SEPTA Board Approves Contracts for ADA Paratransit Service Eligibility Testing

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from SEPTA

    PHILADELPHIA, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The SEPTA Board today approved
 contracts with three local agencies to provide professional evaluations as
 part of the ADA rider eligibility process for paratransit service during its
 regular monthly meeting.
     The contracts are with Moss Rehab Hospital, Mercy Catholic Medical Center,
 and Main Line Health System (Bryn Mawr Rehab).  The agencies will assist SEPTA
 in determining eligibility for SEPTA CCT Connect service (paratransit
 service).
     Eligibility determinations will include a professional assessment of a
 person's functional ability to use a fixed-route bus, conducted by one of the
 agencies.  Functional assessments will enhance SEPTA's ability to determine
 the appropriate type of effective transportation for new ADA paratransit
 applicants and customers who must be recertified.
     SEPTA has invested well over $1 billion to update its vehicle fleet and
 station facilities over the past decade as part of a comprehensive effort to
 make the system accessible to all riders.  More than 60% of SEPTA City Transit
 Division bus routes, 100% of Suburban Transit Division bus routes (through an
 on-call program), 46 regional rail stations (including 30th Street Station),
 and 10 transit systems are now accessible.
     Under ADA regulations, paratransit riders must be recertified.  When the
 program is in place, those whose certification is about to expire will be
 notified by certified mail to complete a new application and return it to
 SEPTA.  In cases where discrepancies appear (for example between application
 forms and supporting documentation) the applicant may be referred for
 functional assessment by one of the three agencies.  Riders will continue to
 be eligible to use SEPTA paratransit services while undergoing the
 certification process and notified of their eligibility status within 60 days
 of their original notification.  Customers informed that they no longer
 qualify for paratransit will have an opportunity to appeal.
     For additional information about ADA eligibility contact SEPTA CCT Connect
 customer service at (215) 580-7145.
 
     SEPTA TO ADA RIDERS:
     The Facts on Eligibility
 
     The American With Disabilities Act (ADA) was a landmark civil rights
 legislation designed to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy the
 same rights and privileges as other members of society.  With the passage of
 the ADA in 1990, transit authorities across the United States were charged
 with making their system accessible and providing a safety-net -- paratransit
 -- to individuals unable to use regular bus service.  Since very few transit
 agencies operated significant levels of accessible vehicles when the ADA was
 enacted, paratransit service became a "reasonable accommodation."
     In addition to providing this safety-net, transit agencies were required
 to establish a process to determine who would need this service, under what
 conditions they would be eligible, and for how long.  Most individuals who
 applied for paratransit were deemed eligible for a period of three to five
 years, based on one of the three categories created by the ADA:
 
     1) Unconditional: May use paratransit for all trips
     2) Conditional: May use paratransit for trips when the bus route needed is
         not accessible
     3) Conditional: May use paratransit to get to/from the bus stop
 
     Since 1990, transit properties across the country, including SEPTA, have
 invested significant resources to make their systems accessible to all riders.
 The Authority has invested well over $1 billion to update its vehicle fleet
 and station facilities over the past decade as part of a comprehensive effort
 to make the SEPTA system accessible to all riders.  By the end of the summer,
 70 percent of SEPTA's bus fleet will be accessible.  Suburban Bus service is
 100 percent accessible via the on-call program, and by 2004, all City buses
 will be accessible as a result of SEPTA's on-going vehicle procurement
 program.  In addition, 46 Regional Rail and 10 transit stations are also
 accessible to customers with disabilities.  These major accessibility
 improvements have caused many agencies to reexamine how they evaluate the
 ability of paratransit customers to use regular bus service.
     Over the years, SEPTA has worked with its advisory board on accessible
 services and other members of the disabled community to enhance its
 eligibility certification procedure.  As was recently reported in local media
 outlets, SEPTA is seeking approval to award contracts to three local agencies
 to perform functional assessments.  If approved, these assessments will become
 part of SEPTA's eligibility process.
     These functional assessments will enhance SEPTA's ability to determine the
 appropriate type of transportation for disabled customers and will be used as
 needed to evaluate new applicants and to recertify current customers.  SEPTA
 paratransit eligibility certification must be renewed every three years.
 These new procedures to determine a person's functional ability to use regular
 bus service are modeled after standards being used in cities like Los Angeles,
 Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C.
     As SEPTA begins to recertify the current roster of ADA riders, it will use
 functional ability, not disability, as the determining factor for paratransit
 eligibility.  Ability to use SEPTA's fixed-route services significantly
 broadens a customer's travel options and provides greater flexibility and
 convenience.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14214184
 
 

SOURCE SEPTA
    PHILADELPHIA, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The SEPTA Board today approved
 contracts with three local agencies to provide professional evaluations as
 part of the ADA rider eligibility process for paratransit service during its
 regular monthly meeting.
     The contracts are with Moss Rehab Hospital, Mercy Catholic Medical Center,
 and Main Line Health System (Bryn Mawr Rehab).  The agencies will assist SEPTA
 in determining eligibility for SEPTA CCT Connect service (paratransit
 service).
     Eligibility determinations will include a professional assessment of a
 person's functional ability to use a fixed-route bus, conducted by one of the
 agencies.  Functional assessments will enhance SEPTA's ability to determine
 the appropriate type of effective transportation for new ADA paratransit
 applicants and customers who must be recertified.
     SEPTA has invested well over $1 billion to update its vehicle fleet and
 station facilities over the past decade as part of a comprehensive effort to
 make the system accessible to all riders.  More than 60% of SEPTA City Transit
 Division bus routes, 100% of Suburban Transit Division bus routes (through an
 on-call program), 46 regional rail stations (including 30th Street Station),
 and 10 transit systems are now accessible.
     Under ADA regulations, paratransit riders must be recertified.  When the
 program is in place, those whose certification is about to expire will be
 notified by certified mail to complete a new application and return it to
 SEPTA.  In cases where discrepancies appear (for example between application
 forms and supporting documentation) the applicant may be referred for
 functional assessment by one of the three agencies.  Riders will continue to
 be eligible to use SEPTA paratransit services while undergoing the
 certification process and notified of their eligibility status within 60 days
 of their original notification.  Customers informed that they no longer
 qualify for paratransit will have an opportunity to appeal.
     For additional information about ADA eligibility contact SEPTA CCT Connect
 customer service at (215) 580-7145.
 
     SEPTA TO ADA RIDERS:
     The Facts on Eligibility
 
     The American With Disabilities Act (ADA) was a landmark civil rights
 legislation designed to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy the
 same rights and privileges as other members of society.  With the passage of
 the ADA in 1990, transit authorities across the United States were charged
 with making their system accessible and providing a safety-net -- paratransit
 -- to individuals unable to use regular bus service.  Since very few transit
 agencies operated significant levels of accessible vehicles when the ADA was
 enacted, paratransit service became a "reasonable accommodation."
     In addition to providing this safety-net, transit agencies were required
 to establish a process to determine who would need this service, under what
 conditions they would be eligible, and for how long.  Most individuals who
 applied for paratransit were deemed eligible for a period of three to five
 years, based on one of the three categories created by the ADA:
 
     1) Unconditional: May use paratransit for all trips
     2) Conditional: May use paratransit for trips when the bus route needed is
         not accessible
     3) Conditional: May use paratransit to get to/from the bus stop
 
     Since 1990, transit properties across the country, including SEPTA, have
 invested significant resources to make their systems accessible to all riders.
 The Authority has invested well over $1 billion to update its vehicle fleet
 and station facilities over the past decade as part of a comprehensive effort
 to make the SEPTA system accessible to all riders.  By the end of the summer,
 70 percent of SEPTA's bus fleet will be accessible.  Suburban Bus service is
 100 percent accessible via the on-call program, and by 2004, all City buses
 will be accessible as a result of SEPTA's on-going vehicle procurement
 program.  In addition, 46 Regional Rail and 10 transit stations are also
 accessible to customers with disabilities.  These major accessibility
 improvements have caused many agencies to reexamine how they evaluate the
 ability of paratransit customers to use regular bus service.
     Over the years, SEPTA has worked with its advisory board on accessible
 services and other members of the disabled community to enhance its
 eligibility certification procedure.  As was recently reported in local media
 outlets, SEPTA is seeking approval to award contracts to three local agencies
 to perform functional assessments.  If approved, these assessments will become
 part of SEPTA's eligibility process.
     These functional assessments will enhance SEPTA's ability to determine the
 appropriate type of transportation for disabled customers and will be used as
 needed to evaluate new applicants and to recertify current customers.  SEPTA
 paratransit eligibility certification must be renewed every three years.
 These new procedures to determine a person's functional ability to use regular
 bus service are modeled after standards being used in cities like Los Angeles,
 Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C.
     As SEPTA begins to recertify the current roster of ADA riders, it will use
 functional ability, not disability, as the determining factor for paratransit
 eligibility.  Ability to use SEPTA's fixed-route services significantly
 broadens a customer's travel options and provides greater flexibility and
 convenience.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14214184
 
 SOURCE  SEPTA