March/April 2023 - 27

we must ascribe to the philosophy
of " one system " that serves everyone
- one in which accessibility for
all is in the genetic material that
makes up whatever we create. The
one " system " does not (and should
not) be interpreted as one " entity. "
If there is one thing we have
learned from the pandemic, it is the
transit industry alone cannot meet
the expansive demand for service
that comes from our very diverse
society. Partnerships are the name
of the game, and transit agencies
must work effectively with their human
services counterparts, among
others, to maximize the number
of options available to customers
while keeping costs sustainable.
We have heard in recent years
transit agencies are faced with
the reality they are not merely
transportation providers, but also
mobility integrators. Partnerships
with TNCs are one form of this,
and as agencies move to replace
low-performing fixed-route service
with on-demand service, a
new mobility option has emerged,
and since paratransit service is,
by definition, on-demand - then
should we not be aiming microtransit
services to accommodate
demand that heretofore had to be
served by paratransit? With microtransit
being offered with same-day
(perhaps same-hour) service, customers
with disabilities can now be
afforded service that is by design
substantially better than traditional
ADA paratransit and at a lower
cost to the agency.
By incorporating accessibility
into these new modes of transit,
we are " building back better " with
an accessible infrastructure that
should reduce the dependency on
paratransit for future generations.
The vision of a single " system " accessible
to all is one that has been
discussed for many years but is
often viewed as aspirational. The
prevailing belief has been it would
take such a costly investment in
infrastructure that it could only be
achieved in the very distant future,
but the future is now. Between the
federal funding that has been
made available for infrastructure
renewal and the rethinking of the
deployment model of fixed-route
transit, there has been no better
time to revisit the concept of
universal design in our nation's
transit systems.
To do this, we need a new approach.
First, it is vital that representation
from the disability
community be included in the
By operating
paratransit
service in
its current
form, we are
preserving a
1990s artifact
that offers
only a halfportion
of what
is available
today. "
Christian Kent
MARCH/APRIL 2023 | MassTransitmag.com 27
http://www.MassTransitmag.com

March/April 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March/April 2023

Editor’s Notebook
People & Places
Why Zero-Emissions Fleet Transformation Starts at the Top
A Look at U.S. Bus Fleets
Have We Outgrown Paratransit?
Santa Cruz Metro Bounces Back from COVID-19 Pandemic
Ready for Rail: A Look at 2023’s Big Projects
Products
March/April 2023 - 1
March/April 2023 - 2
March/April 2023 - 3
March/April 2023 - 4
March/April 2023 - 5
March/April 2023 - Editor’s Notebook
March/April 2023 - 7
March/April 2023 - People & Places
March/April 2023 - 9
March/April 2023 - 10
March/April 2023 - 11
March/April 2023 - 12
March/April 2023 - 13
March/April 2023 - 14
March/April 2023 - 15
March/April 2023 - Why Zero-Emissions Fleet Transformation Starts at the Top
March/April 2023 - 17
March/April 2023 - 18
March/April 2023 - 19
March/April 2023 - A Look at U.S. Bus Fleets
March/April 2023 - 21
March/April 2023 - 22
March/April 2023 - 23
March/April 2023 - 24
March/April 2023 - 25
March/April 2023 - Have We Outgrown Paratransit?
March/April 2023 - 27
March/April 2023 - 28
March/April 2023 - 29
March/April 2023 - Santa Cruz Metro Bounces Back from COVID-19 Pandemic
March/April 2023 - 31
March/April 2023 - 32
March/April 2023 - 33
March/April 2023 - 34
March/April 2023 - 35
March/April 2023 - Ready for Rail: A Look at 2023’s Big Projects
March/April 2023 - 37
March/April 2023 - 38
March/April 2023 - 39
March/April 2023 - Products
March/April 2023 - 41
March/April 2023 - 42
March/April 2023 - 43
March/April 2023 - 44
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