Paratransit

Paratransit driver and disembarking passenger

Background 

In October 2012, the SFMTA and the Paratransit Coordinating Council celebrated the SFMTA’s 35th year of providing paratransit services in San Francisco. In 2012, the SFMTA provided approximately 800,000 paratransit trips to approximately 14,000 registered clients with disabilities who were unable to use Muni’s bus or light rail services. The paratransit program’s Shop-A-Round service, partially funded by Lifeline Transportation Program funds programmed by the Transportation Authority, provided another 2,400 van rides and 2,000 taxi trips to qualifying individuals who have difficulty using standard fixed-route transit for transporting groceries. Paratransit in San Francisco is administered by a broker and delivered through a div erse set of providers and resources, including 87 City-owned vehicles (35 of which utilize biodiesel fuel), private taxis, and group vans associated with community centers throughout the city. Currently the Prop K S trategic Plan programs nearly $9.7 million per year for the paratransit program’s operating costs, or 52 p ercent of the $20 million budget for Fiscal Year 2012/13. In 2012 th e paratransit program continued using a debit card payment system for paratransit taxis and used comprehensive system data for its ramp taxi improvement plan. The SFMTA awarded high-performing ramp taxi drivers with incentives and issued citations and suspensions to ramp medallion holders not in compliance with the paratransit program requirements. The rate of non-compliance dropped from 59 percent to 10 percent during 2012, further increasing operational efficiencies that have led to approximately $3 million in cost savings since 2010. Finally, in 2012 an independent research firm found that 90 percent of respondents rated service on their paratransit trip as good or excellent.