MetroAccess Proposed Policy Recommendations


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MetroAccess Proposed Policy Recommendations

  1. 1. MetroAccess Proposed Policy Recommendations August 2010
  2. 2. Metro Mobility Working Group Dispute Resolution Chad Ballentine, Vice-Chair: Metro Mobility Working Group Boone J. Blocker, Alternate: Metro Mobility Working Group Sheila Holbrook-White, Executive Director: Texas Citizen Fund Inez Evans, Director: MetroAccess Elaine Timbes, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
  3. 3. Context August 2008: MMWG created August 2008 - Present: MMWG meets July 2010: Board directs dispute resolution RFQ July 21- 23, 2010: MMWG Dispute Resolution held 2
  4. 4. Outstanding Issues To Be Resolved Levels of Service Open Returns Paratransit Eligibility and Appeals Processes Taxi Vouchers 3
  5. 5. Dispute Resolution Format Outline current practice or policy Discuss legal guidance, as available Initial discussion and questions Caucus: – Community Members – Staff Re-convene, outline proposed policy with alternating caucus presentations Outcomes: Consensus and/or Policy Options 4
  6. 6. MMWG Dispute Resolution Summary Issue Community & Staff Taxi No Consensus Levels of Service Consensus Open Returns Consensus E-1 (Application) Consensus E-2 (Individual Interview & orientation) No Consensus E-3 (Two filter eligibility process) Consensus E-4 (Recertification of current customers) No Consensus E-5 (Unconditional eligibility recertification) Consensus E-6 (Conditional eligibility recertification) Consensus E-7 (Eligibility appeals process) Consensus E-8 (Appeals process committee) Consensus E-9 (Appeals process observers) Consensus E-10 (Safeguards and Final Determinations ) Consensus 5
  7. 7. Consensus Policies 6
  8. 8. Levels of Service MMWG Consensus Achieved • In order for customers to travel from their origin to their destination, Capital Metro will provide three service levels, including curb-to-curb, door-to-door, and door-through- door as determined during the passenger’s certification and recertification processes. • At the time of reservation or at the drop-off, the customer may request door-to-door or door-through-door services be provided. • Current policy regarding exceptions related to safety would be satisfied. 7
  9. 9. Service Standard (Level of Service) Staff Recommendation: Capital Metro will provide three service levels as identified through the eligibility process: Curb-to-curb Door-to-door Door-through-door (non-residential locations only) Staff Recommendation Responds to: Metro Mobility Working Group (MMWG): Consensus Community Feedback: Keep door-through-door option 8
  10. 10. Open Returns MMWG Consensus Achieved • To expedite service quality and obtain maximum benefit and efficiency, Capital Metro will offer open return service for medical trips, jury duty, and travel return, provided the passenger designates an estimated time of return. • Medical trips include treatment destinations for both the passenger and service animal. • If a no-show is assessed to the customer as a consequence of a delay beyond his/her control, Capital Metro will remove the no-show expeditiously upon notification. 9
  11. 11. Open Return Policy Staff Recommendation: Trip purposes limited to: medical trips, jury duty and return from travel Estimated return time required when scheduling trip Staff Recommendation Responds to: MMWG: Consensus Community Feedback: Maintain Open Return Services for medical trips, jury duty, and travel return 10
  12. 12. Policy Options 11
  13. 13. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-1: Application Consensus Capital Metro should use an individualized application that is comprehensive, accessible, objective, functionally-focused which emphasizes ease of completion with limited open-ended questions. The application should be forwarded to interested applicants and processed by Capital Metro. 12
  14. 14. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-2: Individual Interview & Orientation Consensus was not achieved Disagreement: Required vs. As-Needed Option – Staff Caucus: Required Interview and Orientation – Community Caucus: As-Needed 13
  15. 15. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-3: Filter 1 & Filter 2 Consensus Filter 1: Initial Screening Filter 2: More Extensive Screening 14
  16. 16. Eligibility Assessment Filtering Process Staff Caucus: Required Community Caucus: As Needed 15
  17. 17. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-4: Recertification of Current Customers Consensus was not achieved. Disagreement: Required vs. Grandfathered Option – Staff Caucus: Required for current customers – Community Caucus: Not required for current customers 16
  18. 18. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-5: Unconditional Eligibility Recertification Consensus Recertification of those customers with unconditional service functions as an update of contact information and/or an opportunity to outline changes in MetroAccess policy, rather than as a functional re- evaluation of the customer’s abilities. Recertification will be required every three years. 17
  19. 19. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-6: Conditional Eligibility Recertification Consensus Recertification for those customers with conditional eligibility will require, at a minimum, a Filter 1- Initial Screening with the option to move to a Filter 2- More Extensive Functional Assessment as needed. Recertification will be required every three years. Because one’s function may change over time, a client with conditional eligibility can request re-consideration of his/her functional abilities at any time during the thirty-six months between recertification. 18
  20. 20. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-7: Request to Appeal Eligibility Consensus A passenger has up to 60 days after the receipt of the determination letter that denies eligibility to appeal to Capital Metro. 19
  21. 21. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-8: Appeals Process Committee Consensus The Appeals Process Committee is comprised of 3 members, which will include: 1. The Capital Metro employee with primary responsibility for organizational accessibility resources, recommendations, and support for persons and programs associated with the disability community. 2. An individual who has some knowledge of transportation for persons with disabilities and functional assessment. This individual would be drawn from a Board-appointed pool of qualified individuals, serving on a rotating basis. 3. An ACCESS Committee member, or an individual designated by the ACCESS Committee. 20
  22. 22. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-9: Appeals Process Observers Consensus One member of the ACCESS Committee may serve as an observer to the process, with a preference for an observer whose function is similar to/analogous to the function of the person who is appealing. This observer will serve as a liaison to the ACCESS Committee. 21
  23. 23. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: E-10: Procedural Safeguards and Final Determinations Consensus Metro ACCESS employees who participated in the interview and orientation process may not participate in the appeal, except to provide information related to the assessment. Capital Metro will provide a decision within 30 days in the accessible format the passenger prefers. This notification will include the address, website, and toll-free number of the Federal Transit Administration. 22
  24. 24. MMWG Dispute Resolution Summary Issue Community & Staff Taxi No Consensus Levels of Service Consensus Open Returns Consensus E-1 (Application) Consensus E-2 (Individual Interview & orientation) No Consensus E-3 (Two filter eligibility process) Consensus E-4 (Recertification of current customers) No Consensus E-5 (Unconditional eligibility recertification) Consensus E-6 (Conditional eligibility recertification) Consensus E-7 (Eligibility appeals process) Consensus E-8 (Appeals process committee) Consensus E-9 (Appeals process observers) Consensus E-10 (Safeguards and Final Determinations ) Consensus 23
  25. 25. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: Eligibility for Paratransit Service Staff Recommendation: Individualized application and medical verification (E1) Individual interview and orientation by staff (required) (E2) First level functional assessment by a 3rd party (E3) Second level comprehensive functional assessment by a 3rd party (E3) Up to four years of eligibility (E3) Appeals board with 1 ACCESS advisory committee, a member appointed by the Board, and the Capital Metro ADA Coordinator (E8) Staff Recommendation Responds to: MMWG: Consensus on application, medical verification, 3rd party functional assessments, 3 year eligibility & appeals board Community Feedback: Desire for 3rd party assessments and revised application 24
  26. 26. Eligibility and Appeals Processes: Recertification for Paratransit Service Staff Recommendation: All existing customers must go through the new eligibility process After initial recertification: Unconditional eligibility – Customers will only be required to update personal information. Conditional eligibility – Customers must go through the eligibility process. Customers with conditional eligibility may request an eligibility review at any time. Staff Recommendation Responds to: MMWG: Consensus: Unconditionally eligible customers will not go through the full eligibility process to recertify, but all conditionally eligible customers will. Conditional Customers can request re-consideration at any time. Community Feedback : Less restrictive process for unconditionally eligible customers to recertify. 25
  27. 27. Eligibility Process Paratransit Service Application with Step #1 professional verification In-person interview & Step #2 orientation by staff Screened In MetroAccess First level functional Step #3 assessment Screened In MetroAccess Comprehensive functional Step #4 assessment Screened In MetroAccess NOT ELIGIBLE FOR METRO ACCESS APPEALS PROCESS 26
  28. 28. Taxi Program Staff Recommendation: Eliminate Voucher on Request Program due to possible discriminatory practice and concern over capacity limitations. Transition subscription vouchers to MetroAccess vehicles as space becomes available. Staff Recommendation Responds to: MMWG: No consensus reached Community Feedback: Equity concerns for non-ambulatory customers 27
  29. 29. Community Feedback Issues 28
  30. 30. Paratransit Service Area Staff Recommendation: ¾ Mile service area Work with displaced customers on an individualized 90-day transition plan with an option to extend transition up to 12 months Staff Recommendation Responds to: MMWG: Item not included in settlement agreement Community Feedback: Flexibility for customers losing service; Work with each customer to identify transportation options 29
  31. 31. Call Center Operations Staff Recommendation: Call center hours: 7am – 5pm Weekdays 8am – 5pm Weekends 3 day advance reservations Allow 6 day advance reservations through interactive voice response (IVR) and internet Staff Recommendation responds to: MMWG: Prior Consensus Community Feedback: Extend hours for customers with full time jobs & provide incentives for people using IVR or website to schedule trips. 30
  32. 32. Next Steps August: Proposed policy change recommendations September: Community outreach on recommendations Board Public hearing Summary report of community outreach Board adoption of Metro Access policy changes October: Draft ADA Plan update Board direct staff to take ADA Plan update to public November: ADA Plan public hearing Board adoption of ADA Plan 31
  33. 33. Action Needed from the Board Work Session August 17: Provide direction to staff related to policy recommendations Board Meeting August 23: Approve policy recommendations for public outreach 32
  34. 34. Questions? 33
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