The History of Paratransit

First paratransit bus in MontrealAfter World War II, the Montreal Tramways Company adapted one of its buses to transport war veterans who were in wheelchairs.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Prior to the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) paratransport services where only provided by non-profit and local public agencies. Agencies didn’t see it anymore necessary to use smaller vehicles and fixed routes than just using the larger public transport system already in place.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Section 504 of the ADA was to include all of the state and local government. It applied to all public transit services and all types of programs and funding. The ADA also states that a person with disabilities has equal rights in using transit programs. As the ADA became more prominent in 90’s the transit system and the United States was to begin using ADA compliant services demanded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Americans with Disabilities ActOnce the compliance was implemented there was a rapid demand for transit services for the disabled and increase in productivity from providers.

Future of Paratransit Providers

Beginning in 2004, the bus trade magazine MetroMagazine began conducting annual surveys of public and private para-transit services:

Year Highlighted Topic
2004 Budget and Cost-Related Items
2005 Meeting Service Demands with Limited Resources
2006 Recruitment and retention of drivers
2008 Technology
2010 Technology
2011 Technology and New Types of Vehicles
2012 Customer Service
2013 Funding, Demand, Retention

In response to increasing ridership and other paratransit service costs, WMATA made in 2010 two significant changes: the paratransit service area was reduced from jurisdictional boundaries to the ADA requirement of within a 3/4 mile corridor of fixed-route services; and, fares were linked to WMATA’s fixed route services and charged to the ADA allowable maximum of two times the fastest equivalent bus or rail fare. These changes helped result in the first-ever reduction in the number of year-over-year trips between 2011 and 2012

3 thoughts on “The History of Paratransit

  1. I am interested starting a nemt. Is it best to lease, rent or buy the vehicle? Where can I find brokers in my area (Houston, Tx). Some of the most used ones are not taking apps @this time. thanks

  2. I am looking to start a NMET Service here in Atlanta Ga. I need information, do you have any resorces, if so, please forward.

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