Evan Siroky at Tacoma Tomorrow had a great catch: the new Pierce Transit service reduction plan has 88,000 more service hours than the old one. Here’s part of what he got from a PT spokesman:
By far, the majority of the increase comes from identifying the impact of SHUTTLE paratransit reductions- in terms of geographic coverage and scheduling. We’re estimating that 15% of current SHUTTLE trips will no longer be in the ADA defined ¾ mile from a local fixed route and some SHUTTLE trips will be lost due to the reduced span of service. As you may be aware, the average one-way cost of a SHUTTLE trip is over $38.00 …
In other words, the ADA requires that you provide ACCESS-type service within 3/4 mile of anywhere you run a regular bus. When you shrink the system, you reduce the number of disabled people you’re required to serve, which saves a ton of money.
Here in King County, Metro actually goes beyond the strict requirements of the law, a policy identified as a potential source of savings in the audit. If they were to relax that policy, the system provides perverse incentives by making reducing geographic and temporal spread of service extremely cost-effective.
There’s much more at TT.