GTA contracts to analyze the paratransit service
The Greensboro Transit Agency (GTA) is conducting an in-depth analysis of its paratransit service Access GSO.
According to the press release, GTA, which is responsible for both the fixed-line bus service and Access GSO, has hired transit planning consultant AECOM to conduct an operational analysis of the Access GSO service under the American with Disabilities Act.
AECOM will evaluate the service delivery, financial performance and entitlement processes and then work with GTA to refine and revise policies and operations to make Access GSO sustainable and in line with the needs of the community.
This study is GTA’s third attempt to modify the Access GSO service and it appears that conducting the study would have been advisable before the other actions.
As of March 1, GTA restricted the Access GSO service in the premium service area. After 8 p.m. and on weekends, the Access GSO service was no longer offered in the Premium Service area, but the I-Ride service. A number of Access GSO drivers complained to the city council that the increased cost of the I-Ride service, which is an Uber-like transportation service for the disabled, was too high. The Access GSO fare is $ 1.50 and the minimum fare for I-Ride is $ 6, but it can increase depending on the length of the ride and is more expensive if the driver is using a wheelchair.
In March, Mayor Nancy Vaughan ordered GTA to restore the Access GSO service to all drivers.
The city is required to provide a paratransit service within three quarters of a mile of a city bus route, and the area outside that three quarters of a mile zone is considered a “Premium Service Area”.
At the time, Hanna Cockburn, director of the Greensboro Department of Transportation, stated that adjustments would be made because the paratransit service currently represented over 40 percent of the GTA’s budget.
In May, GTA held a series of virtual public hearings on a proposal to double Access GSO tariffs to $ 3 from January 1, 2022.
In June the city council agreed to raise fares by 50 cents a year for three years.