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mark1447

Free Subway and Bus Rides Proposed for Some Disabled Users

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In the annals of cost-cutting at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, officials have asked themselves many questions. How long will people wait for a bus? Are so many subway announcers needed? How much platform grime will a city tolerate?

 

And with a proposal approved by the agency’s finance committee on Monday, another transit experiment appears in the offing: Will disabled New Yorkers ride traditional subways and buses if they do not have to pay for it?

 

The plan, which will come to a vote before the authority’s full board on Wednesday, calls for the agency to issue free MetroCards to any users of its Access-A-Ride service, which offers prearranged trips, often door-to-door, to disabled New Yorkers for $2.25.

 

Access-A-Ride costs the authority about $60 per trip, officials said. By providing incentives to shift to standard agency services, the authority estimates it will reduce Access-A-Ride use by 15 percent, saving as much as $90 million annually by 2015. Roughly 172,000 people use Access-A-Ride, which executes as many as 27,000 trips per day. About half of the passengers are over age 75.

 

Tom Charles, the vice president of the agency’s paratransit division, said the program was aimed at prospective future disabled riders “so they don’t get used to door-to-door” if it is possible to use traditional subway and bus services at times.

 

Officials had not yet decided whether to include express buses, whose fare is $5.50, among the free services.

 

Source & More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/nyregion/mta-plans-free-metrocards-for-some-disabled-users.html

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I have a married couple that uses the Access-A-Ride service every night (around 2-3am) when they return from work. Due to their disability, I highly doubt they would switch over to the subway/buses. If they (the MTA) does this, I'd assume they would just drive their car more often.

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Officials had not yet decided whether to include express buses, whose fare is $5.50, among the free services.

 

Here's my rundown of what I would do about that:

Subway: Free

Local/LTD bus: Free

Express Bus: $1.25

BxM4C: $2.25

=====================

There. Now that would convince the elderly to ride the subway.

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I have a married couple that uses the Access-A-Ride service every night (around 2-3am) when they return from work. Due to their disability, I highly doubt they would switch over to the subway/buses. If they (the MTA) does this, I'd assume they would just drive their car more often.

 

 

They would still have the option of using Access-A-Ride, though. It's just that there might be a couple of trips that they make by bus instead of Access-A-Ride because now it's completely free to make the trip by bus.

 

The problem becomes that the MTA saves money, but it's one more disabled passenger delaying the trip for everybody else, which has both direct and indirect costs.

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The proposal is put before the MTA board on Wednesday. Free local bus/subway rides to all paratransit-eligible customers and their PCA's; subject to a cap of rides per day.

 

$10 card replacement fee for loss/theft (do regular reduced fare cards have this?)

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Paratransit is one of the biggest money pits that the MTA has going on. They contract out to 100 different companies, who just recently started getting GPS systems and are highly inefficient, and still have every single bus be accessible, which costs money. It is sad that it is cheaper for the MTA to pay for a disabled person to take a private cab than it is to dispatch one of those paratransit vans.

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Update:

 

The MTA approved a plan yesterday to give free MetroCards to all Access-A-Ride eligible passengers, an attempt to save the agency more than $90 million a year by 2015.

 

Officials hope the free trips will persuade some Access-A-Ride users to stop using the costly, pre-arranged door-to-door trips in a shuttle — and instead ride buses and subways.

 

An Access-a-Ride trip costs the agency $60 a pop — subway and bus rides are much cheaper for the agency. The plan — to be phased in over the next few months — could reduce Access-A-Ride trips by 15 percent, officials said.

 

Only 25 percent of Access-A-Ride users are wheelchair-bound, a small part of the 172,000 people who use the service.

 

Others have mobility issues but can still use buses and subways to get around.

 

The agency is optimistic that many of those users — who tend to be elderly and on a fixed income — will be more apt to use buses and subways if the ride is free.

 

Those who keep using Access-A-Ride will continue to pay $2.25 — the price of a subway ride — to use the service.

 

The free MetroCards will be eligible for use on buses and subways only.

 

The MTA has not decided if the free MetroCards — which must be used with photo ID to prevent fraud — can be used on Express Buses, which cost $5.50.

 

Access-A-Ride costs are still expected to increase by 50 percent in 2015 because of the aging population.

 

 

 

 

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/mta_unveils_de_access_ride_plan_sgUimiEIJx2vzel7Z1A8eO#ixzz1z9wUkptu

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Paratransit is one of the biggest money pits that the MTA has going on. They contract out to 100 different companies, who just recently started getting GPS systems and are highly inefficient, and still have every single bus be accessible, which costs money. It is sad that it is cheaper for the MTA to pay for a disabled person to take a private cab than it is to dispatch one of those paratransit vans.

 

Pretty much my thoughts about those vans. It would be cheaper to get a taxi to pick that person up and charge the MTA for the cab ride.

Years ago when my gpa needed to get to a hospital in Midtown manhattan from Brooklyn, he said the driver took the long way thru Brooklyn by somewhere ending up on the LIE which was totally congested instead of trying to take the more local roads like Ocean Parkway or such and head for the Battery tunnel and then go up the FDR.

Edited by Grand Concourse

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The MTA should raise the paratransit fare to $4.50. ADA sets the maximum fare for paratransit at 2x the comparable fixed route fare. That way, they can cover some more costs. Another cut they can consider is restricting it to those within 3/4 mile of a bus route operating at the time of the request. Doesn't affect many neighborhoods except western SI and eastern Queens, though.

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