Feds seek comments on paratransit fares proposal until September 20

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Paratransit bus with ramp down

Comment on Paratransit Fare Increase Proposal

The Department of Transportation announced August 20 that it is seeking public comments on a proposal to modify the maximum rates customers must pay for paratransit rides.

Under the ADA, customers of paratransit services may not be charged more than twice that of what they would pay for a regular transit route of “similar length, at a similar time of day, on the entity’s fixed route system.”

Access Services, the provider of certain transit services in Los Angeles County, charges rates of $2.75 for one-way trips up to 19.9 miles, and $3.50 for one-way trips of 20 miles or more, which in some cases exceeds more than double what customers would pay for the regular transit.

In March, Access Services petitioned the DOT for a modification to the rule, providing an alternative criteria for determining the regular transit rate, for the purposes of calculating the maximum fare that can be charged by paratransit providers.

The “regional average fixed-route fare” would be calculated as follows: “The entity may calculate a regional average fixed-route fare by obtaining a statistically-valid, random sample of its recent paratransit trips, calculating the applicable fixed-route fare for those trips and averaging the results. The sample may be subdivided by distance to determine the regional average fixed-route fares for trips of a certain mileage.”

The comment period will remain open until September 20.