WHEREAS, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act defines paratransit as “public transit that is comparable to regular route public transit for people whose disability or health condition creates undue barriers to using regular route transit;” and
WHEREAS, Metro Mobility is a paratransit service that provides door-to-door service to 20,000 active, certified customers with disabilities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area; and
WHEREAS, although the National Federation of the Blind continues to promote the view that blindness in and of itself does not restrict a person's ability to use regular route transit, we recognize that some who are blind may use Metro Mobility because of additional disabilities, other health conditions, limited English skills, or other factors; and
WHEREAS, Metro Mobility’s service manual states that the length of a shared ride “will be comparable to a trip taken using regular route transit,” but blind customers frequently report that rides last more than two hours, much longer than a trip on regular, fixed routes would take; and
WHEREAS, although Metro Mobility’s service manual also states that if a customer specifies an appointment time when booking a reservation, Metro Mobility guarantees timely arrival, customers report arriving excessively early or late to their places of employment, medical appointments, blindness skills training, or other time-sensitive activities, which creates barriers to independence; and
WHEREAS, Metro Mobility trip providers are trained to enter a customer’s pickup point and alert them of their arrival, but blindness training professionals and other service providers have observed inconsistencies in both service delivery and recovery that often result in unwarranted “no shows” on a customer’s account, which can lead to suspension of necessary transportation: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in Convention assembled this twenty-second day of October, 2017, in the city of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, that this organization call upon the Metropolitan Council to work with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota to commission an independent audit of the Metro Mobility service to identify existing gaps between written policy and service delivery.