March/April 2023 - 28

Paratransit
design of microtransit and other
emerging modes of transit - not
just for paratransit. Such representation
is also sorely needed in leadership
positions at transit agencies
from which strategic decisions are
made. Second, we need to commit
to making accessibility an integral
part of all our service offerings.
This includes ensuring accessibility
of the new kinds of vehicles
that are being designed for transit,
such as the autonomous vehicle
and those with renewable energy.
Third, we must think holistically
about the transit ecosystems we
create in our communities and
how services can complement
one another as they collectively
respond to overall demand.
Transit agencies must be willing
to partner much more often and
embrace the mobility integrator
role. This means partnering with
social service organizations and
small businesses that provide
transportation and related services;
identifying and sharing grant
funding sources with these partners,
and broadcasting numerous
options to the public to create the
most accessible, navigable environment
for everyone. Finally, we
must remember ADA paratransit
was never meant to be the mode of
choice for people with disabilities,
but rather a guarantor of mobility
when other options fell short.
Everything we do to empower our
customers with disabilities is very
much in the spirit of the ADA, and
there is nothing in the regulations
that prohibits going above and beyond
minimum requirements.
So, to the question at hand - have
we outgrown paratransit? The answer
is - mostly yes.
Because of paratransit, millions
of people with disabilities
have been able to " live their best
lives, " engaging in all of life's activities
and being " seen. " Some
form of paratransit service may
always be needed because of: (1)
the special assistance provided by
our many professional paratransit
operators; (2) the accessible fleets
that are funded by transit agencies
more than any other source and
(3) because of the inaccessibility
of the infrastructure around
transit (i.e., sidewalks, curb cuts,
and other path of travel barriers)
that will continue to take years to
resolve, but there is a difference
between maintaining paratransit
as the primary option for customers
and the brighter prospect that
paratransit is a de minimus option
among many others available to
people with disabilities, many of
which will offer more than what
paratransit can deliver. This is the
equitable future we should all be
working to achieve.
About the author
Christian T. Kent
is principal at
Christian T. Kent,
Transit Management
Consulting, LLC.
For more information, visit www.MassTransitmag.com/10065116
28 Mass Transit | MARCH/APRIL 2023
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3/23/23 2:20 PM
https://www.safetyvision.com/mass-transit http://www.MassTransitmag.com/10065116

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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https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/december-2021-january-2022
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