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Old 11-17-2017, 03:36 PM
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Laura Laura is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,682
Default MTA offers real-time, on-demand service for paratransit users

Definitely an improvement, but notice that they say "yellow and green
taxis" and not "wheelchair accessible taxis". I suspect that this is only
for the sunset of Access-a-Ride users who are capable of getting into a
standard taxi. When will wheelchair users get on demand service?

Metropolitan Transportation Authority State of New York NEWS November
13, 2017 MTA Offers First Ever Real-Time, On-Demand Service for
Access-A-Ride Users E-Hail App Pilot Launching This Month for 200
Riders, MTA Accelerates Development of Paratransit Unified Mobile App
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is advancing a number of
technological initiatives to improve the experience for Paratransit
customers, including the launch of a pilot program to provide the first
ever on-demand e-hail trip bookings, GPS-based vehicle tracking and the
accelerated development of a unified app for all Access-A-Ride services.
The e-hail app pilot, which launches this month, will allow
Paratransit customers to electronically hail yellow or green taxicabs on
demand, similar to popular on-demand ride services such as Uber, Lyft
and others. Paratransit, which is a division of MTA New York City
Transit's Department of Buses, has contracted Verifone to support the
technological services required to disseminate trip requests to
approximately 13,500 Taxi & Limousine Commission-licensed cabs
throughout New York City. The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission
has also been a partner in developing and launching this program. The
pilot will test the app with 200 Access-A-Ride (AAR) customers to gather
feedback, with plans to expand the pool of users and ultimately to
increase significantly the number of on-demand e-hail trips. “We’ve
been working hard to improve the quality of service and convenience for
Paratransit riders, using advanced technologies from the private sector
and incorporating feedback from our customers,” said Patrick Foye,
President of the MTA. “Real-time, on-demand, GPS-based trip booking and
tracking will bring significant improvements to the Paratransit
experience.” During the first phase of the pilot, half of the initial
group of 200 customers will use a customized smartphone app to hail
their rides either on-demand or to reserve a trip up to 24 hours in
advance. The other volunteers will book their trips by calling a
dedicated line at the Paratransit call center specifically for on-demand
and same-day rides. Paratransit will collect customer feedback through
surveys and focus groups. In addition to testing the e-hail
smartphone app, Paratransit is also accelerating the development of a
single unified Paratransit app for release by mid-2018. The app would
incorporate all aspects of customer service, from trip management such
as scheduling rides and tracking vehicles to customer service such as
giving feedback or updating account information. While Paratransit
continues to develop this smartphone app, the existing Paratransit web
portal is being updated to incorporate new customer service functions
such as trip management and vehicle tracking with real-time Google Maps
locators and continuous updates for estimated arrival times. The
e-hail on-demand pilot will launch to the initial group of 200 customers
on Nov. 29. Access-a-Ride customers interested in participating in the
next phase of the pilot program can contact Paratransit Customer
Relations by writing or emailing to Paratransit through or calling 877-337-2017, option 8.
Paratransit began offering e-hail services in 2016, with passengers
booking their trips one to two days in advance by phone or through the
Paratransit website. Since that program launched, Access-A-Ride
customers have made more than 122,500 e-hail trips and provided positive
feedback ranging from the desire for increased travel options to
real-time rescheduling and improved accountability through GPS tracking.
By offering the new ability to book on-demand trips electronically via a
smartphone app, Paratransit will be able to offer additional travel
options and flexible scheduling to customers without making phone calls
or accessing a web browser. The e-hail program also offers additional
ease and convenience by only requiring transit fare as part of the ride,
which is a significant improvement from the taxi authorization program,
in which customers are authorized for a taxi trip and later reimbursed.
MTA New York City Transit’s Paratransit Division provides
around-the-clock origin to destination transportation for customers who
cannot use fixed-route services such as buses or subways due to a
medical condition. Personal care attendants accompanying Paratransit
customers do not pay an additional fare.
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