In the first quarter of 2013, the MTA is introducing a new Access-A-Ride MetroCard exclusively for Paratransit customers. This new AAR MetroCard affords Paratransit customers the opportunity and flexibility to take up to four FREE trips a day using Staten Island Railway, subways and local buses.
This new program does not affect your current Paratransit eligibility status, but does offer you the opportunity to consider travel on public transportation for free, as many as four free rides daily.
Paratransit customers will receive a new AAR MetroCard issued by NYC Transit, which will now serve as both your Paratransit identification card for use when riding Access-A-Ride as well as a MetroCard so that you may opt to use mass transit. Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) continue to travel with you free no matter which way you decide to travel.
Important information about the new AAR MetroCard Program
Reduce obstacles and increase benefits with public transit
With your new AAR MetroCard, the new flexibility of being able to take public transit gives you the opportunity to examine some obstacles you may face in using mass transit and how you may be able to increase your subway and bus travel to save time and money.
Facts about using the bus if you have a disability
By Thomas J. Charles, Vice President, Paratransit Division
During the past ten years, AAR has gradually increased the number of taxi and car service trips authorized for some customers. Some of these customers continue to demand exclusive use of car service and taxi for all paratransit trips. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and recent legal decisions do not support their demands.
The ADA requires that we provide transportation for eligible customers. In addition, it specifies that we provide accessible vehicles for those who travel only in such vehicles. The ADA does NOT require AAR to authorize a taxi or car service trip whenever a customer requests it.
Besides the ADA, two other factors affect how we increase authorizations for taxi and car service trips:
Guarding Against Fraud
When AAR offered taxi trips initially, some customers submitted receipts for trips they never took. To prevent theft and abuse, we limit the number of authorizations that a customer can be issued. Customers whose requests exceed this limitation are placed on AAR carrier service for a period of time. The number of limited taxi authorizations is subject to change to disrupt patterns that can lead to fraudulent activities.
Maintaining Quality of Trips Provided by Taxi and Car Service Companies
Unfortunately, some taxi and car services with whom we contracted did not meet our standards of performance. This poor performance interfered with our efforts to increase taxi and car service trip authorizations.
We have established a team of Transit personnel who, without the knowledge of taxi and car service providers, take trips to check the quality of the service they deliver. These “covert observers” report to the contract manager. If necessary, a contract manager will advise taxi or car service providers to improve service delivery or face the issuance of fewer voucher authorizations or termination of their contracts with NYC Transit.
At present, AAR schedules approximately 30 percent of daily AAR trips for taxi or car service. We will continue to offer some taxi and car service trips to customers based on the requirements and limitations explained above.
By Bobby Samuel, P.E., Director of AVLM & IVR projects, Division of Paratransit
Now that all AAR vehicles are equipped with the Automatic Vehicle Location
To show you how the technologies work, join me on an imaginary AAR trip. You have a
As the vehicle approaches your pickup location, around 9:45 a.m., IVR will notify you,
Sample Telephone Call
Sample Text Message:
Sample E-mail Message:
Other IVR Features
The IVR system will also notify you of service disruptions or holiday subscription
We were pleased when our AVLM system first allowed us to provide the location of your
Transit currently sponsors travel training for qualified AAR customers. Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS) conducts the training under contract with NYC Transit. The instruction is individualized, one-to-one between the trainer and the individual. However, only a limited number of customers can receive training.
Trainees master the following skills:
A training candidate should be motivated and medically stable, and should use the bus/subway often enough to maintain newly learned travel skills. Training is well underway, but do not wait to apply! Call 212-947-5770, extension 627, and leave a message. A member of CP of NYS’ travel training staff will contact you.
Call the Eligibility Unit at 1-877-337-2017; press 1 for English, and then press 1 again to speak with staff to update your records with your current home phone and/or cell phone number; email address, and name of your cell phone provider (e.g. AT&T; Verizon; Sprint, T-Mobile) for text messaging.
Is Your Organization Interested in a Presentation About AAR Service?
If your organization has 15 or more people who want to learn more about AAR service, please call 718-393-4147 or 718-393-4130 to arrange a presentation.
How to Get More Information About AAR
Visit the AAR web page at www.mta.info by clicking on the Accessibility tab on the top, then clicking on the Access-A-Ride link in the box on the left side of the screen. You will be able to access NYC Transit’s Guide to Access-A-Ride Service as well as AAR policies and archived newsletters. You can also access information about accessible travel and other paratransit services on the MTA Accessibility page by choosing another option from the menu, including different paratransit services in the MTA area.
Access-A-Ride Telephone Directory
Call 877-337-2017 toll-free from area codes 212, 718, 347, 516, 631, 646, 914, and 845. From other area codes, dial 718-393-4999. You will know you are connected to Access-A-Ride’s (AAR) telephone system when you hear: “Thank you for calling AAR. Please listen to the following important message. If you do not wish to listen to the message, please press 1.” Then you will hear, “You have reached AAR.” Conversations with AAR personnel are recorded and may be monitored. After selecting 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, choose from the menu below: