For Immediate Release: October 30, 2018
Rich Farr, Executive Director
Bob Philbin, Director
Public Information & Customer Experience
CAPITAL AREA TRANSIT GETS A GOOD GRADE FROM THE PEOPLE WITH DISABIILITIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE
(Harrisburg) — Capital Area Transit (CAT) has partnered with the Disabilities Advisory Committee in an effort of continuous improvement in the area of services provided to people with disabilities. The improvements are seen on both the paratransit and fixed-route system, according to a report presented to the CAT board of directors at its October board meeting last week in Harrisburg.
The CAT People with Disabilities Advisory Committee, formed in 2016 to address a variety of service concerns at that time, conducted a survey of people with disabilities using public transit services in Dauphin and Cumberland counties.
The survey identified general areas for improvement, from customer service and ADA training, to on-time performance, including a plan to address each concern. The plan, implemented over the past two years, included technological upgrades on-board CAT buses, as well as telephone and tracking software in CAT’s customer response system, and mandatory Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training for all CAT bus operators.
“The advisory committee consulted with CAT operations, customer service and training personnel,” Roger Jones, the committee assistant chairperson, told the board. “And CAT systematically identified, upgraded and enhanced service to people with disabilities.”
Over that same period of time, customer service complaints were reduced from more than 100 per 100,000 customers, to an average of 38 complaints per 100,000 riders this year.
“In a relatively short period of time,” Jones added, “our committee and CAT has gone from seeking expertise from benchmark organizations like MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), and SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), to being a source of information for Temple University’s statewide disabled transit study, and a request to participate in the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association Annual Town Hall meeting.”
CAT Executive Director Richard Farr said, “CAT values having our stakeholders at the table. We need to be listening to our customers and working with them to make service improvements. Our work has only just begun and I look forward to what the Committee will achieve in the coming year.”
CAT provided 205,925 paratransit rides to people with disabilities out of a total of 2,248,416 riders in 2018. In conjunction with Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association, CAT will host statewide ADA training at its facility on North Cameron Street in Harrisburg in early 2019.
Capital Area Transit was incorporated in 1973 when Cumberland County and Dauphin County Commissioners and the City of Harrisburg organized CAT to provide mass transit Fixed-Route and Paratransit shared-ride services, which today transports about 2 million riders a year in the thousand square mile capital region.
The Advisory Committee Report to the CAT Board is attached here