MetroAccess Policy Options

The Capital Metro Board of Directors is considering changes to MetroAccess policies and amendments to Capital Metro’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Plan.  MetroAccess is a paratransit service that provides demand response van and sedan rides for people whose disabilities prevent them from being able to ride regular bus and rail service.

Internal and external reviews, such as the recent Sunset Advisory Commission Report, have recommended that we make changes that would reduce the high costs of MetroAccess service. Currently, the service is nearly 20 percent of Capital Metro’s operating expenses and serves just over two percent of Capital Metro’s ridership.

If you’re interested to know more about the service and the challenges we face with trying to control costs while continuing to provide a valuable service to our customers, watch this video.

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3 thoughts on “MetroAccess Policy Options

  1. Erik

    I’m sure leadership has seen this report, but it’s an enlightening read for those unfamiliar with para-transit costs:

    Click to access TCRP_J11_Funding_Transit_Needs_of_Aging_Population.pdf

    Ideas to improve sustainability? Only operating MetroAccess services within the same areas as MetroBus seems like a no-brainer, as does increasing fares to be more in-line with regular fares. A monthly pass is 35$ for MetroAccess, but offers service that is above/beyond what 63$ provides to MetroExpress users. The bus is free, but many refuse to use it. The answer has been the same for many years: Fix the accessibility issues in co-operation with COA. Discourage vouchers for taxis and increase the efficiency of your current fleet. Do the math.

  2. Jason

    I completely agree with Erik. Given the large per-rider cost for Metro Access service, the fares should be raised to the maximum allowed by ADA law (2 times the fixed route bus fare). In my opinion, this should apply to both the one-way and monthly pass rate.

    I also support all of Capital Metro’s proposed efficiency improvements. Metro Access should not provide service to passengers traveling more than 3/4 mile from a fixed bus route. Door-to-door service should also be eliminated and replaced by curb-to-curb service.

    As taxpayers we must keep in mind that the purpose of paratransit service is to provide comparable service to a fixed route bus for qualified passengers. As such, any Metro Access features that exceed ADA requirements should be eliminated. If possible, some of the money saved should be utilized to improve the accessibility of fixed route bus stops throughout Austin.

  3. N Crowther

    Very well said. I had the opportunity to attend 2 of the public meetings recently. The down-right hostility and disrespect the MetroAccess riders was rude and narrow focused-selfish. MetroAccess is a form of PUBLIC transit has been following rules from the ADA, a civil rights law, to make the services comparable–bus service and paratransit. Thank you Capital Metro for looking at sustaining service and not removing as many other transit agencies have done. It is very expensive due to the high level of CUSTOMER service. We could see it go to a lower costing provider–but you get what you pay for and customer service is the first thing to go.

    Thank you for the accessible public transit, the free training and the sidewalks. The access to the community is important to me and I for one am pleased with the services. As you said–these are hard times. It hurts to see the services having to be re-designed to adjust costs and to provide services to a larger community of persons with disabilities. That’s life as we see it today. Good reality check.


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