"...The battle over proposed changes, including cuts to Capital Metro's MetroAccess (paratransit) service continues next week. See a schedule of public meetings after the jump; for background, see "Can't Get There From Here," Jan..."
"...22]: I am legally blind and suffer with arthritis. Allow me to share with you my experience riding with MetroAccess..."
"...Dear Editor, In Lee Nichols' article about the outsourcing of jobs at Cap Metro, there was no mention of the impact on the riders at MetroAccess (formerly called Special Transit Service) by this policy [“Cap Metro Shifts Routes, Riles Drivers,” News, July 10]. Most of the riders on MetroAccess don't have another way to get where they want to go..."
"...Cap Metro and StarTran are preparing for the possibiity of a strike, and put out a press release today saying that, if the drivers walk out, they are ready to run a handful of routes (1L/1M, 3, 4, 7, 10, 17, 20, 37, 300, 331) on a reduced service from 6am to 7.30pm, while Capital MetroAccess for passengers with disabilities will operate weekdays only. UT shuttle buses and the Capital Area Rural Transportation System should be unaffected..."
"...The trips used to be fairly uncomplicated. Because the Chandlers are qualified for Capital Metro's MetroAccess paratransit services, they could call a cab – usually driven by Yellow Cab driver Hannah Riddering – and Cap Metro would give them a voucher to cover the first six miles of the trip, up to $16.50..."
"...Cap Metro says it can't quantify how many passengers have been injured or killed due to accessibility problems, because it does not track incidents according to that criterion. MetroAccess..."
"...But cutbacks and fare increases will also be among the tools used in making the numbers add up. Hume wants MetroAccess, the agency's service for customers whose disabilities prevent them from taking fixed-route service, to be cut back to the bare minimum required by the Americans With Disabilities Act – that is, making it available only within three-quarters of a mile of a regular bus or rail route and cutting the hours that the service's call center will take reservations..."
"...A subtext to this entire debate is a real or perceived conflict between suburban and urban commuters. Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1091 (which represents Cap Metro vehicle drivers and mechanics) have long criticized MetroRail as being little more than a shiny display toy for Cap Metro management – and a diversion of money from the fixed route bus service and MetroAccess (service to customers with disabilities)..."
"...In other Cap Metro news, the agency's largest labor contractor, StarTran Inc., announced it would lay off 11 full-time and two part-time drivers due to declines in service levels and elimination of routes, but said it could probably rehire them to new positions in MetroAccess, Cap Metro's renamed service for passengers with physical disabilities. Proposed Rate Increases Current FaresPlanned Increase Aug. 2010New Proposal Jan..."
"...Seniors, Medicare card holders, people with disabilities, MetroAccess customers, students ages 6-18, and reserve and active military must now pay a "reduced" (half-price) fare, provided they have the proper ID (see www.capmetro.org for details). The Disability Fare Card will be replaced by the Reduced Fare ID card, available for $3 at the Capitol Metro Tranist Store. Expanded MetroRail Service(begins Tuesday, Jan..."
"..."The handicapped do you a favor when they take the fixed-route bus system," said Sandy Seekamp, a regular attendee at board meetings. "We as handicapped are told constantly it costs you $40 for every time we take the handicapped bus [MetroAccess, the agency's paratransit service]..."
"...Capital Metro's fiscal year 2011 budget covers a lot of ground, including financial reserves, employee raises, and increases in fares and rail service. But one issue dominated discussion at last Friday's board of directors meeting: changes to MetroAccess, the transit agency's paratransit service...."
"...METROACCESS MEETING Capital Metro wants input on its proposed changes to services for Austinites with disabilities. 6-7:30pm..."
"...Possible moves for raising additional revenues: increasing the base fare by 25 cents (it's currently $1), increasing the costs of multiride passes (for example, a 24-hour pass is currently $2, and a 31-day pass is $28), eliminating free fares (approximately 20% of riders currently pay nothing, including seniors, people with disabilities, and Medicare cardholders), increasing the MetroAccess (paratransit) fare from anywhere between $1.20 to $2, and increasing fares for UT and ACC students...."
"...These new rates took effect Jan. 18. Single-Ride/Day PassesNewIncrease Bus single-ride adult$1.0033% Bus ride reduced (student, military)$0.5043% Bus day pass$2.0033% Express bus single-ride adult$2.5067% Express ride reduced$1.2567% Express day pass$5.0067% MetroAccess single-ride$1.2071% Seniors, disabled, Medicare holdersFree*0% Multiride Passes Bus – 31-day$2856% Bus – 31-day reduced$1456% Bus – seven-day$814% Express 31-day$6375% Express 31-day reduced$31.5075% Stored-value card ($15 value)$120% MetroAccess – monthly$3556% MetroAccess – 10-ride$1271% RideShare – in service area$6033%..."
"...Single-Ride/Day PassesCurrentJan. 18Increase Bus single-ride adult$0.75$1.0033% Bus ride reduced (student, military)$0.35$0.5043% Bus day pass$1.50$2.0033% Express bus single-ride adult$1.50$2.5067% Express ride reduced$0.75$1.2567% Express day pass$3.00$5.0067% MetroRail – one zone$1.00$2.00100% MetroRail – two zones$1.50$3.00100% MetroRail – day pass adult$3.00$6.00100% MetroAccess single-ride$0.70$1.2071% Seniors, disabled, Medicare holdersFree*Free*0% Multi-Ride Passes Bus – 31-day$18$2856% Bus – 31-day reduced$9$1456% Bus – seven-day$7$814% Express 31-day$36$6375% Express 31-day reduced$18$31.5075% Stored-value card ($15 value)$12$120% MetroAccess – monthly$22.50$3556% MetroAccess – 10-ride$7$1271% MetroRail 31-day$36$7094% RideShare – in service area$45$6033% (out of service area: add mileage) $45+$60+33%..."
"...Anyone who thought that the Cap Metro board's late April approval of two contracts for fixed-route and paratransit bus service would bring a long-awaited end to the whole Sunset Commission Review soap opera probably hasn't been paying much attention the last five years. For the bus drivers over at Amalgamated Transit Union 1091, the investigation has just begun into why Cap Metro picked McDonald Transit Associates and MV Transportation to run its fixed-route and MetroAccess bus services (respectively), to the tune of $520 million...."
"...MetroAccess service for seniors and passengers with disabilities will serve scheduled trips only as road conditions allow...."
"...• Service hours will be cut by 10,299 – from 1.58 million to 1.57 million. A slight increase in bus and rail is more than offset by a big reduction in MetroAccess (the paratransit service for customers with disabilities unable to use fixed-route service): a drop of 32,928 hours – more than 10%...."
"...METROACCESS MEETING Capital Metro wants input on proposed changes to services for Austinites with disabilities. 6-7:30pm..."