension of one month appears to be typical for a first
violation.  A number of providers increase the period of suspension
for subsequent violations of the policy.

Other approaches, incentives, and disincentives can also be used to
reduce the incidence of no-shows.  The suspension policy and the
reason for it should be known by riders.  Include this information in
brochures and rider manuals.  DAST keeps notices about the no-show
policy posted on vans.  SEPTA develops a list each month of the twenty
riders with the greatest number of no-shows and sends each a letter
noting the effect of no-shows on the overall service.  A copy of the
letter sent by SEPTA is provided as Figure 7.

In addition to contacting riders, efforts should be made to determine
the cause of the problem.  Identify and address any operational
problems that may be leading to no-shows.  Many of the systems
contacted for policy details indicated that they contact riders who
no- show a first time to explain the importance of canceling in
advance and to make sure that the person is aware of the service
suspension policy.  Extenuating circumstances and operational problems
can also be noted and/or resolved at this time.  Some systems also
indicated that Table 5.  Details of No-Show Suspension Policies for
Selected Transit Providers




Name of Transit Provider
# No-shows Considered Excessive
Period of Suspension
Advance Notice
Required


Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
Ann Arbor, MI
2 in one month   postcard 
2nd occurrence in 6 months   second notice
1 more occurrence in 6 months   suspension
or $10 charge per no-show.
6 months
30 minutes


Ben Franklin Transit 
Richland, WA
3 in one month   letter
2nd occurrence   letter
3rd occurrence   suspension
Determined case-by-
case
N/A


City of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC
3 in 2 months
6 months
N/A


Delaware Administration for
Specialized Transportation (DAST)
Dover, DE
3 in one month   letter
2nd occurrence   letter
3rd occurrence   loss of subscription
4th occurrence   suspension

90 days
2 hours


Durango, CO
2 in 90 days   letter 
3 in 90 days   suspension
2 weeks
30 minutes


Greater Bridgeport Transit District
Bridgeport, CT

3 in 1 month   probation
2nd occurrence   suspension
14 days
2 hours or when
office opens


Greeley, CO
3 in 1 month
1st time   1 month
2nd time   6 months
3rd time   1 year
None.  "No-show"
only if vehicle arrives
and person does not
ride.


Lane Transit District
Eugene, OR
3 in 6 months
1 month
Anytime prior to
arrival of vehicle.


Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority
Los Angeles, CA
1st no-show   verbal notice
2nd no-show   written notice
3rd no-show in 6 months   suspension

30 days


Anytime prior to
arrival of vehicle.


Madison Metro Transit System
Madison, WI
No set policy.  Case-by-case review
No set policy. 
Case-by-case review.
Anytime prior to
arrival of vehicle.


New York City Transit Authority
New York, NY
3 in 6 months
1 month
N/A


OMNITRANS
San Bernardino, CA
3 in 1 month   first warning 
4 in 1 month   2nd warning 
5 in 1 month   suspension
30 days
Cancellation must be
made before the
vehicle is dispatched
(Generally 1 hour).


Port Authority of Allegheny County
(PAT); ACCESS Program
Pittsburgh, PA
1st no-show   letter
2nd no-show   letter and phone call
3rd no-show   charge of $5
Additional no-shows   $5 case-by-case         
   review for possible suspension
1st time   1 week
2nd time   2 weeks
Cancellation must be
made before the
vehicle is dispatched
(Generally 1 hour).


Riverside Transit Agency
Riverside, CA
2 in 1 month   notice
3 in 1 month   revocation of subscription
privileges or suspension

60 days

1 hour


Southeastern Regional
Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
Philadelphia, PA
sliding scale based on rider's average
trips/month:

 < 14 trips/mo.   no limit
15-39 trips/mo.   4 no-shows/mo. allowed
40-59 trips/mo.   6 no-shows/mo. allowed
60-79 trips/mo.   8 no-shows/mo. allowed
80-99 trips/mo.   10 no-shows/mo. allowed
 100+ trips/mo.   12 no-shows/mo. allowed

either 2 week
suspension or fine
and possible loss of
subscription
2 hours


Transit Authority of River City
(TARC)
Louisville, KY

2 in 1 month   suspension

30 days

2 hours


Utah Transit Authority
Salt Lake City, UT
3 in 1 month   letter
4 in one month   suspension
30 days
Any notice prior to
vehicle arrival


Waukesha Transit System
Waukesha, WI
2 in 1 month
30 days
1 hour


Worcester Regional Transit
Authority
Worcester, MA
1st no-show   letter
2nd no-show   letter
3rd no-show in 1 year   suspension
30 days
Up to 6:30AM: no
requirement.
6:30-9:30AM: 1 hour
after 9:30AM: 3 hrs

Figure 7.  Letter Sent by SEPTA to Riders with Greatest Number of
No-Shows Each Month

they will still charge the fare or will charge the sponsoring agency
the full cost of the trip.  The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
indicated that, as an alternative to suspending service, customers may
be assessed a $10 charge per no-show.

Another effective approach used by some providers is to leave a notice
at the person's home indicating that the vehicle arrived and that they
were recorded as a no-show, The no-show policy and the importance of
canceling trips is also included in the notice.

Subscription service privileges can also be revoked if individuals
regularly miss trips.  For a period of time they can be required to
call for each trip.

Many times, no-shows will also be caused by guardians or human service
agency staff who assist the rider in making and keeping scheduled
appointments.  Follow-up with these individuals and/or contact with
supervisors or program directors may be an effective approach.

Excessive no-show and cancellation rates can also be caused by
inconvenient advance reservation and trip confirmation practices.  In
general, no-shows and cancellations will decrease as the "response
time" is reduced.  Confirming trip requests as they are placed also
will reduce the number of cancellations.


Process Issues Associated with Suspending Service

Suspending a person's right to paratransit service is a serious
matter.  This is so not only because of the legal ramifications but
because many riders may have few other or no transportation
alternatives and may rely on services for employment, medical, and
other essential services.  Transit providers should have clear
documentation of all missed trips and should be prepared to show that
all aspects of the policy have been followed.

The regulations also require that before a suspension of services is
imposed, administrative due process must be extended to the
individual.  A two-stage process is required, including initial
notification and an opportunity for an informal hearing followed by a
second notice and an opportunity to appeal.  The exact process that
must be used is explained in Appendix D to the regulations as follows:

     "If the entity proposes to impose sanctions on someone, it must
first notify the individual in writing (using accessible formats where
necessary).  The notice must specify the basis of the proposed action
(e.g., Mr. Smith scheduled trips for 8 a.m. on May 15, 2 p.m. on June
3, 9 a.m. on June 21, and 9:20 p.m. on July 10, and on each occasion
the vehicle appeared at the scheduled time and Mr. Smith was nowhere
to be found) and set forth the proposed sanction (e.g., Mr. Smith
would not receive service for 15 days).

     The entity would provide the individuals an opportunity to be
heard (i.e., an in-person informal hearing before a decisionmaker) as
well as to present written and oral information and arguments.  All
relevant entity records and personnel would be made available to the
individual, and other persons could testify.  It is likely that, in
many cases, an important factual issue would be whether a missed trip
was the responsibility of the provider or the passenger, and the
testimony of other persons and the provider's records or personnel are
likely to be relevant in deciding this issue.  While the hearing is
intended to be informal, the individual could bring a representative
(e.g., someone from an advocacy organization, an attorney).

     The individual may waive the hearing and proceed on the basis of
written presentations. If the individual does not respond to the
notice within a reasonable time, the entity may make, in effect, a
default finding and impose sanctions.  If there is a hearing, and the
individual needs paratransit service to attend the hearing, the entity
must provide it.

     The entity must notify the individual in writing about the
decision, the reasons for it, and the sanctions imposed, if any.
Again, this information would be made available in accessible formats.
In the case of a decision adverse to the individual, the
administrative appeals process (detailed in 37.125 of the regulations)
would apply." [Federal Register, September 6, 1991, page 45747]

All of the process issues associated with appeals of initial
eligibility determinations, described in Section 8 of this chapter
must be followed in the final appeal noted above.  This would include
a separation of function, allowing 60 days for the appeal to be
requested, making a determination within 30 days of the hearing, and
providing interpreters if needed.  The same individuals who hear
appeals of initial eligibility determinations do not, however, have to
hear appeals of proposed service suspensions.

Finally, it is important to note that service must continue to be
provided throughout the process.  The transit provider cannot suspend
service while any part of the process is pending.


Section 10.  Visitor Policies

Section 2 of Chapter 1 of this manual describes the regulatory
requirements concerning the provision of service to visitors.
Basically, the regulations require that:

    ADA paratransit eligible visitors to an area must be provided 21
days of service;

    Eligibility determinations provided by other public entities are
to be honored for this period of time;

    Individuals who do not have certification from another public
entity are to be served if they claim to be ADA paratransit eligible.
These individuals can be requested to provide documentation of place
of residence and/or disability;

    The service provided to visitors must be the same as that provided
to local residents traveling in the same area; and

    Visitors needing more than 21 days of service can be required to
apply for local eligibility certification.

Transit providers should establish, as part of their visitor policy,
the period of time within which the 21 days of service can be made.
For example, a policy may state that visitor service will be provided
"for 21 days in any six month period".  The timeframe should be
established as part of the planning process and must be set with full
public participation.

Manual or automated rider and trip records can be coded to identify
visitors, can display the period for which visitor travel will be
provided, and can record the number of trips provided to date.

To avoid a lapse in service, transit providers should inquire whether
or not a visitor will be needing more than 21 days of service during
the established period of time when they call for their first ride.
Certain parts of the application process may need to be completed
before the visitor leaves their place of residence. For example, if
the process requests professional verification as part of the initial
application, the individual may need to have this portion of the form
completed by a local professional before they leave.  Form(s) that the
person and/or a professional may need to complete should be sent or
faxed in advance so that the person can bring these with them or
return them in advance.  This will enable the process to be completed
and an eligibility determination to be made before the person's
eligibility as a visitor runs out.  This is particularly important for
travellers who will need 21 consecutive or nearly consecutive days of
service.

As noted above, visitors who have not been certified by another public
entity and who claim to be eligible can be requested to provide
certain documentation.  Documentation of place of residence may be
desired to ensure that the individual is from outside the transit
providers jurisdiction or the combined jurisdiction of several transit
agencies which may be providing coordinated, joint paratransit
service.  A picture ID would obviously be preferred, but it is
important to note that many ADA paratransit eligible individuals may
not have a drivers license or other form of photo identification.
Several alternative forms of proof of residence should be considered.
These might include a copy of a telephone bill that would provide an
address and would list the visitor's phone number (which could be
called to provide some form of verification).  It may also include
identification which the individual may have been provided by another
service agency.

Documentation of disability may not be necessary in all cases.  It
will be particularly important if the person claims to have a "hidden
disability" such as a heart condition, mental illness or other
disability that is not obvious.  Types of acceptable documentation
might include proof of eligibility for other services based on
disability such as documentation from a veterans organization, Social
Security, a rehabilitation agency, independent living program, or
other agency.  Such forms of documentation probably will not be
detailed enough to definitively verify ADA paratransit eligibility and
transit providers should not require such definitive proof.  They
will, however, be able to indicate that the person does in fact have a
disability that would likely qualify them for paratransit service.
Chapter 4 Applying Eligibility Determinations to Daily Operations


As explained in Chapter 1 of this manual, eligibility for
complementary paratransit service is based on trips that cannot be
made on the fixed route transit system by individuals with
disabilities.  For this reason, the determination of ADA paratransit
eligibility is not solely an administrative function performed
separate from daily operations.  While basic information about
applicants' functional capabilities and need for paratransit service
is developed in the initial eligibility certification process, the
eligibility of specific trip requests made by individuals who are ADA
paratransit eligible will be determined in daily operations.  The
availability and accessibility of fixed route service will need to be
considered along with applicable environmental and architectural
conditions to determine whether paratransit service is required or if
travel on the fixed route service is an appropriate alternative.

This chapter addresses the determination of trip eligibility in daily
operations.  Section 1 reviews key information that will need to be
available to operations personnel.  Section 2 discusses trip-by-trip
determination and suggests several practical approaches that can be
applied in most operations.  Section 3 notes some advanced
technologies and recent developments in commercially available
software that can assist in the operation of ADA paratransit services.
Finally, Section 4 offers suggestions for encouraging conditionally
eligible individuals to use fixed route service and for providing
additional transportation alternatives.

Although the regulations do require that transit providers strictly
limit eligibility and identify limitations and conditions of
eligibility, it is important to note that they do not require that
trip-by-trip determinations be conducted in daily operations.  Transit
providers can opt to offer broader service to ADA paratransit eligible
individuals if it is decided that determining the eligibility of each
trip is too difficult, not cost-effective, or not necessary to fully
implement required paratransit service.  Some level of trip-by trip
eligibility determination should be considered, however, if full
implementation of the paratransit service requirements could become a
financial burden.  Only those costs associated with the provision of
eligible trips can be included in any request of an undue financial
burden waiver request.


Section 1.  Important Operational Information

Much of the information obtained or developed in the eligibility
determination process will be needed by schedulers, drivers, and other
operations personnel to provide appropriate, effective paratransit
service.  Paratransit services typically maintain customer files with
much of this information.  The determination of ADA paratransit trip
eligibility may, however, require these records to be expanded and
enhanced.

In addition to name, address, and other general personal information,
a customer record maintained by the operations department or contract
operator will need to include:

    Information about the person's disability.  In order to
appropriately responding to a customer's needs and provide any
necessary assistance, operations personnel will need basic information
about the person's disability.  For example, the customer record may
indicate that the rider is blind, is moderately retarded, or has
cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

     Certain medical information should be released only if it is
vital to the effective and safe operation of the service.  For
example, the customer record may show that a person suffers from
chronic fatigue but would not indicate that the individual has been
exposed to the HIV virus.  Certain medical information, if deemed
vital, can also be released only to limited personnel such as managers
or supervisors.

     Operators will also need to have information about the particular
effects of the disability. For example, it would be important to note
if the individual is prone to seizures or certain types of behavior.
It would also be helpful to provide suggestions for communicating with
or otherwise assisting the individual that may have been noted in the
application.

    Mobility aids used.  This would include aids such as wheelchairs,
walkers, braces, canes, and portable life support.  It would also
include information on service animals and/or the need for personal
care attendants.

     Detailed information on the size and weight of wheelchairs will
be important for determining if the lifts available can accommodate
the rider or if vehicles with particular accessibility features (e.g.,
a certain securement system) will be needed.

    Functional capabilities.  In addition to basic information about
the nature of the person's disability, operations staff will need to
know the functional capabilities of customers. This could include the
person's ability to board an accessible vehicle, to negotiate steep
terrain, or to travel under certain environmental conditions.  It may
also include information about travel training that the rider has
received and specific fixed routes which they can independently use.

     Information provided to operations staff should be consistent
with the information provided to the applicant.  The level of detail
provided should be determined by the degree of trip eligibility
determination that will be conducted.  For example, the specific
temperature sensitivity of a rider (e.g., temperatures above 85
degrees Fahrenheit) would not be needed if trip determinations are
going to be seasonally-based (e.g., the rider is eligible during hot
weather months).

    Frequent travel information.  If questions about common trips are
included in the application, they can also be useful in determining
the person's need for paratransit for frequently made trips.  This
information can also help in predicting travel demand and structuring
future subscription service or daily routes.

In addition to information obtained through the eligibility
determination process, paratransit operations staff will also need
information about fixed route services.  They will also need certain
geographic and architectural data in order to determine if there are
conditions that could prevent customers with disabilities from getting
to or from stops/stations.  Again, the level of detail of this
information depends on the degree of trip-by-trip determination that
is done in operations.  Additional information that should be
considered includes:

 
    Fixed routes and schedules.  Paratransit schedulers should have
access to the latest fixed route information.  A simple map that
displays the routes overlaid on the ADA paratransit service area is
one approach.  In larger systems, giving schedulers access to computer
programs used by public information staff that can show best routes
given a particular origin and destination should be considered.

     Knowledge of accessibility features of the fixed route system is
also important.

     Accessible routes should be highlighted.  If an "on-call" lift
bus service is utilized, consideration should be given to combining
this program with the paratransit operation or closely linking the
two.  It would be beneficial to be able to directly arrange for
on-call lift bus service for individuals calling for paratransit who
could use accessible fixed route service.

    Location of accessible bus stops/rail stations.  Information about
stations and stops that are accessible can also be made available to
paratransit schedulers.  A survey of bus stops can be conducted to
identify those areas where the geography or street conditions may
prevent individuals from boarding and disembarking.

     Paratransit operators asked to do trip-by-trip eligibility
determination will also need current information about system access
such as the latest information on elevator outages.

    Map of the ADA service area.  Maps used in scheduling should
delineate the ADA paratransit service area.  This is particularly
important if the service area is limited to 3/4 mile corridors
specified in the regulations.


     It may also be helpful to display other distance lines, such as a
1/4 mile or 1/2 mile distance from fixed routes.  This will be helpful
in determining if paratransit is required for individuals who can
independently travel distances less than 3/4 of a mile and are
conditionally eligible based on the distance to and from
stops/stations.

    Areas of steep terrain.  The map of the service area should also
highlight areas of steep terrain that could prevent individuals with
ambulatory disabilities from getting to or from stops/stations.  While
it may not be practical to highlight all areas which exceed the
regulatory definition of an accessible grade, it may be useful to
display extreme terrain that is a definite barriers to travel.

    Location of curb cuts and sidewalks.  The location of curb cuts
within the service area can also be displayed.  Cites and towns are
required by the Department of Justice's ADA regulations to include in
their ADA transition plans a schedule for building curb cuts. Maps
showing the location of existing and planned curb cuts may be
available from local city engineering offices.

     Areas that lack sidewalks can also prevent independent travel to
transit stops/stations. Local public works offices may also be able to
assist in the collection of this information.

    Major intersections and other barriers.  Finally, it may be
helpful for schedulers to know the location of other manmade or
natural features that could act as barriers to travel by individuals
with disabilities.  This might include highways, busy intersections,
railroad tracks, waterways, or other similar features.  It may also
include streets and sidewalks that are under construction.  This
information will need to be regularly updated with the help of local
planning and public works agencies.

The above information can be developed and displayed manually.  As
discussed in Section 3 of this chapter, it can also be developed with
the aid of certain advanced technologies.


Section 2.  Trip-by-Trip Eligibility Determinations

The consideration of all factors that may affect trip eligibility is a
difficult undertaking at best.  Even with detailed information about
the fixed route service and extensive environmental, geographic, and
architectural information, it may still not be possible to determine
if certain conditions, when combined with a person's disability
prevent use of the fixed route service.  For example, in advanced
reservation operation, it is not be possible to know in advance the
environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, snow, ice, or
air pollution that may exist at the time of travel.  The effects of
certain types of disabilities, such as multiple sclerosis and mental
illnesses also can change from day to day.  Transit providers will
need to rely on the personal assessments of travel capabilities made
by individuals with these disabilities.

While it may be impractical or impossible to take into consideration
all of the factors associated with trip eligibility, there are certain
approaches that can be taken that can allow a significant portion of
all trips provided to be reviewed, at some level, for eligibility.
These approaches are described below.

Review Subscription Trips

Many paratransit programs permit riders to obtain reservations for
repeat trips by calling only periodically.  For example, a rider may
have a standing reservation for daily travel to work which only needs
to be reconfirmed once a month or every three months.  These
"subscription" trips have the same origin and are made to the same
destination.  In many systems, subscription trips can account for
40-50 percent of all trips provided.

A detailed analysis of each subscription rider's ability to make this
one repeat trip can be conducted using information obtained in the
application for ADA paratransit eligibility.  Additional information
about exact travel distances involved or geographic/architectural
features that might prevent travel can be obtained by a site review or
by speaking to the rider.  A single review can impact many future
trips.  Determining that ten current paratransit riders could use
fixed route service for daily travel to work, for example, could
reduce paratransit trip demand by about 5,200 trips per year.

Review Other Frequently Made Trips

Non-subscription trips are also often made from the same origin to the
same destination.  For example, individuals will often grocery shop at
the same store or may be members of a particular civic organization.
A review of possible use of fixed route service to meet these common
travel needs can be done.  As with subscription service, such reviews
will impact many potential paratransit trip requests.

As noted in Section 4 of Chapter 3 of this manual, information about
common trips can be included in the initial eligibility application
form.  Commonly made trips can also be generated from trip records by
sorting trips by rider and by origin and destination.

Generalize Limitations of Eligibility

Another approach to simplifying trip eligibility determinations is to
generalize the conditions that have been placed on an individual's ADA
paratransit eligibility.  By broadening the condition, it may then
become practical to consider the condition when reviewing a particular
trip request.


For example, a rider may not be able to use fixed route service when
there is snow or ice.  Instead of taking current weather conditions
into consideration in the scheduling process, the rider could be
considered eligible during those times of the year when snow and ice
are present.  Similarly, a person with a sensitivity to high
temperatures and/or humidity could be granted eligibility during hot
weather months.  This person would be expected to use fixed route
service at other times.

These generalized conditions of eligibility could be included in the
customer record file.  Schedulers could then easily determine if the
trip request should be accommodated.

Consideration of Easily Tracked Eligibility Conditions

Other conditions of eligibility may also be easily identified using
information from the application review process.  This information can
then be prominently displayed on computer scheduling screens (or can
be noted on rider record cards) to allow schedulers to determine if
the use of fixed route service might be a reasonable alternative for a
particular trip that is being requested.

Individuals determined to be unconditionally eligible would be
identified as such and no further consideration of their trip request
would be necessary as long as both the origin and destination were
within the ADA paratransit service area.  Persons determined
conditionally eligible would have key information about their
eligibility indicated.  Examples of conditions that can be easily
identified and tracked and which may be practical to consider in the
scheduling process include:

    whether the person has received travel training for certain trips;

    whether the person is able to use accessible fixed route services;

    whether eligibility is based on an inability to negotiate
transfers and complex fixed route trips;

    the ability of the person to independently travel certain distances;

    whether travel is prevented at certain times of day (e.g., night
blindness); or

    whether travel is prevented in certain seasons (e.g., winter due
to snow/ice, or summer due to heat).

Using basic information such as that listed above, schedulers may
sometimes be able to definitively determine if paratransit is
required.  For example, a request for a trip for which the individual
has been trained could be quickly assessed.  A decision on a midday
trip request by an individual determined eligible on the basis of
night blindness could be easily made.  Similarly, a determination on a
trip request that involves the use of only one route could be made if
eligibility is based on the person's inability to negotiate complex
trips.

In other cases, it may not be possible to arrive at a definitive
determination of eligibility, but use of the fixed route service may
be a distinct possibility.  For example, the customer record of a
wheelchair-user may show that he/she can use accessible vehicles and
can travel up to 1/2 mile to and from bus stops.  The origin and
destination may both be close to an accessible route and the request
may be at a time of the year when weather is not a factor.  Without
detailed information about curb cuts and terrain, it is not possible
to make a final decision but there would seem to be a good chance that
the person could use the fixed route service.  In this case, the
call-taker or scheduler may want to ask the person "Are you aware that
Bus XYZ is now lift-equipped and is only 3 blocks from you?"  or a
stronger suggestion such as "Our records indicate that you are able to
use accessible buses.  Bus XYZ is lift equipped and can be used for
this trip" could be made.  The customer may decide that this fixed
route alternative can be used or may point out that other barriers
exist.  Under this approach, transit providers would rely on customers
to note difficult to track issues such as a lack of curb cuts and/or
steep terrain.

More accurate determinations would obviously be possible if schedulers
were given easy access to other eligibility conditions and had
detailed service area and environmental information.  Examples of
other factors that would be slightly more difficult to utilize in
daily operation but which could be considered include:

    whether eligibility is based on an inability to travel in areas of
steep terrain (combined with detailed knowledge of the terrain in the
area);

    whether eligibility is based on a lack of curb cuts (combined with
a map of curb cuts in the area);

    whether eligibility is based on an inability to cross busy streets
and intersections (combined with information about busy roadways and
difficult intersections in the area).

As can be seen, trip-by-trip eligibility determinations can be
considered at many levels of complexity.  There is a clear benefit to
using some of the simpler approaches outlined above.  A careful
analysis of the costs and benefits of maintaining more detailed data
and asking operators to spend the additional time making trip
determinations should be considered before more involved approaches
are used in daily operation.


Section 3.  Using Advanced Technologies to Make Trip Eligibility
Determinations

A number of advanced technologies are available that can assist in
maintaining and using ADA eligibility information.  Following is a
brief description of each and a discussion of possible applications to
the eligibility process.


Relational Database Management Systems (RDMS)

Relational database management systems are "off-the-shelf" software
packages that can be used to create and manage data files.  Separate
files can be created (e.g., customer files and trip files) and this
information can then be "related" by using a common identifier (e.g.,
a customer ID).  RDMS software is inexpensive and can be programmed by
users with basic to moderate computer skills.  Data files and reports
can be customized to address the particular need.

RDMS software could be used by smaller operators to store detailed
eligibility information, including specific conditions/limitation of
eligibility.  As trip requests are received, call- takers or
schedulers could recall information on the rider and use this data in
making trip eligibility decisions.  RDMS software could also keep trip
records for individuals being served as visitors and assist schedulers
in knowing when to request that these persons apply for local
eligibility.

In addition to assisting with ADA paratransit eligibility, RDMS
software can be applied to many other paratransit operations needs
such as general client information, trip records, reporting, and
billing.  For more information on RDMS, see:

     Commercial Software Applications for Paratransit, USDOT Report
#DOT-I-84-51, available through the USDOT Technology Sharing Program.


Automated Client Information Systems

Several software packages are also available that are designed
specifically to allow for the storage and retrieval of detailed
information on clients/customers.  In many cases, these systems have
been developed from standard RDMS.  While they serve the same basic
purpose as RDMS, the main advantage of these customized packages is
that they include special screen displays and menus that make
information storage and retrieval quicker and easier for the user.

Often, these systems are one piece of larger computer scheduling and
dispatching programs.  It is possible, however, to purchase client
information system modules separate from the larger programs.
Typically, these modules cost less than $5,000.  Automated client
information systems are also used extensively by human service
agencies.

Information about several available automated client information
systems is included in:

     PCs in Transportation Software Directory, a catalog available
through PC-TRANS at the University of Kansas Transportation Center.
PC-TRANS' phone number is (913) 864- 5655.


Automated Routing and Scheduling Systems

Many of the commercially-available routing and scheduling programs
developed for the paratransit industry have recently been upgraded to
include features that address ADA information needs and requirements.
As noted above, these packages typically include client information
modules as well as trip files, scheduling algorithms, reporting
routines, and other functions designed to offer full support in all
aspects of paratransit operation.

Some of the common features that have been developed for ADA
paratransit operation include:

     ADA Paratransit Eligible Customer Information: Individuals who
are determined ADA paratransit eligible can be distinguished from
other riders.  Conditions and limitations of eligibility and/or the
regulatory categories under which riders are eligible can be
displayed.  If ADA paratransit eligible persons are also eligible
under other programs, this multiple eligibility information can also
be displayed.

     To be of immediate use to schedulers, the above client
information can be displayed in "real-time", meaning that it can be
immediately accessed as part of a scheduling routine.

     Relationship of Desired Trip to the Fixed Route System: The ADA
regulations require transit providers to offer complementary
paratransit service to eligible individuals in an area defined by
corridors 3/4 of a mile to each side of fixed routes plus to other
areas within a "core service area".  In determining if a requested
trip is eligible, transit providers will need to check the geographic
relationship of the origin and destination to the fixed route service.
In addition, customers may be able to get to and from bus stops up to
a certain distance (e.g., up to 1/4 of a mile) but are eligible for
paratransit when they would need to travel a greater distance to and
from bus stops.

     Several scheduling systems are now capable of incorporating
geographic information about the fixed route system.  ADA paratransit
service corridors can be displayed and calculations of distances from
origin or destination to the closest fixed route can be made. More
accurate systems will develop these calculations by using exact
latitude/longitude coordinates or street centerlines.  Trip
eligibility can then be determined using this information.


     Visitors Information: As noted in Chapter 1 of this manual, the
regulations require that ADA paratransit systems accommodate visitors
to the area.  Visitors are to be provided with 21 days of service over
a reasonable period of time if they have been determined eligible by
another transit agency or if they claim to be eligible.  After 21 days
of service, the person can be required to go through the local
eligibility determination process.

     Several paratransit scheduling programs are able to process
visitor requests, track the days of service provided to a visitor, and
display this information as part of the scheduling routine.


     Documenting Compliance: In addition to assisting with determining
individual and trip eligibility, these systems are also capable of
providing data and developing reports that can assist in assuring
compliance with the regulations.  For example, the ADA regulations
require that complementary paratransit service, when fully
implemented, cannot have capacity constraints.  Examples of capacity
constraints are an excessive number of trip denials, late pick-ups,
and long trips.  Trip requests are to be considered denials if they
cannot be scheduled within one hour of the requested pick-up
time. Additionally, the regulations limit subscription trips
("standing orders") to no more than 50 percent of total trips when
capacity constraints exist.

     Several software systems allow users to track and analyze
capacity constraints and subscription trips.


As part of the preparation of this manual, information about the
availability of the above features was requested from 30 of the
leading paratransit software companies.  Twelve companies responded
and indicated that one or more of these features was either currently
available or in development.  The tables on the following pages
summarize this information.  Table 6 summarizes client information
features.  Table 7 presents information about displaying the ADA
paratransit service area and calculating distances to and from stops.
Table 8 addresses features included to accommodate visitor
requirements.  Table 9 notes capabilities for collecting and analyzing
capacity constraint and subscription information.

For more information on the capabilities of automated routing and
scheduling systems, see:

     Assessment of Computer Dispatch Technology in the Paratransit
Industry, USDOT Report #DOT-T-92-23, available through the USDOT
Technology Sharing Program.

     Advanced Public Transportation Systems: The State-of-the-Art
Update '92, USDOT Report #DOT-VNTSC-FTA-92-3, available through the
National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia, 22161.

Table 6.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatching
Systems to Capture and Display ADA Paratransit Eligibility Information




Company Name
(Software Name)
Contact Person: Phone #
ADA Eligible
Persons
Identified in
"Real-Time?
Can Eligibility
Conditions be
Displayed?
# of
Conditions
that can be
Displayed
Can "Categories"
of Eligibility be
Displayed?
Can Multiple
Eligibilities (ADA,
Medicaid, etc.) be
Displayed?
# of Types
of Eligibility
that can be
Displayed


Aleph Computer Systems, Inc.
(Share-Ride Scheduling Program)
Mr. Ray Zhang: (510) 843-4443
Yes
Yes
20
Yes
Yes
20


Automated Business Solutions, Inc. 
(PtMS-Paratransit Management and
Scheduling)
Mr. Stephen Pellegrini: (215) 565-2800
Yes
Yes

Yes
Yes
5


Automated Dispatch Services (ADS), Inc.
(EMtrack)
Mr. David Brown: (305) 471-0441
Yes
Yes
As Screen
Space
Allows
Yes
Yes
As Screen
Space
Allows


COMSIS Corporation
(COMSIS Trip Planning System [CTPS])
Ms. Marcia G. DeJulio: (412) 279-9110
Yes
In
Development

Yes
In Development



Decision Sciences, Inc.
(Quick-Route [TM])
Mr. Chuck Jones: (708) 965-1581
Yes
Yes
10
Yes
Yes
3


Easy Street Software, Inc.
(Easy Trips)
Mr. Patrick Simmons: (919) 848-9991
Yes
Yes
14 plus
"other"
Yes
Yes
No Practical
Limit
GIRO
(GIRO/ACCESS)
Mr. Nigel Hamer: (514) 383-0404
Yes
Yes
Seasonal

Yes
Multiple
"Sponsors"


Ketron Div. of The Bionetics Corp.
(Paratransit Management Information and
Scheduling System [PARMIS])
Mr. John N. Balog: (215) 648-9000
Yes
Yes
No Limit
Yes
Yes
6


Micro Dynamics Corporation
(CADMOS - Prot)
Mr. Paul D. Buroker: (812) 477-3090
Yes
Yes
As Needed-
Customized
Yes
Yes
As Needed


Multisystems, Inc.
(MIDAS)
Mr. Kurt Dossin: (617) 864-5810
Yes
Yes
Unlimited
Yes
Yes
5


Paratransit Systems Int'l., Inc.
(Rides Unlimited)
Mr. Jeff Forville: (800) 926-2345
Yes
Yes
32
Yes
Yes
48


Philip A. Dorcas and Assoc.
(PSP - Paratransit Scheduling Package)
Mr. Phil Dorcas: (817) 921-9704

Yes

Yes

36

Yes

Yes

36


UMA Engineering Ltd.
(QuoVadis)
Mr. Mark Miller: (416) 238-0007
Yes
Yes
No
Restriction
Yes
Yes
No
Restriction


Table 7.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatching
Systems to Display the ADA Paratransit Service Area and Calculate
Distances to and From Stops/Stations




Company Name
(Software Name)
Contact Person: Phone #
Can ADA Service Area Corridors
and Origins and Destinations be
Displayed? 
Can Real-Time Calculations of
Distance From Routes to Origins
and Destinations be Made?
Basis of Distance
Calculations


Aleph Computer Systems, Inc.
(Share-Ride Scheduling Program)
Mr. Ray Zhang: (510) 843-4443
Yes
Yes
Zonal-Based Centroids


Automated Business Solutions, Inc. 
(PtMS-Paratransit Management and
Scheduling)
Mr. Stephen Pellegrini: (215) 565-2800
Yes
Yes
Street Centerlines


Automated Dispatch Services (ADS), Inc.
(EMtrack)
Mr. David Brown: (305) 471-0441
Yes
Yes
Latitude/Longitude


COMSIS Corporation
(COMSIS Trip Planning System [CTPS])
Ms. Marcia G. DeJulio: (412) 279-9110
Yes
In Development
Latitude/Longitude


Decision Sciences, Inc.
(Quick-Route [TM])
Mr. Chuck Jones: (708) 965-1581
In Development
In Development
Latitude/Longitude


Easy Street Software, Inc.
(Easy Trips)
Mr. Patrick Simmons: (919) 848-9991
Yes
Yes
Street Centerlines
(preferred) or Zonal-
Based Centroids or
Latitude/Longitude
GIRO
(GIRO/ACCESS)
Mr. Nigel Hamer: (514) 383-0404
In Development
In Development
Zonal-Based Centroids or
Latitude/Longitude or
Street Centerlines


Ketron Div. of The Bionetics Corp.
(Paratransit Management Information and
Scheduling System [PARMIS])
Mr. John N. Balog: (215) 648-9000
In Development
In Development
Latitude/Longitude


Micro Dynamics Corporation
(CADMOS - Prot)
Mr. Paul D. Buroker: (812) 477-3090
In Development
In Development
Zonal-Based Centroids or
Latitude/Longitude


Multisystems, Inc.
(MIDAS)
Mr. Kurt Dossin: (617) 864-5810
Yes
In Development
Latitude/Longitude


Paratransit Systems Int'l., Inc.
(Rides Unlimited)
Mr. Jeff Forville: (800) 926-2345
Yes
In Development
Latitude/Longitude


Philip A. Dorcas and Associates
(PSP - Paratransit Scheduling Package)
Mr. Phil Dorcas: (817) 921-9704
In Development
In Development
Options being evaluated


UMA Engineering Ltd.
(QuoVadis)
Mr. Mark Miller: (416) 238-0007
Yes
Yes
Latitude/Longitude


Table 8.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatching
Systems to Track Service Provided to Visitors




Company Name
(Software Name)
Contact Person: Phone #
Can Requests from Visitors be Processed as
part of Scheduling Routine? 
Can Days of Service Provided to
Visitors be Tracked and Displayed?


Aleph Computer Systems, Inc.
(Share-Ride Scheduling Program)
Mr. Ray Zhang: (510) 843-4443
Yes
Yes


Automated Business Solutions, Inc. 
(PtMS-Paratransit Management and
Scheduling)
Mr. Stephen Pellegrini: (215) 565-2800
Yes
Yes


Automated Dispatch Services (ADS), Inc.
(EMtrack)
Mr. David Brown: (305) 471-0441
Yes
In Development


COMSIS Corporation
(COMSIS Trip Planning System [CTPS])
Ms. Marcia G. DeJulio: (412) 279-9110
Yes
Yes


Decision Sciences, Inc.
(Quick-Route [TM])
Mr. Chuck Jones: (708) 965-1581
Yes
Yes


Easy Street Software, Inc.
(Easy Trips)
Mr. Patrick Simmons: (919) 848-9991
Yes
Yes
GIRO
(GIRO/ACCESS)
Mr. Nigel Hamer: (514) 383-0404
Yes
Yes


Ketron Div. of The Bionetics Corp.
(Paratransit Management Information and
Scheduling System [PARMIS])
Mr. John N. Balog: (215) 648-9000
Yes
Yes


Micro Dynamics Corporation
(CADMOS - Prot)
Mr. Paul D. Buroker: (812) 477-3090
Yes
Yes


Multisystems, Inc.
(MIDAS)
Mr. Kurt Dossin: (617) 864-5810
Yes
Yes


Paratransit Systems Int'l., Inc.
(Rides Unlimited)
Mr. Jeff Forville: (800) 926-2345
Yes
Yes


Philip A. Dorcas and Associates
(PSP - Paratransit Scheduling Package)
Mr. Phil Dorcas: (817) 921-9704
Yes
Yes


UMA Engineering Ltd.
(QuoVadis)
Mr. Mark Miller: (416) 238-0007
Yes
Yes


Table 9.  Capabilities of Selected Computer Scheduling and Dispatch
Systems to Track and Analyze Capacity Constraints and Subscription
Service




Company Name
(Software Name)
Contact Person: Phone #
Can System Track and Analyze
Can Analysis be Done by



Trip
Denials
Late
Pick-ups
Long
Trips
Subscription
Trips
Time of Day and
Day of the Week
Subregions of
the Service Area
Individual
Rider


Aleph Computer Systems, Inc.
(Share-Ride Scheduling Program)
Mr. Ray Zhang: (510) 843-4443
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Automated Business Solutions, Inc.
(PtMS-Paratransit Management and
Scheduling)
Mr. Stephen Pellegrini: (215) 565-2800
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Automated Dispatch Service (ADS), Inc.
(EMtrack)
Mr. David Brown: (305) 471-0441
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
In
Develop-
ment


COMSIS Corporation
(COMSIS Trip Planning System [CTPS])
Ms. Marcia G. DeJulio: (412) 279-9110
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Decision Sciences, Inc.
(Quick-Route [TM])
Mr. Chuck Jones: (708) 965-1581
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Easy Street Software, Inc.
(Easy Trips)
Mr. Patrick Simmons: (919) 848-9991
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
GIRO
(GIRO/ACCESS)
Mr. Nigel Hamer: (514) 383-0404
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes


Ketron Div. of The Bionetics Corp.
(Paratransit Management Information and
Scheduling System [PARMIS])
Mr. John N. Balog: (215) 648-9000
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Micro Dynamics Corporation
(CADMOS - Prot)
Mr. Paul D. Buroker: (812) 477-3090
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Multisystems, Inc.
(MIDAS)
Mr. Kurt Dossin: (617) 864-5810
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Paratransit Systems Int'l., Inc.
(Rides Unlimited)
Mr. Jeff Forville: (800) 926-2345
In
Develop-
ment
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Philip A. Dorcas and Associates
(PSP - Paratransit Scheduling Package)
Mr. Phil Dorcas: (817) 921-9704
In
Develop-
ment
Yes
In
Develop-
ment
Yes
In Development
Yes
Yes


UMA Engineering Ltd.
(Quo Vadis)
Mr. Mark Miller: (416) 238-0007
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
In Development
Yes

GIS and Computer Mapping Systems

Geographic information systems (GIS) provide database management
capabilities for the display of spatial data, and provide users with
the ability to perform analysis of geographic features.  Many of the
scheduling and dispatching systems discussed above utilize GIS to code
the location of origins, destinations, and fixed route services.  This
then allows distances from stops/stations to be calculated.

In addition to assisting with the calculation of required travel
distances, GIS can be used to locate and store information on other
geographic features.  This could include curb cuts, areas of steep
terrain, or other manmade or natural barriers to travel.  Such
displays and information can then be incorporated into complex
scheduling systems. GIS can also be used independent of scheduling
programs to display the ADA paratransit service area, origins,
destinations, and other key geographic information that can then be
considered in the scheduling process.

For more information on GIS, see:

     Current Use of Geographic Information Systems in Transit
Planning, USDOT Report #DOT-T-92-02, available through the USDOT
Technology Sharing Program.

          
Section 4.  Providing Alternatives/Market-Based Approaches

Appropriate use of ADA paratransit service can also be achieved by
encouraging eligible individuals to use fixed route service and by
providing attractive alternatives to the paratransit service.  Such
approaches can supplement efforts to do trip-by-trip determinations as
part of paratransit operations.

Fare policies for fixed route and paratransit services will obviously
impact rider choice.  Individuals who are conditionally ADA
paratransit eligible (i.e., they can use fixed route service for some
trips) can be encouraged to utilize mainline service by maintaining a
lower fare for this service.  This can be achieved by pricing
paratransit service higher than fixed route service (the regulations
permit a paratransit fare that is a maximum of twice the base fixed
route fare for a comparable trip) or by offering fixed route fare
discounts and special promotions.  Because a higher paratransit fare
will also impact those who must use paratransit service
(unconditionally ADA paratransit eligible persons), consideration of
the latter approach may be preferable.

Transit providers presently must offer persons with disabilities a 50
percent fare discount during off-peak hours.  Consideration should be
given to expanding this discount to all hours.  ADA paratransit
eligibility documentation could then be used as identification to
qualify individuals for this discount.  The Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation Authority presently has such a program for
individuals who are conditionally ADA paratransit eligible.  This
encourages these eligible individuals to use the fixed route service
when they are able.

Also consider special promotions that allow persons with disabilities
to use fixed route service free or at a discount for a limited time.
Conditionally eligible persons could be mailed a monthly pass when
they are notified of their eligibility determination.  The
notification letter could encourage use of the fixed route system and
offer training, special instruction, trip planning services, or other
assistance.

Another alternative would be to encourage local private taxi companies
to begin offering accessible taxi service.  Initial capital and/or
assistance could be considered to demonstrate the feasibility of the
service.  An ongoing accessible taxi program could also be funded to
supplement ADA paratransit service.  This program could provide a
lower level of subsidy to riders than is provided on the standard
paratransit system.  Individuals may opt to pay a higher fare for
immediate response taxi service rather than make arrangements for ADA
paratransit service a day in advance.

Utilizing these approaches will encourage ADA paratransit eligible
persons to utilize fixed route services and will expand travel
alternatives available to them.  More decisions about the appropriate
use of paratransit service will be made by riders which will ease
requirements for trip-by-trip determinations in daily
operation.References


Americans with Diabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336, July 26, 1990 

CFR 49 Parts 27, 37 and 38, "Transportation for Individuals With
Disabilities; Final Rule", Federal Register, September 6, 1991.

Thatcher, R. H., Gaffney, J. K., ADA Paratransit Handbook:
Implementing the Complementary Paratransit Service Requirements of the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, US DOT Report
#UMTA-MA-06-0206-91-1, prepared for the UMTA Task Force on the
Americans with Disabilities Act, funded through the Office of
Technical Assistance and Safety, September 1991.

Balog, John N., Schwarz, Anne N., Rimmer, Jennifer E., and Hood, Mark
M., ADA Public Participation Handbook, prepared for Project ACTION,
funded by the Federal Transit Administration, September, 1993.

C. V. Mosby Company, Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health
Dictionary, Third Edition, 1990.

U.S. Department of Labor, Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Volume 1,
Fourth Edition, Revised 1991.

DeAlba, M., Evolution of Functional Eligibility and Certification for
Paratransit Service: The Chicago Experience, Transportation Research
Record 1338.

Hazen, C., ADA Implementation Evaluating Disabled Individuals for ADA
Paratransit Eligibility, prepared for the University of Wisconsin -
Milwaukee, April 27, 1993.

CGA Consulting Services, Inc., EG&G Dynatrend, Katherine McGuinness &
Associates, Inc., ADA Paratransit Eligibility: A Guide for Virginia
Transit Systems for Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act
of 1990, prepared for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public
Transportation, July 1, 1992.

Coburn, N., Martin, C., Thompson, R., Norstrom, D., Guidelines for
Improvements to Transit Accessibility for People with Disabilities,
Technical Report #DOT-T-93-04, prepared for the Office of Technical
Assistance and Safety, Federal Transit Administration, September 1992.

Schwarz, A.N., Trip by Trip Eligibility: Can it Really Be Done?
presented at Solving ADA Paratransit Problems: How to Cope with
Reality, Phoenix, AZ, May 27-29, 1993.

Cutler, M.R., Cabrera, A., Monahan, P.A., Harman, L.J., Commercial
Software Applications for Paratransit, US DOT Report #DOT-I-84-51,
prepared for the Office of Methods and Support UMTA, funded through
the U.S. Department of Transportation, July 1984.

University of Kansas Transportation Center, PC's in Transportation
Software Directory, March 1991.

Stone, J.R., Gorman, G., Nalevanko, A., Assessment of Computer
Dispatch Technology in the Paratransit Industry, US DOT Report
#DOT-T-92-23, prepared for Federal Transit Administration Office of
Technical Assistance & Safety, March 1992.

Labell, L.N., Schweiger, C.P., Kihl, M., Advanced Public
Transportation Systems: The State of the Art, Update 1992, US
DOT-VNTSC-FTA-92-3, April 1992.

Schweiger, C.L., Current Use of Geographic Information Systems in
Transit Planning, US DOT Report #DOT-T-92-02, prepared for the Office
of Grants Management UMTA, August 1991.

                                   Index


Accessible formats
     types of, 24
     identifying the need for, 57
     application materials,53
     regulatory requirement for, 24

Accessible taxi programs, 134

Appeals 
     required process, 26-27
     of initial determination, 26-27
     of proposed suspension of service, 28, 111-112
     alternative approaches, 94-101 
     hearings, 102
     separation of function in, 26, 95

Application forms
     accessible formats, 53
     suggested contents, 54-72
     pre-test of, 73
     use of appropriate terminology in, 54

Architectural barriers
     application questions concerning, 64-65
     construction, 9
     curb-cuts, 9
     data needs in daily operation, 117-118, 121
     effects on eligibility, 8, 9, 16
     major intersections, 9

Audiologist, 50

Category 1 eligibility
     examples of, 5
     factors which affect, 5-7
     suggested application questions, 62-63, 66-67
     regulatory definition of, 5

Category 2 eligibility
     examples of, 7
     factors which affect, 8
     suggested application questions, 66-67
     regulatory definition of, 7








Category 3 eligibility
     examples of, 11
     factors which affect, 8
     "prevented" travel, 9-10
     regulatory definition of, 8

Clinical social worker, 50

Common wheelchair
     definition of, 6
     suggested application question, 58 

Companions, 12

Conditional eligibility
     defined, 4
     examples of, 16-19
     recent experience concerning, 79-84
     sample determination letter for, 88-89

Conditioning service, 104

Curb-cuts
     application questions concerning, 64-65
     data needs in daily operation, 118, 121
     effects on eligibility, 9

Determinations of eligibility
     contracted vs. in-house, 48-52
     maintaining consistency of, 78-79
     recent experiences with, 79-83
     selecting appropriate third-party                    
         reviewers, 48-49

Disability
     relationship to eligibility, 4, 16, 17-19
     episodic and intermittent, 17, 59-60
     suggested application questions, 59-60

Distance from fixed routes
     data needs in daily operation, 117-118
     determining with advanced technology, 123
     effects on eligibility, 9, 11, 18-19, 20
     suggested application questions, 64








Documentation
     costs associated with, 33
     requested from visitors, 13, 113-114
     limiting to those eligible, 23-24
     of appeals hearings, 15, 102
     of eligibility, 25, 92-93
     of the process, 15, 74
     sample ID, 93

Environmental conditions
     air pollution, 9, 11
     suggested application questions, 64-66
     data needs in daily operation, 118, 119-121
     humidity,11
     ice, 9, 11
     rain, 9, 11
     snow, 9, 11
     temperature, 9, 11
     terrain, 9, 11

Fare incentives, 93, 133-134

Fees, application and process
     regulatory language concerning, 33
     for applications/determinations, 33
     for professional verification, 37
     for documentation, 33

Functional ability
     relationship to eligibility, 16-19
     suggested application questions, 60-67
     tests to determine, 39, 62

Functionally-based determinations, 16

Independent living specialist, 50

Independent travel
     relationship to eligibility, 6

Infants/Children
     eligibility of, 11, 104

In-person assessment
     as part of determination process, 39-42
     cost of, 51
     questions and functional tests, 39, 62






Language ability
     obtaining information regarding, 58

Management information system
     example of automated system, 74
     suggestions for, 74

Marketing (see "Public information")

Mobility aids
     "common wheelchair" definition, 6
     effects on eligibility, 6
     requirements for accommodating, 6
     suggested application questions, 58-59

Most limiting factors
     determining eligibility based on, 20

No-shows
     considerations in developing a policy, 105-111
     regulatory requirements, 28
     sample policies of selected providers, 106-109
     suggested approaches to reduce, 106-111

Notice, providing 
     of initial determination, 25, 85-91
     of appeals decision, 26, 96
     of service suspension, 28, 111-112
     sample determination letters, 87-91

Occupational therapists, 35, 49-50

On-call accessible fixed route bus service, 8

Operator assistance
     effects on eligibility, 6
     regulatory requirements for, 6

Opthomologists, 35, 50

Personal care attendants
     definition of, 12
     requirements for serving, 12-13
     suggested application questions, 59

Physiatrists, 49-50

Physical therapists, 35, 50





Physicians
     appropriate use of, 37-38
     definition of, 50

Presumptive eligibility
     during initial determination, 24, 35, 74
     during appeals, 26, 74, 94
     for visitors, 13-14, 112-114

Privacy rights of applicants
    and customers, 79, 116

Process, establishing an eligibility
     alternative processes, 34-42
     examples of selected processes, 43-47
     general considerations in, 30-33
     suggested "steps", 29

Process requirements
     required implementation date, 4
     required elements of a policy, 23-27
     who must establish eligibility processes, 3

Professional verification
     as needed, 34-36
     forms for obtaining, 72
     obtaining appropriate, 35, 37
     questions in application concerning, 70-71
     requested in all cases, 36-39

Psychologist, 50

Public information
     importance of, 31-32
     suggestions for, 32

Public participation
     guidance on, 31
     importance of, 30 
     regulatory requirements for, 30

Recertification
     future process considerations, 42
     of ADA paratransit eligibility, 27, 92
     of current paratransit customers, 27-28

Refusing service, 103-104






Registered nurses, 50

Rehabilitation specialists, 50

Reviewer guidelines, 78-79

Self-certification
     as part of determination process, 34-38

Separation of function (see "Appeals")

Service animals, 58, 103

Standees on lifts
     noting in application material, 54, 67
     regulatory requirements, 7

Strictly limiting eligibility, 23-24

Subscription service
     checking trip eligibility of, 119
     documenting compliance, 124

Suspending service
     circumstances permitting, 104-105
     process issues concerning, 111-112

Temporary eligibility
     regulatory requirements, 14
     suggested application questions, 60

Training
     reviewer training, 40, 52
     travel training for customers, 5, 68-69, 116

Travel training
     combining with eligibility process, 48
     data needs in daily operation, 116, 120
     effects on eligibility, 5
     suggested application questions, 68-69

Trip-by-trip scheduling
     data needs for, 115-118
     practical approaches to, 118-121
     technology to assist with, 122-124

Trip eligibility, 4, 16-17






Unconditional eligibility
     defined, 4
     examples of, 17-19
     sample determination letter, 87

Undue financial burden waiver, 17, 21-22, 115

Vehicle/system accessibility

     data needed for trip-by-trip scheduling, 117
     effects on eligibility, 7, 8, 16

Visitors
     data needs in daily operations, 124
     documentation that can be requested, 113-114
     regulatory definition, 13-14
     requirements for serving, 13-14
     suggestions for serving, 112-114

                                Appendix A

               49 CFR Part 37 Sections 37.121 through 37.127
                    and related sections of Appendix D                                Appendix B

               ADA Paratransit Eligibility Policy Checklist
               ADA Paratransit Eligibility Policy Checklist


Following is a list of required and recommended elements of an ADA
paratransit eligibility policy.  Those in bold are required by the
regulations and must be included in the policy.



Is the definition of ADA paratransit eligibility included in the
policy consistent with the regulatory definition of eligibility? Does
the definition of eligibility allow for one companion and a personal
care attendant in all cases and additional companions on a space
available basis?

Does the definition of eligibility address the policy for visitors,
note that service will be provided to those who have been determined
eligible by another public entity as well as those who claim to be
eligible?

Does the visitor portion of the policy indicate the period of time,
from the date of the first trip, over which 21 days of service will be
provided?

Does the visitor portion of the policy indicate what documentation of
residence and disability will be accepted and when this will be
required?

Is the eligibility process and application material used detailed
enough to identify not only who is eligible but under what conditions
and circumstances they are eligible?

Have arrangements been made to produce information about the process,
materials needed to apply, notifications of eligibility, and other
materials in accessible formats upon request?

Does the policy provide for other assistance, such as a phone number
to call or staff to provide individual assistance, that individuals
may need to understand the process and complete application forms?

Does the policy describe marketing and public information efforts to
inform riders, potential riders, and other individuals and
organizations about ADA paratransit eligibility?

Does the policy describe the process that is used to make initial
determinations?

Does the policy indicate who will make initial determinations?



ADA Paratransit Eligibility Policy Checklist, Page 2


Does the policy indicate that applicants will be notified in writing,
and other accessible formats as required, of the initial decision
regarding their eligibility?

Does the policy note that applicants determined ineligible or
conditionally eligible will be given the specific reasons for the
finding when they receive their notification of the initial
determination and that these reasons will specifically relate to the
ADA paratransit eligibility criteria?

Does the policy state that individuals will be provided service on a
presumption of eligibility if an initial determination is not made
within 21 days of the receipt of a completed application?

Does the policy indicate the form of documentation that will be
provided to individuals determined ADA Paratransit Eligible and
include each of the following items in this documentation?

the name of the eligible individual
the name of the transit provider providing the certification
the telephone number of the transit provider's paratransit coordinator
an expiration date for eligibility (if applicable)
any conditions or limitations on the individual's eligibility
the need for a personal care attendant

Does the policy note that individuals determined ineligible or
conditionally eligible will be notified of the process to appeal the
decision?

Is the appeal process and the person or persons who will hear and
decide appeals described and is there a "separation of function"
between those hearing appeals and those involved in initial
determinations?

Does the appeal process note that appeals will be accepted within 60
days of the initial eligibility decision?

Does the appeal process offer the individual an opportunity to be
heard in person to present additional information and arguments?

Does the policy include details for providing accommodations that the
person may need at the appeal hearing and note how the need for
accommodations will be determined?

Does the policy indicate that appeal decisions will be made in
writing, and in accessible formats as appropriate, and will detail any
reasons for a continued finding of ineligibility or conditional
eligibility?


ADA Paratransit Eligibility Policy Checklist, Page 3


Is it noted that applicants will be provided paratransit service on a
presumption of eligibility if a decision on their appeal is not made
within 30 days of the completion of the appeal process?

Does the policy indicate the period of time for which ADA paratransit
eligibility will be granted and specify recertification requirements
for those found eligible?

Does the policy address requirements for existing riders to be recertified?

Does the policy indicate under what circumstances service may be
refused, suspended, or conditioned?

If included, does the no-show suspension policy include the
number/frequency of no- shows that will be considered a "pattern or
practice" and the period of suspension?

If included, does the no-show suspension policy provide for
notification of the proposed suspension, an opportunity for an
informal hearing, and an opportunity for a formal appeal?

Have all aspects of the ADA paratransit eligibility policy been
developed with full public participation as required in 37.137 of the
regulations?

                                Appendix C

Listing of Selected Transit Providers Contacted for Information in the
Preparation of this Manual Selected Transit Providers Contacted for
Information in the Preparation of this Manual




Name of Transit Provider
Contact Person Phone # 


Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
Ann Arbor, MI                      
Mr. Christopher White
(313) 677-3922


Ben Franklin Transit
Richland, WA
Mr. Ed Frost
(509) 735-4131


City of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC
Mr. Terry Lathrop
(704) 336-2261


Delaware Administration for Specialized
Transportation (DAST)
Dover, DE 
Ms. Robin Boshell
(302) 739-3278


City of Durango
Durango, CO                        
Ms. Jan Choti
(303) 385-2880


Greater Bridgeport Transit District
Bridgeport, CT
Ms. Kimberlee Kelly
(203) 366-7070


City of Greeley
Greeley, CO
Mr. John Lee
(303) 350-9280


Lane Transit District
Eugene, OR                         
Ms. Micki Kaplan
(503) 741-6100


Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority
Los Angeles, CA                    
Mr. Richard DeRock
(213) 244-6524


Madison Metro Transit System
Madison, WI                        
Mr. Paul Larrousse
(608) 267-8777


Mass Transit Administration (MTA)
Baltimore, MD                      
Ms. Lisa Darnall
(410) 333-3328


Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle
(METRO)
Seattle, WA                        
Ms. Nancy Poultney
(206) 689-3107


New York City Transit Authority
New York, NY                       
Ms. Margaret Coffey
(718) 694-3414


OMNITRANS
San Bernardino, CA                 
Mr. Daniel Brogan
(909) 889-0811


Oshkosh Transit System
Oshkosh, WI                        
Mr. Mark Huddleston
(414) 236-5280


Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT)
Pittsburgh, PA                     
Ms. Cathy Williams
(412) 237-7335


Regional Transportation Authority
Chicago, IL
Ms. Shirley Fraser
(312) 917-1426


Riverside Transit Agency
Riverside, CA                      
Ms. Susan Hafner
(909) 684-0850


San Mateo County Transit District
(SAMTRANS)
San Carlos, CA
Ms. Dianna Lake
(415) 508-6241


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation
Authority (SEPTA)
Philadelphia, PA
Mr. Jon Roth
(215) 580-7711


Transit Authority of River City (TARC)
Louisville, KY
Ms. Tina Morris
(502) 561-5100


Utah Transit Authority
Salt Lake City, UT
Ms. Kathy McCune
(801) 262-5626


Washington Metropolitan Area
Transportation Authority (WMATA)
Washington, DC
Mr. Avon Makel
(202) 962-1100


Waukesha Transit System
Waukesha, WI                       
Mr. Robert Johnson
(414) 524-3594


Worcester Regional Transit Authority
Worcester, MA
Ms. Gail Heald
(508) 756-7717

                                Appendix D

             Sample Marketing and Public Information Materials


                            Materials included:

"Paratransit Services on the Move with ADA" developed by Seattle Metro.

"Eligibility Appeals Process" developed by Seattle Metro.

"Special Services Certification" developed by the Regional
Transportation Authority of Chicago.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act: What is the ADA and how does it
affect me?" prepared by the Riverside Transit Agency.

Notice of public forum to discuss ADA issues developed by the
Worcester Regional Transit Authority.

				Appendix E

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
               San Mateo County Transit District (SAMTRANS)

                            Materials included:

Cover Letter to Applicants
Application Form
Eligibility Review Guidelines

                                Appendix F

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
                       Madison Metro Transit System

                            Materials included:

Instructions with Detailed Explanation of Eligibility
Application Form
                                     
                                 Appendix G

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
                          Utah Transit Authority

                            Materials included:

"Eligibility Information Sheet"
Application Form

                                Appendix H

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
                   Worcester Regional Transit Authority

                            Materials included:

Cover Letter to Applicants
Request for Certification Form
Professional Verification Form
Review Checklists (to check for completeness)
"Routing Slip" (to track the process)
"Final Determination" Documentation Form
Reviewer Guidelines

                                 Appendix I

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
               Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Metro)

                            Materials included:

Flyer Sent to Registered Riders Regarding ADA Eligibility Application
Form which Includes Professional Verification In-Person Assessment
Forms Including Summary Information Page, "Physical Functional
Evaluation" Form, "Cognitive Functional Evaluation" Form, and
"Combined Functional Evaluation" Form "Eligibility Appeals Process"
Brochure

                                 Appendix J

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
       Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA)

                            Materials included:

Application Form
Professional Verification Form
Reviewer Guidelines

                                 Appendix K

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
       Delaware Administration for Specialized Transportation (DAST)

                            Materials included:

Application Form
Professional Verification Form

                                 Appendix L

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
                Regional Transportation Authority (Chicago)

                            Materials included:

Application Form
"In-Depth Review Report" Used in In-Person
Assessments
"Certification Categories" which Define General
Types of Certification Provided

                                Appendix M

                 Sample Eligibility Material Developed by:
                 Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT)

                            Materials included:

Excerpt from ADA Paratransit Plan Update which Summarizes the
Eligibility Process (Note "Functional Tests" on pp. 46 - 53) "Personal
Assistance Certification" Form (certifies need for a PCA) Application
Form "Functional Evaluation - Physical" Form Used in In- Person
Assessment of Individuals with Physical Disabilities

                                Appendix N

              Information about the Applicant Tracking System
                           used by Seattle Metro

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