2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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SUPPORT OF PROVIDING FEDERAL FUNDING FOR PARATRANSIT SERVICE

     WHEREAS, under the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public transit systems have made significant capital investments to make mainline transit systems accessible for persons with disabilities; and

     WHEREAS, the goal of the ADA is that all mainline public transit systems shall be 100% accessible, but the ADA acknowledges that even with public transit systems that are 100% accessible, some people with disabilities will still be unable to use mainline systems due to the nature of their disability, weather conditions or other reasons; and

     WHEREAS, under the ADA, public transit systems are required to provide paratransit service for persons who are unable to use mainline service, but the ADA did not provide dedicated funding to fulfill this federal mandate; and

     WHEREAS, currently, the federal government provides no funding for the operation of paratransit services and the financial burden of providing this important service has fallen on the shoulders of regional and local transit agencies and transit riders.  Public transit systems have had to dedicate resources to paratransit and away from mainline bus and rail service, which impacts service provided to all customers; and

WHEREAS, the operating costs for providing paratransit services for public transit systems are more than 10 times the cost of providing mainline service and are expected to continue to increase, particularly as our population ages and costs for fuel escalate; and

     WHEREAS, transportation services for the disabled and elderly community are provided by a variety of human services organizations and agencies, public transit systems and community based organizations, all of which are seeking funding from federal, state and local government.  Coordinated transportation services that extend beyond mainline service are needed.  Greater efficiency helps to stretch the limited (and often insufficient) funding and personnel resources of these agencies,

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Administration and Congress to provide federal funding to public transit systems for the purpose of providing paratransit service as required by the ADA; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Administration and Congress to increase funding for travel training for disabled and elderly persons on public transit systems in order to increase opportunities for disabled and elderly persons to use accessible mainline systems and to optimally leverage the federal investment in public transportation.