To encourage responsible trip scheduling and use of ADA complementary paratransit services. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) permits public transit agencies to establish and enforce a No-Show policy. U.S. DOT regulations 49 CFR 37.125 (h) address the issue of No-Show policies in ADA complementary paratransit service programs, and states:
“The entity may establish an administrative process to suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the provision of complementary paratransit service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals who establish a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips. (1) Trips missed by the individual for reasons beyond his or her control (including, but not limited to, trips which are missed due to operator error) shall not be a basis for determining that such a pattern or practice exists. (2) Miss trips due to VITRAN errors would not count as a No Show.”
VITRAN Plus’s Paratransit Service No-Show Policy is part of an effort to bring to our customers more efficient and effective paratransit service, and to comply with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations and best practices.
No-Shows and late cancellations result in wasted trips; these trips could have been scheduled for use by other paratransit customers. Excessive No-Shows, late cancellations, and cancellations at the door adversely impact the effectiveness of service, and add to the cost of providing ADA paratransit service.
No-Shows are recorded each time a paratransit customer makes a late cancellation, forgets to cancel, declines the trip at the door, or is not available for pick-up for the scheduled trip. A No-Show also occurs when the vehicle arrives at the pick-up location within the pick-up window, waits the required 5 minutes, and the customer does not take the ride. An attempt is made to contact the rider, but after waiting the appropriate time, the customer does not board the vehicle. If the vehicle arrives outside of the 30-minute window or at the incorrect location, the customer will not be considered a No-Show.
Pattern or Practice of No-show - is determined by the amount of trips scheduled compared to the number of trips travelled. A pattern is established when a customer No-Shows for 30% or more of booked trips in a 30-day period.
Advanced Cancellation - when the customer (or the customer's representative) calls and cancels a specific scheduled trip at least 2 hours prior to the pickup time. Early morning same-day, trips scheduled for pickup before 8:00 AM, are to leave a cancellation message with the answering service, or use the automated system to cancel the trip before 6:00 AM.
Late Cancellation - the customer (or the customer's representative) does not call to cancel a specific scheduled trip at least 2 hours prior to the pickup time (other than early morning trips as identified above). Late cancellations will be treated as No-Shows.
A Missed Trip occurs when a vehicle arrives after the end of the 30-minute window and the rider is not available or chooses not to take the trip. This will not count as a rider No-Show. It will be counted as a missed trip. If the rider chooses to board the vehicle, this will count as a late pick-up by VITRAN Plus for the purposes of calculating VITRAN’s on time performance.
Cancel at Door - when the paratransit vehicle arrives at the location designated for a specific scheduled trip within the 30-minute pick up window and the customer (or the customer's representative) notifies the driver at that time that they no longer need the scheduled trip. The driver is not responsible for canceling any other trips booked for that day.
VITRAN Plus schedules pick-up and return trips separately and assumes all scheduled return trips are needed unless notice is given by the customer or their representative. If a pick-up trip is a No-Show, VITRAN Plus will not cancel the return trip unless advised by customer. If the return trip is also a No-Show, the customer will be assessed two (2) No-Shows. Drivers are required to wait five minutes after the agreed schedule time.
VITRAN Plus defines a No-Show as when any or all of the following criteria have occurred:
• There was no call by the customer (or the customer's representative) to cancel the scheduled trip 2 hours or more before the pick-up window.
• The paratransit vehicle arrives at the scheduled pick up location within the 30-minute pick up window and the customer does not show. The dispatch office is notified. At this time, dispatch will verify that the operator is at the correct location.
• Late cancellations and cancellations at the door will also be treated as no-shows.
No-Shows Beyond a Passenger’s Control
Trips cancelled for reasons that are beyond the customers control will not be considered No-Shows. This includes missed trips resulting from sudden illness, family or personal emergency, appointment delay, or other unforeseen reasons for which it is not possible to call VITRAN Plus to cancel in time, or to take the trip as scheduled.
Although No-Shows will not be issued for reasons beyond the customer's control, the customer should always make every effort to cancel scheduled trips in a timely manner. It is the customer's responsibility to provide the reasoning for not canceling a trip.
Contact should be made with VITRAN Plus as soon as possible. Lack of any contact will result in a No-Show being issued. Repeated failures to take scheduled trips, regardless of the reason, are subject to review.
Pattern or Practice of No-Shows
Service suspension penalties will be assessed for a pattern or practice of No-Shows. VITRAN Plus imposes penalties for consistent late cancellations and No-Shows. Drivers are required to wait five minutes after the agreed scheduled time.
Customers may be suspended from paratransit service when they show a “pattern and/or practice” of No Shows of 30% or more during a 30 days period.
Examples of what would and would not constitute a pattern and/or practice of No Shows:
Example: 1 A customer books 20 trips in a 30-day period and misses’ six trips. This customer has a pattern and/or practice of No Shows because (a) the customer had six No Shows, and (b) those no shows represent 30% of the total trips booked in a month;
Example 2: A customer books 10 trips in a 30-day period and misses four trips. This customer will not have a pattern and practice of No Shows because the customer did not have six or more No Shows in the 30-day period, or 30% of the total trips booked.
A Practice of No-Shows is considered when No-show’s total 30% or more of a customer's total trips in a 30-day period, and may result in a penalty. Penalties increase each period that the customer exceeds the No-Show threshold.
No-Show Notifications and Penalties
Customers will be notified in writing each time there is a No-Show. This notice could be a certified letter in the mail, or an e-mail if there is an e-mail address on record.
The mail or e-mail message will list the date, time, and location of the missed or late cancelled ride. Excessive No-Shows and late cancellations may result in suspension of service, as shown below.
Consequences for an Established Pattern or Practice of No-Shows in a 30 day Period.
Letter of warning and/or phone contact
1 Week Suspension
2 Week Suspension
3 Week Suspension
A violation occurs when a customer exceeds the No-Show threshold in a 30-day period. Once a violation has occurred, a new 30-day period begins the next day. No-Shows will accumulate toward a new violation while a suspension is in process or in appeal.
If a customer should exceed the No-Show threshold, they will receive a suspension letter or email, proposing to suspend service within 15 days of the suspension notice and outlining the appeals process.
The suspension of service will become effective fifteen days from the date the registered letter or e-mail of notification is mailed in order to allow the individual an opportunity to appeal the suspension. The rider will have 15 days, from the date the registered letter of notification is mailed, to appeal the suspension decision by following the appeals process as outlined below.
The “No-Show” appeal process is as follows:
Riders who wish to appeal a decision will have 15 days from the receipt of their suspension letter to appeal the decision in writing to VITRAN.
Appeals will be heard and decided within 30 days of the receipt of the request.
While the appeal is in process, riders will still be able to receive transportation services until a final decision is rendered.
A panel composed of Members of the VITRAN’s ADA Advisory Committee will hear appeals.
Individuals who appeal have the right to speak in person on their own behalf and/or have others represent them (at the rider’s expense) at appeal proceedings.
The determination made from the appeal will be in writing and will be final.