Today the Chicago Transit Board approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace transferring paratransit operations from the CTA to Pace.
Following the General Assembly's action last year, as of July 1, 2006, the CTA, like Metra, will provide only mainline transit service. Beginning July 1, 2006, Pace will assume responsibility for all paratransit services in the six-county region and the agreement outlines the transfer of CTA contracts to Pace with the three companies that provide Special Services and contracts with Chicago taxicab companies for participation in the Taxi Access Program and the Mobility Direct Program.
?Over the past year our goal has been to ensure a seamless transition of CTA paratransit services to Pace so that paratransit customers are not adversely affected," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?We have worked diligently with RTA and Pace officials and the disability community to plan for and implement the transition."
?This agreement is the result of a year-long process of sharing and transferring the necessary documents, information, records and computer systems needed for a smooth transition," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.
The agreement is a formal step for transferring responsibility for the paratransit program from CTA to Pace, and to make sure that customers continue to have access to the three types of paratransit services CTA currently provides: Special Services (reserved van transportation), Taxi Access Program (cab service paid for with vouchers purchased at special rates) and Mobility Direct Program (providing subscription cab service for people whose trips are repetitive, such as going to a job or school.
Pace will continue to honor CTA paratransit fare policies maintaining the current $1.75 paratransit fare through December 31, 2006, for one-way Special Services, TAP and Mobility Direct trips. Pace currently charges $3 for paratransit services in Cook and DuPage counties and $2.50 in Lake, McHenry, Kane and Will counties.
CTA will continue to sell TAP vouchers through June 30. Pace will take over the sale of TAP vouchers July 1 at the 24-hour, accessible Currency Exchange located at 777 N. LaSalle and by mail. Vouchers will continue to be available at Chicago Department on Aging centers and by mail.
Beginning next week, CTA will no longer sell Paratransit monthly passes. Pace will assume responsibility for the sale of paratransit monthly passes available at the Currency Exchange location and by mail.
Paratransit customers who wish to schedule Special Service trips will continue to call 1-800-606-1282 or call the carriers directly.
Following the July 1 transition of paratransit service to Pace, the CTA will continue its commitment to expanding travel options on the bus and rail system for customers with disabilities. All 151 CTA bus routes are accessible to customers with disabilities. The CTA continues to rehabilitate and rebuild its rail stations to make them accessible. Currently, 72 out of 144 stations on the rail system are accessible.
In June 2005, the General Assembly approved an amendment to the RTA Act which placed responsibility for the funding, financial oversight and coordination of all paratransit services with the Regional Transportation Authority effective July 1, 2006. The amendment also directed CTA to work with the RTA and Pace to develop a plan to transition paratransit service delivery to Pace.
Pace voted to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement at its Board meeting on June 7.# # #