Archives for In Proceedings of the Bus and Paratransit Conference. American Public Transportation Association

Accident Analysis and Legal Defenses

INTRODUCTION It should come as no surprise to transit professionals that the number of law suits and the size of damage awards are growing faster than ridership. At a conference in August, 1999, one insurance official claimed his Company’s pay-outs for transportation clients were 15% above premiums. According to a Transportation Research Board report on the subject, “…the number and amount of personal injury recoveries against public transit operators continue to run higher than can be accommodated within the confines of public budgets and rider fees.”(1) Sociological factors may help to explain these trends. But they have their roots largely

Optimizing the Mix of Dedicated and Non-Dedicated Paratransit Services

Ned Einstein Transportation Alternatives New York, NY One important dynamic of paratransit system design still largely misunderstood is that of the relationship between dedicated and non-dedicated service. An exaggerated reflection of this misunderstanding is illustrated by the considerable number of complementary paratransit service (CPS) programs which provide service on only one of these bases. Dedicated vehicles provide service only to clients of a specific program or funding agency (e.g., a transit agency, under the ADA), or a group of such programs or agencies (e.g., under a coordination or consolidation arrangement), for specific blocks of time (which may be adjusted daily

Progressive Driver Assignment in the ADA Environment

The transformation of fixed route bus and rail services to better accommodate disabled passengers and the creation or modification of paratransit services to supplement them have placed a strain on transit agencies from a number of perspectives: Overextending already-limited operating resources has led to reductions in transit service (e.g., increased headways) and, on occasion, to the elimination of selected fixed route lines altogether. One could argue – and there may be evidence to support it – that increased costs from ADA obligations have translated into lower drivers’ salaries, or at least compounded the degree to which they have been outstripped

Indirect Accidents – Data Vacuum and Liability Bonanza

Ned Einstein Transportation Alternatives New York, NY BACKGROUND Despite decades of data collection activity, no organization to date has been able to accurately tally the fatalities or injuries related to public transportation-related accidents. Understandably, this shortcoming has been a serious impediment to the efforts of a National Research Council Committee formed recently to compare accident rates among the various public transportation modes used by schoolchildren for home-to-school and school-related travel. Among the many reasons accounting for the difficulty is the fact that a great many accidents or incidents involving, or caused by, public transportation vehicles were not – and are

Sequencing Decisions in Paratransit System Design

Ned Einstein Transportation Alternatives New York, NY INTRODUCTION: THE NATURE AND STATE OF THE PROBLEM Required by the Americans with Disabilities Act for nearly a decade, and with almost three decades of similar experience preceding it, complementary paratransit services should “have the bugs worked out.” In contrast, their problems seem to be growing: Not only has efficiency not risen remotely to the levels of many pre-ADA systems, it is either stagnant or declining. System reliability remains a problem, despite the use of GPS-based technologies to create the schedules. Complaints have swollen to a point where some Congresspersons and city council

Liability Flashpoints in Transit and Paratransit Operations

Ned Einstein Transportation Alternatives New York, NY TECHNOLOGY, EXPENDITURES AND RESULTS This past decade has witnessed an explosion of technology designed to improve public transportation safety and insulate its providers from liability. What hasn’t changed is the nature and working environment of drivers. In particular, the public transportation landscape is devoid of any breakthroughs in monitoring or supervision. So despite all the technology – and in some cases as a result of it – the same old accidents continue to occur for the same old reasons. From both a safety and liability perspective, these accidents are growing far more costly:

Accommodating Schoolchildren on Public Transit

Roughly 15 percent of all transit riders are schoolchildren. But unlike their European counterparts, U.S. and Canadian transit systems are, for the most part, just beginning to “accommodate” them – just as they have dramatically altered the structure of service to accommodate individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. Like the transformation of transit and paratransit services to meet ADA requirements, this effort faces similarly daunting problems. Yet a handful of unusual efforts have demonstrated what can be done – and what the benefits can be for transit riders in general. This document overviews the design and operating features of one