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Paratransit Next Steps: Beyond the ADA

IndyGo is hosting public input meetings to develop ideas for how IndyGo may operate our Open Door paratransit service outside of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-mandated service area. Currently, IndyGo operates paratransit service to the entire county beyond what is mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). IndyGo’s desire is to continue to provide service to the entire county and seeks to understand what service outside of the ADA mandated area would look like, based on riders’ feedback.

Input will aid in formulating a new set of policies for the IPTC Board of Directors to consider and adopt.

Attend a Community Event to Share your Input:

Public input opportunities are facilitated discussions. To ensure there is adequate attendance for meaningful conversation about paratransit service, participants are asked to register at least 24-hours in advance. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be provided at all public input meetings. Other requests for accommodations should be made at least three days in advance. Individuals requiring any accommodations for access to information should contact Jordan Patterson, Manager of Special Programs, at jpatterson@indygo.net.

 

  • Tuesday, March 16 | 6:00 PM | Virtual | COMPLETED
  • Thursday, March 18 | 2: 00 PM | 2425 W. Michigan St | Cancelled 
  • Thursday, March 18 | 6:00 PM | 502 N. Tremont St | Cancelled 
  • Tuesday, March 23 | 6:00 PM | Virtual | Cancelled 
  • Thursday, March 25 | 2:00 PM | Virtual | COMPLETED
  • Tuesday, March 30 | 2:00 PM | Virtual | Cancelled
  • Thursday, April 1 | 6:00 PM | Virtual | COMPLETED
  • Tuesday, April 6 | 2:00 PM | 6019 S Franklin Rd | Cancelled
  • Tuesday, April 6 | 6:00 PM | 6019 S Franklin Rd | Cancelled
  • Thursday, April 8 | 2:00 PM | Virtual | COMPLETED
  • Thursday, April 8 | 6:00 PM | Virtual | Cancelled
  • Saturday, April 10 | 2:00 PM | Virtual | COMPLETED

See what service area you are in.

Do you live or travel outside of the mandated ADA service area? Enter an address on the map. If the address is within the blue, it is within the ADA mandated paratransit service area for our current route network. The area outside of the blue represents where IndyGo is seeking input on how to operate paratransit service in the future.

Disclaimer: This map tool is for planning purposes. The actual determination of whether an address is in or out of the ADA boundary line may be determined through a future process.

Learn More About the Paratransit Next Steps: Beyond the ADA Task Force & Community Events

Purpose Statement: 

The purpose of the Next Steps process is to use the findings and recommendations of the completed paratransit operational analysis to develop a more sustainable set of policies for the delivery of paratransit services. The Task Force will be made up of individuals with disabilities, eligible clients of IndyGo’s paratransit service, and stakeholder agency representatives. Task Force members will be asked to problem solve and offer their insights. To that end, the Task Force will also be responsible for assisting IndyGo in its efforts to define service options and implement an effective community outreach campaign. 

ADA Complementary Paratransit Requirements 

From the Preliminary Existing Conditions Summary: Task 1 Report: 

The American with Disabilities Act is federal civil rights legislation, providing a framework for ending discrimination against people with disabilities. Title II of the Act addresses public services, with a primary goal of providing public services in the most integrated manner. For public transportation agencies, this requires the provision and operation of a fully accessible fixed route system. 

The ADA, however, recognized that some individuals with disabilities would not be able to use fixed route despite accessibility features, thus paratransit complementary to fixed-route service is required. Notably, the regulations specifically recognize that ADA paratransit was never intended to be a comprehensive system of transportation to serve all the travel needs of people with disabilities.  

To meet the complementary requirements so that ADA paratransit is comparable to fixed route, paratransit must meet six service criteria: 

  1. Operate in the same service area as the fixed route system, defined as a ¾-mile corridor on either side of bus routes and around rail stations. 
  1. Have a comparable response time as fixed-route, defined as accommodating trip requests for a particular day during normal business hours on the previous day (i.e., next-day service).  
  1. Have comparable fares as fixed-route, defined as fares that are no more than twice the base, non-discounted adult fare for fixed route service. 
  1. Meet requests for any trip purpose, that is, there can be no trip purpose restrictions or priorities. 
  1. Operate during the same days and hours as the fixed route service. 
  1. Operate without capacity constraints, meaning no waiting lists, trip caps, or patterns and practices of a substantial number of trip denials, untimelypick-upsor excessively long trips. This criterion has been the more difficult one for transit agencies to meet: transit agencies cannot deny trips for eligible riders and must ensure high levels of performance for ADA trips, including high standards for on-time performance, trip length (measured by travel time), and telephone availability for trip reservations. 
POA Background, Overview, & Key Findings:  

In 2018, IndyGo’s contractor-operated, complementary ADA paratransit service experienced a significant performance drop which resulted in customer complaints and media attention. The significant performance issues, coupled with the gap between the last time IndyGo evaluated its service, led the (then) IndyGo Board of Directors to commission a comprehensive study of its complementary ADA paratransit service, branded Open Door. The study, dubbed the Paratransit Operational Analysis (POA), was led by the KFH Group of Bethesda, MD, with assistance from the Palo Consulting Group and The McCormick Group. Beginning in May 2019, the POA examined ADA paratransit in Indianapolis through a series of tasks. The POA solicited input from Mobility Advisory Committee (MAC) members, agencies who provide services to individuals with disabilities, key stakeholders, and riders (through a rider survey). The study also involved a detailed dive into Open Door operations and performance data. A steering committee was established and included members of the MAC and the IndyGo Board of Directors. The POA Steering Committee provided valuable feedback to the project team throughout the study process. 

The final report for the POA includes a set of recommendations for ADA paratransit in Indianapolis, including the next-day service areaThe POA recommends that IndyGo consider transitioning away from its practice of applying ADA requirements beyond the ¾ mile around fixed routesThe decision to revisit providing ADA-level paratransit service county-wide is based on several factors. First, strict adherence to service requirements in non-ADA areas was shown to negatively impact performance; although a locality can provide premium service levels, that offering should not negatively affect performance in the required ADA area. Second, the ways in which IndyGo delivers paratransit service today, both in terms of the geography covered and the hours served, go above and beyond being simply complementary to IndyGo’s fixed-route service. Third, strict adherence to ADA-level paratransit service in areas beyond the required ADA service area boundary or at times when fixed-route service isn’t running severely limits IndyGo’s ability to make service changes. Fourth, strict adherence to ADA-level paratransit service in areas beyond the required ADA service area boundary or at times when fixed-route service isn’t running further limits IndyGo’s ability to explore cost-saving service delivery options for the Open-Door program.  

Considering the consultant’s recommendation to transition away from its existing service area policy, but not before seeking significant community input, IndyGo staff are continuing to conduct community outreach and engagement activities regarding its ADA complementary paratransit services. These outreach events will aid in formulating new set of policies for the IPTC Board of Directors to consider and adopt. 

Learn more about the Paratransit Operational Analysis here. 

FAQs

No. The alternatives described in the operational analysis were for study purposes only. Excluding the options for the status quo and for a complete reduction to the required-ADA service area, you can expect to see some part of each of the other alternatives discussed in some way throughout this public engagement process. 

To meet the demands for eligible clients within all of Marion County, using the existing structure produces lower productivity, longer ride times, and lower on-time performance. The inflexibility of the strict adherence to ADA-level service beyond the required ADA service area severely limits IndyGo’s ability to become more strategic or more creative in the delivery of new, and better, services for eligible clients within all of Marion County. 

No. Paratransit Operational Analysis made recommendations regarding two other types of changes IndyGo could make: Short-term options with no significant fiscal impact, such as altering eligibility; options related to the contract for service, such as altering performance incentives. The service delivery option, which included a focus on the service area, also included discussions on modifying the existing same-day service options.  

Organizations that are comprised of, advocate for, or employ individuals with disabilities were asked to nominate a member for the Task Force. Leaders of these organizations were asked to identify individuals who are knowledgeable of the existing challenges and opportunities, with an emphasis on individuals who are currently eligible clients of Open Door. All nominees were accepted. 

Anyone can participate in the community meetings. Visit the project website to learn more about when and how you can engage. IndyGo is especially interested in hearing directly from individuals in the community who are currently eligible clients of Open Door, or those who are individuals with disabilities.  

Community participants can register for an upcoming meeting at indygo.net/beyondADA or by contacting our customer service at 317.635.3344. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be provided at all public input meetings. Other requests for accommodations should be made at least three days in advance. 

Yes. As communicated to IndyGo’s Mobility Advisory Committee, commonly referred to as the MAC, the ADA service area, currently the entirety of Marion County, has not been changed. Any changes to the service area would require community input, including input by the MAC and action by the IPTC Board of Directors. 

The overarching objective of the Next Steps process is to engage and discuss with the broader disability community the needed policy and major procedural changes for ADA paratransit service. Specifically, IndyGo is interested in feedback that would help define service options outside the required ADA service area.  

Community outreach and engagement efforts regarding the future of paratransit service will begin March 16, 2021 and run through April 8, 2021.  

Implementation steps will be determined by IndyGo’s Board of Directors. Decisions regarding the future of paratransit will be made with consideration to input from the disability community in Marion County during the public comment period.  

At present, IndyGo will host eleven public discussions regarding the future of paratransit service. Seven discussions will be conducted virtually, and four discussions will be held in person.  

An outreach report will be made available summarizing outreach activities and insights by the May 27th IPTC Board of Directors meeting. IndyGo may record and upload community meeting recordings to the POA webpage after each community meeting.  

IndyGo is eager to dig into this subject with stakeholders, and to do so in a way that is tailored to an organization’s needsTo host a stakeholder meeting, contact Engagement Specialist, Jordan Patterson, directly at 317.628.6101.