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King County Metro seeks members to serve on the new Access Paratransit Advisory Committee

Summary

King County Metro invites the public to apply for membership of its new Access Paratransit Advisory Committee. The committee will advise Metro, the King County Executive and King County Council on transit issues, policy, and performance related to Metro’s Access paratransit program, including matters of equal access to public transportation for persons with disabilities.

Story

King County Metro is seeking nine or more members to serve on its new Access Paratransit Advisory Committee (APAC).

Metro’s American Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit program, Access, is for persons whose disabilities prevent them from using Metro’s traditional bus service. Access is intended to offer a comparable level of service to that provided by regular transit services for some or all of those riders’ travel needs.

The purpose of Metro’s new advisory committee is to create a medium through which the public can advise Metro, the King County Executive, the King County Council, local jurisdictions and subarea transportation forums on Access paratransit issues and policy related to ADA civil rights law and equal access to public transportation for persons with disabilities.

The APAC is specifically charged with:

  1. Providing advice and counsel on Access paratransit service and identifying opportunities for continued improvement
  2. Aiding in the development of long-range planning efforts
  3. Serving as a resource for transit promotion
  4. Developing and delivering an annual report beginning August 2020 on Access, to include:

(a) A review of and comment on the Metro's annual performance metrics and trends relevant to Access

(b) Assessment and feedback on information from customer surveys distributed by the Metro relevant to Access

 

Background

A yearlong customer engagement process and audit raised important issues that Access has been working to address. In response to the audit’s findings and feedback from a Customer Advisory Group, Metro implemented a number service of improvements and put on hold a procurement process for a new contractor to operate Access.

 

In 2017, Metro convened a procurement workgroup made up of Access riders, family members, advocates, providers and council staff to review Access’ service and provide input on the terms of a future contract. A new contractor, MV Transportation, was selected. At the same time, members of the Customer Advisory Group expanded their numbers and worked to charter an Access Task Force.

 

Following the discerning input provided by the procurement work group and Access Task Force during the procurement process, King County Council commissioned Metro to form APAC to continue to promote responsiveness and accountability to the community as its new contractor began operations.

 

The APAC’s nine or more members will be appointed by the Executive and confirmed by the Council by motion. Membership will be comprised of Access riders, family members of Access riders, representatives of organizations that provide services to Access riders, and representatives of organizations that support Access riders who have limited English proficiency. 

For more information about Access, visit King County Metro's Accessible Services webpage.

 

Application Process

Membership recruitment will focus on King County residents that reflect the diversity of the community, including people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities from rural and urban areas, care providers, people of color, LGBTQ, seniors, and those with limited English proficiency and/or individuals who represent such populations.

To start, members will be appointed to either a two-year or a four-year term in order to stagger vacancies as the committee matures. 

The APAC will meet monthly as needed to complete the work plan and address other issues as they arise. 

 

Those interested in applying can complete an online application at https://publicinput.com/KCMetroAPAC by Friday, October 18, 2019.

 

Selections will be made by early 2020.

 

The APAC application is also available in other accessible formats and additional languages. Please contact Gunner Scott at guscott@kingcounty.gov or 206-263-5853 to be provided with the format that best fits your needs.

 

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