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Monday, October 23, 2017

On-time Performance in City of Chicago Paratransit Service in Question

Transportation Delayed is Transportation Denied:
Report of On-time Performance in Pace's City of Chicago Paratransit Service
October 22, 2017 (Press Release)

Study Finds Only 62% of Chicago Paratransit Rides On-Time
Coalition Files Complaint with Federal Transit Administration

CHICAGO - A Report released today by Access Living finds that only 62% of the 186 paratransit pick-ups recorded through multiple surveys around Chicago were on-time. In contrast, Pace - which administers the paratransit program in Chicago - generally reports an on-time pick-up performance rate of 87.5%.

The surveys also found that when pick-ups were late, they were often very late. 41% of late pick-ups were over 40 minutes late. 16% were over an hour late.

Paratransit is the public transportation system for people whose disabilities make it too difficult for them to ride conventional public transportation. To use the system, paratransit riders schedule pick-ups 24 hours in advance of a trip, and arrange a specific pick-up time with the paratransit carrier. Pace considers a pick-up to be on-time if it occurs within 20 minutes of the scheduled pick-up time.

Even though paratransit vehicles are equipped with GPS technology that can track specific pick-up times, Pace's on-time performance reports rely on driver self-reporting. Because the on-time rate in the surveys is so different from the rate reported by Pace, the Report concludes that Pace's reliance on driver self-reporting is misplaced and Pace's published on-time rate is not accurate.

Concurrent with the release of this Report, a coalition of organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Transit Administration ("FTA"). The complaint alleges that Pace's on-time performance is so low that it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To fix this problem, the complaint asks the FTA to demand that Pace: (a) track pick-up times via its GPS capability, (b) enforce penalty clauses already in its contracts for late pick-ups, and (c) appoint an independent auditor to both uncover the reasons for the low on-time performance rate and propose action steps for improvement.

"This is about our basic civil rights," said Dr. Ayo Maat, President of IMPRUVE, a paratransit advocacy group. "We can't participate in society, hold down a job, or even get regular medical care if we don't have reasonably reliable transportation. Chicago's paratransit system isn't reliable enough to meet those needs."

For more information, contact Charles Petrof, Access Living, at 312.640.2124 (voice), 312.640.2169 (tty), cpetrof@accessliving.org (email). The report can be downloaded at this link.

source: Access Living of Metro Chicago

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The Chicago Tribune published a article:
Pace service for disabled riders 'unacceptably poor,' advocate survey shows
CBS2 News report:
Pace Defends Service, Responds To Access Living Report Criticism

There are also other issues pertaining to PACE Suburban Bus transparency in the Paratransit service provided in the City of Chicago, maybe some of the long overlooked and ignored issues will finally come to light. - Jim W. at Ability Chicago Info

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