MetroAccess Director Responsible for Wrongful Paratransit Denials

As per the CMTA August 20, 2010 Internal Audit Report #10-06, [MetroAccess Performance Audit], the following statement confirms that the MetroAccess CMTA eligibility process is markedly flawed because the director of paratransit should not be the sole authority for eligibility determinations.

“However, at Capital Metro, all eligibility assessments are performed by the Director (in addition to other administrative responsibilities).”

Inez Evans: “The paper application is all that I review, that is the only review or assessment per sea that I do.”

Inez Evans: “I read the application, if I have any followup questions, I forward those to the 2 temps we have working in the department, they get the answer and send it back to me, and I either approve it or deny it or place a condition upon it.”

Pat Bartel: “OK, but you will actually decide what the conditions are for that applicant based upon whatever information you got, right?”

Inez Evans: “That is correct.”

As per the CMTA August 20, 2010 Internal Audit Report #10-06, [MetroAccess Performance Audit], the following statement illustrates the blatant misrepresentation of factual evidence upon which the CMTA board of directors based its approval of sweeping changes to MetroAccess on 09/24/2010. Subsequently, on 01/18/2011, under direct questioning at the Operations Committee meeting of the CMTA board, the director of MetroAccess conceded that eligibility denial determination letters since March 2010 have in fact, not been written correctly, i.e., these eligibility determination decisions violate DOT ADA regulations.

“Although MetroAccess has communicated eligibility determinations in writing, until March 2010, the denial letters did not provide the applicant adequate reasons for the denial. Since March, all denial letters now detail unambiguous criteria as to the reasons for denial.”

 01/18/2011 Operations Committee Meeting:

Inez Evans: “On the eligibility section, (updated ADA paratransit plan), part of the new program that will be put forth is that we will have a third party provider, and as part of their requirement, they will be responsible for writing all the denial letters that come forth. ... So we will have more expertise on crafting those letters. We have had discussions with Karen Hoesch of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, who was one of the instructors from the FTA eligibility class that we took. She has reviewed some of these letters and has helped us make some adjustments with those letters, just in the last 45 days.”

Therefore, the CMTA audit report, on which the CMTA board depends in order to formulate policy was not just incorrect, the audit report blatantly misrepresented the facts which is inexcusable.

Furthermore, the current MetroAccess director, who the CMTA board believes like it is the gospil from God, is responsible for the following wrongful paratransit denials. However, the CMTA is also responsible for these wrongful paratransit denials because not only were they warned in March 2010, but knowledgeable members of the paratransit community informed them of these violations and asked the board to instruct MetroAccess to re-evaluate all of these wrong passengers who were illegally cut from the paratransit service. Yet, the board stood by and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, while at the same time, fares on the $140 million train were lowered while fares for paratransit riders, disabled fux riders and senior citizens were raised.

I think the answer is obvious. Most of the CMTA board should turn in their resignations just as the MetroAccess director did less than a week ago. Please read on to find out the entire truth.

Note that I have used the initials of the wronged passengers instead of their contact information for their privacy.
12/06/2010 CMTA Wrongful Eligibility Denial Determinations (PB) 1 of 16
DENIAL CATEGORY I.
Most applicants in this category were denied paratransit solely for the following unsubstantiated reasons:
“Per your physicians, you have the ability to walk 200 ft and climb steps of a vehicle and therefore can use
the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your transportation needs.”
First, due to the archaic infrastructure in Austin Texas, i.e. more than 4000 miles of nonexistent sidewalks
as well as more than 2500 inaccessible bus stops, a violation of Sec. 810.2.2 as amended in 2006, the criteria
that an applicant can allegedly walk 200 feet, over undefined terrain, and climb steps into a vehicle does not
indicate the functional ability of an applicant to be able to independently and reasonably use the entire fixed
route bus system. Secondly, The eligibility specialist wrongfully has assumed that every bus stop that this
applicant could need to access is within 200 feet of any given origin/destination.
Furthermore, these reasons listed for denial, are in fact, merely a way to deny paratransit service to
passengers, manyof whom were already receiving paratransit. At the very least, the majority of these denial
determinations should be Conditional eligibility due to:
 They do not indicate whether the applicant can safely and reasonably navigate through architectural
barriers;
 they do not indicate whether the applicant has a variable and/or episodic medical condition/disability
that causes “good days” or “bad days”, which would clearly affect functionality;
 they do not indicate the presence of secondary disabilities and/or limiting conditions which can
impact the ability of an applicant to independently use the entire fixed route system;
 determinations clearly violate Sec. 37.125(d) - insufficient reasons given.
“As noted in Appendix D to Part 37 at 37.125, simply indicating that the person is not ADA paratransit
eligible because it has been determined that they "are able to use the fixed route system" is not sufficient.”
The following list of applicants were denied paratransit service for the reasons above:
03/29/10 C. H. 03/29/10 D. S. 04/8/10 K. S. 04/8/10 J. S.
05/6/10 P. F. 05/6/10 D. S. 05/6/10 A. K.
** 04/15/10 P. R.
“Per your physicians, you have the ability to walk 200 ft and climb steps of a vehicle and therefore can use
the Fixed Route Service for your transportation needs. Per information provided by the client, no qualifier
associated with the disability was noted that can be considered for MetroAccess Service Eligibility.”
Note: If the criteria of an applicant being able to walk only 200 feet and climb an undefined number of steps
into a vehicle is a truly accurate assessment tool to determine the functional ability of an applicant to
independently navigate the entire fixed route bus system, then most likely, paratransit roles nationwide
would diminished to 5% or less of their present levels. If CMTA had provided the applicant with the more
thorough eligibility application, (draft attached), then any “qualifier associated with the disability” would
surely be documented. Therefore, this determination letter clearly violates all DOT ADA regulations since
no specifics pertaining to the applicants ability to independently use the entire fixed route bus system are
included.
** 05/6/10 L. B.
“Per information provided by the client, to manypeople on board the Fixed Route Service is not a qualifying
factor that can be considered for MetroAccess services.”
Note: If the applicant had cognitive and/or psychiatric conditions and/or routinely took certain medications,
then the fact that manypeople were on the bus, i.e. claustrophobia, would be a factor pertaining to her ability
to reasonably/safely utilize fixed route services.
DENIAL CATEGORY II.
The applicants listed below were denied paratransit for the following documented unacceptable reasons:
“Per your physicians, you have the ability to walk 200 ft., climb steps, cross the street and intersection
without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your transportation
needs.”
“Per the information you provide, convenience of bus and bus services is not a qualifying factor that I can
consider. (Used in some of these determination letters.)
Note: Although inconvenience to use fixed route is not a qualifier to obtain paratransit service,
Appendix D, Part 37, discusses “reasonableness”, i.e. it would not be appropriate to force someone who
could not cross a major intersection to ride an hour on the bus so as to get off on the other side of the street
in order to deny this person paratransit service. As per the NTI course, the “reasonableness” is not only
“Best Practice”, it is an FTA interpretation of DOT ADA.
All these determination decisions below are flawed for all the facts presented above but also include the
misapplied logic that if an applicant can “cross a street and intersection without assistance”, that they are
somehow capable of safely negotiating the following environmental barriers, regardless of whether the
applicant has a cognitive/psychiatric disability, lacks sufficient travel skills, etc. in order to get to a bus stop.
 crossing any/all streets, including those with complex intersections with or without turn lanes and
turn islands;
 crossing extremely busy roads, i.e. freeways and access roads.
It is clear that the CMTA decision maker failed to apply the rationale from the following excerpt from DOT
ADA regulations [Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Volume 1, p481-482, Rev. 10/2007]
“Prevented travel'' can be made not only where travel is literally impossible (e.g., someone
cannot find the bus stop, someone cannot push a wheelchair through the foot of snow or up
a steep hill) but also where the difficulties are so substantial that a reasonable person with
the impairment-related condition in question would be deterred from making the trip. The
regulation makes the interaction between an impairment-related condition and the
environmental barrier (whether distance, weather, terrain, or architectural barriers) the key
to eligibility.”
 They do not indicate whether the applicant can safely and reasonably navigate through architectural
barriers;
 They do not indicate whether the applicant has a variable and/or episodic medical
condition/disability that causes “good days” or “bad days”, which would clearly affect functionality;
 They do not indicate the presence of secondary disabilities and/or limiting conditions which can
impact the ability of an applicant to independently use the entire fixed route system;
 determinations clearly violate Sec. 37.125(d) - insufficient reasons given.
04/28/10 A. H.
04/28/10 A. A.
04/28/10 C. T.
05/6/10 A. T.
05/6/10 J. R.
05/6/10 S. N.
05/6/10 M. T.
05/10/10 S. E.
05/6/10 D. B.
05/6/10 S. J.
05/6/10 M. J.
05/19/10 S. B.
05/19/10 L. O.
05/19/10 W. H.
05/19/10 S. H.
05/19/10 T. H.
05/19/10 G. J.
05/19/10 V. M.
05/19/10 J. V.
05/19/10 L. T.
05/19/10 C. D.
05/19/10 M. S.
05/19/10 B. F.
06/23/10 C. E.
06/23/10 S. M.
06/23/10 P. P.
06/23/10 J. R.
06/23/10 G. D.
06/23/10 A. A.
06/23/10 L. T.
06/23/10 T. G.
06/23/10 R. W.
06/23/10 C. B.
06/23/10 A. Y.
06/23/10 A. W.
06/23/10 J. W.
06/23/10 C. B.
06/23/10 A. B.
06/23/10 C. E.
07/6/10 L. R.
07/6/10 L. R.
07/6/10 R. D.
07/17/10 D. H.
07/17/10 B. M.
07/27/10 A. H.
07/27/10 B. B.
07/29/10 M. H.
07/29/10 K. Z.
07/29/10 A. G.
08/5/10 J. G.
08/5/10 S. C.
08/5/10 J. S.
08/5/10 H. R.
08/5/10 G. H.
08/6/10 J. M.
08/6/10 S. K.
08/6/10 K. A.
08/6/10 J. G.
08/16/10 S. H.
08/16/10 D. G.
08/16/10 L. P.
08/16/10 D. E.
08/16/10 J. R.
08/18/10 R. S.
08/18/10 C. W.
08/20/10 S. J.
08/20/10 S. R.
08/20/10 B. I.
DENIAL CATEGORY III.
The following two applicants represent yet another sample which demonstrate the ineptness of the
MetroAccess coordinator to properly perform eligibility determinations. As per Sec. 37.125, ADA
Paratransit Eligibility Process: [Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Volume 1, p483, Rev. 10/2007]
“While evaluation by a physician (or professionals in rehabilitation or other relevant fields)
can be used as part of the process, a diagnosis of a disability is not dispositive. What is
needed is a determination of whether, as a practical matter, the individual can use fixed route
transit in his or her own circumstances. That is a transportation decision primarily, not a
medical decision.”
07/27/10 D. W. 07/27/2010 J. P.
“Per your application, there was medical diagnosis that causes your disability.”
DENIAL CATEGORY IV.
Due to the creativity displayed in the following wrongful eligibility determination letters, additional notes
after the denial reasons are included in order to illustrate the DOT ADA violations.
** 04/28/10 M. B. 07/6/10 A. E.
“Per your physicians, you have the ability to walk 200 ft and climb steps (sometimes), cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
Note: As per many disscussions in MMWG meetings, there is much resistance on the part of the CMTA
MetroAccess director as well as MetroAccess eligibility staff to accept the term “Episodic” (“Good Days”,
“Bad Days”), as related to how an applicants disability/medical condition can unpredictably affect their
functionality on a day to day basis. Apparently, the word “sometimes” must mean to the MetroAccess
eligibility specialist that both these applicants are capable of walking 200 feet and climbing stairs “at all
times”. Obviously, both applicants must be granted at least conditional eligibility, and perhaps,
unconditional eligibility dependent on how existing limiting conditions prevent them from using the fixed
route bus system. Forcing these applicants to attempt to utilize the fixed route service when an unpredictable
condition exists is knowingly placing both individuals at more than an unreasonable level of risk.
** 05/11/10 M. G.
“Per your Physician, you have the ability to walk 200 ft, climb steps, cross the street and intersection without
assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service for your transportation needs. Per information
provided by the client, difficulty to use Fixed Route Service due to seating is not a qualifying factor that can
be considered for MetroAccess services.”
Note: Difficulty in seating certainly can pertain to a medical and/or psychiatric condition. This letter violates
DOT ADA regs as it fails to definitively list why this applicant is capable of utilizing the fixed route system
in its entirety. Surely, the MetroAccess eligibility coordinator does not believe that a bus stop is guaranteed
to be within 200 feet of every origin/destination of this applicant!
** 05/19/10 S. B. 07/6/10 J. R. 07/6/10 P. T.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft.,, climb steps, travel 3 blocks,
cross the street and intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular
bus) for your transportation needs.”
Note: The determination letter for these 3 applicants is clearly a vilation of DOT ADA regulations as the
conditions listed do not substantiate the applicants ability to utilize the fixed route system consistently and
in its entirety. Granting these applicants at least conditional eligibility with an attempt to determine what
bus routes, if any, they could independently navigate would have complied with federal law.
** 05/19/10 R. G. 05/19/10 C. C.
“Per your Physician, your current disability does not affect your ability to access the Fixed Route Service;
You have the ability to walk 200 ft, climb steps, cross the street and intersection without assistance and
therefore can use the Fixed Route Service for your transportation needs.”
Note: If CMTA utilized the proper type of application designed to evaluate an applicants functionality
instead of relying upon a physicians judgment concerning the location/accessibility of bus stops and the
many types of streets/intersections that an applicant might attempt to negotiate, then an accurate
determination could be made. However, this determination letter fails to provide specific information to
definitively indicate that these applicants can utilize the fixed route system as a whole.
** 05/19/10 R. M. 07/29/10 J. H. 08/6/10 M. A.
08/16/10 E. F. 08/18/10 R. S. 08/18/10 S. L.
“Per your Physician, you have the ability to walk 200 ft., climb steps, cross the street and intersection
without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your transportation
needs.”
“Per information provided by the client, convenience and/or safety concerns are not qualifying factors that
can be considered for MetroAccess services.”
Note: Again, these six determination letters violate DOT ADA regulations as they do not site specific
reasons that prove these applicants can use the fixed route system independently and in its entirety.
Furthermore, the reference to convenience and/or safety concerns could indicate that the applicant has a
cognative and/or psychiatric condition, i.e. panic disorder, or 05/experience symtoms similar to an episodic
medical condition which could affect their ability to use the fixed route system. These determination letters
appear to be using the statement pertaining to inconvenience of the bus system as a way to deny these
applicants paratransit service. Clearly, CMTA does not want to use a more comprehensive certification
application to accurately assess an applicants functional abilities.
** 06/23/10 A. G.
“Per your Physician, you have the ability to walk 200 ft., climb steps, cross the street and intersection
without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your transportation
needs.”
“Per information provided by the client, difficulty to use Fixed Route Service due to number of transfers is
not a qualifying factor that 05/be considered for MetroAccess services.”
Note: The number of fixed route transfers necessary certainly is a factor in determining utilization of the
fixed route system, when, for example, the applicant has a cognative/psychiatric disability, and/or is taking
medications that affect perception and judgment. Therefore, this client should be evaluated using the more
comprehensive application that CMTA chooses not to use in order to properly determine eligibility.
** 07/17/10 A. S.
“Per your Social Worker, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., your ability cross the
street and intersection without assistance, sometimes affects your ability to travel a distance of 1/4 mile, and
therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your transportation needs.”
Note: The word “sometimes” should have indicated to the evaluator that an episodic and/or condition
relating to “Good Days”/”Bad Days” existed and therefore, this applicant should have received at least
conditional eligibility. Furthermore, even if, on “Good Days”, the applicant can walk 1/4 mile, this does
not mean that they could walk to a bus stop which might be 1/3 or ½ mile from their destination/origin.
** 07/17/10 R. M.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., travel a distance of 1/4 mile,
cross the street and intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular
bus) for your transportation needs.”
Note: The defficiencies of this determination letter are self evident, i.e. due to the documented number of
inaccessible bus stops and lack of sidewalks as well as intermittent bus stop locations due to the sprawling
nature of our city, clear proof must be presented to demonstrate that the applicant can utilize the fixed route
system as a whole in order to legally deny them paratransit service. This determination letter fails to provide
any substantial proof to warrant this decision.
** 07/17/10 K. M.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft, travel a distance of 1/4 mile,
cross the street and intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular
bus) for your transportation needs.”
“Per the information you provide, you have the ability to board a bus and are familiar with the routes in your
neighborhood. Unfortunately I can not consider inconvenience as a qualifier for services.”
Note: Familiarity with bus routes in ones neighborhood does not indicate the functional ability to
independently navigate the entire bus system, especially if the aplicant was only familiar with bus routes
because they rode with a friend. As per DOT ADA regulations, the fact that an applicant may ride the bus
accompanied by a friend cannot be used against them in the eligibility process. In order to deny this
applicant paratransit service, the professional must certify that this person can travel 3/4 miles
independently, regardless of terrain or architectural barriers as well as be able to cross many different types
of streets/intersections.
Furthermore, it is quite possible that although the applicant can ride the bus from their residence, that they
do not have the functional ability to walk from the disembarking location to their destination for every trip.
Therefore, in this case, they would be entitled to conditional eligibility. However, this determination letter
fails to provide any of this necessary information.
** 07/17/10 D. H.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., sometimes and travel a
distance- of 1/4 mile, sometimes and, cross the street and intersection without assistance.”
“It has been determined that your nearest accessible bus stop is less than 43 ft and therefore you can use the
Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your transportation needs.”
Note: Aside from the fact that the MetroAccess “eligibility specialist” failed to consider the word
“sometimes” in the context of either an unpredictable episodic disability/medical condition or “Good
Days”/”Bad Days” circumstance, the fact that a bus stop is located less than 43 feet from her residence surely
cannot indicate that she can independently use the entire fixed route system! Once again, this determination
letter violates DOT ADA as it fails to list why the applicant can use the bus system for all trips.
** 07/17/10 B. T.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., travel a distance of 1/4 mile,
cross the street and intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular
bus) for your transportation needs.”
“Per the information you provide, I am not able to consider the distance from your home into the ADA as
a qualifying factor.”
Note: As noted in my 11/09/2010 addition to my FTA complaint, even though this applicant lives outside
the minimum ADA paratransit service area, they would have received paratransit service, at least on a
conditional basis, if CMTA operated as per its ADA paratransit plan. Furthermore, this determination letter
fails to list explicit reasons why this applicant can use the entire bus system independently.
** 07/29/10 R. O.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
“Per information provided by the client, convenience is not a qualifying factor that 05/be considered for
MetroAccess services.”
Note: This client has a permanent seizure disorder, not completely under control via medication, which was
her very real concern when she states that fixed route service is not convenient. If CMTA had provided her
with the functionally accurate application, draft enclosed, then this clients civil rights would not have been
violated. This determination letter is clearly in violation as it makes no attempt to specify how the applicant
can utilize the fixed route system independently.
** 08/5/10 E. M.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
“Per the information provided, the inability to obtain a driver's license is not a qualifier for MetroAccess.”
Note: The inability to obtain a drivers license is indicative of a disability and/or medical condition. The fact
that this applicant can allegedly walk 200 feet and cross an undefined type of street/intersection
independently does not guarantee that they can use the bus system as a whole. Therefore, this determination
letter does not evaluate the applicant as to whether they have the functional ability to use the fixed route
system.
** 08/5/10 M. A.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs. "
“Per the information provided, lack of public transportation is not a qualifier for MetroAccess.”
Note: This determination letter fails to specify whether there is a bus stop within 3/4 mile of the applicants
residence, or whether the residence was in a small pocket surrounded by ADA coridors either side of fixed
route. Furthermore, the alleged ability to walk 200 feet etc. is not indicative of this applicants ability to
navigate the entire bus system. As noted in the previous determination letter, if CMTA operated according
to its ADA paratransit plan as per federal law, then this applicant would most likely receive at least
conditional eligibility rather than be denied paratransit service.
** 08/5/10 J. S. 08/5/10 C. D.
** 08/18/10 G. T. 09/14/10 A. P.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
“Per the information provided, lack of public transportation in your area is not a qualifier for MetroAccess.”
Note: The criteria used to evaluate these 4 applicants eligibility is clearly completely inconsistent to that used
to evaluate other applicants who live in Pflugerville and Round Rock. Since those other applicants received
Unconditional eligibility while these 3 were denied paratransit, the methodology employed is therefore
completely arbitrary and without merrit. Furthermore, it is unknown whether the applicants disability would
prevent them from independently walking 300 or 400 feet or navigating complex intersections in order to
get to a bus stop. Finally, the determination letter lacks any definitive proof that these applicants can
independently utilize the bus system, and therefore, once again, this determination violates DOT ADA
regulations.
** 08/27/10 M. P.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
“Per the information provided by applicant, recently moving into the Austin area is not a qualifier for
MetroAccess services.”
Note: Aside from the vague and invalid determination criteria pertaining to walking 200 feet and crossing
a street/intersection of unknown complexity, the fact that the applicant just moved to Austin and therefore
would be unfamiliar with any architectural barriers in the neighborhood certainly could be a factor in the
evaluation process. However, even without this factor, the determination letter still violates DOT ADA
because insufficient reasons are given to deny paratransit service, i.e. even if a bus stop is accessible, then
more than half the time, the bus stop would be more than 200 feet from a given origin/destination.
** 08/27/10 F. M.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
“Per the information provided by the parents of the applicant, Capital Metro is not able to transport any
students to and/or from school. We could assist with travel training for future trips.”
Note: Again, the invalid determination criteria of walking 200 feet etc. cannot be the basis for denying
paratransit service. More disturbing is the fact that MetroAccess is coercing this applicant to use “Travel
Training”, which is illegal under DOT ADA. Furthermore, this determination letter violates DOT ADA
because CMTA now seeks to impose trip purpose restrictions, aserting that it will not provide paratransit
service for students to/from school. As a final point, this determination letter also violates the CMTA ADA
paratransit plan which does not restrict paratransit service to students; the latest riders guide also does not
restrict paratransit service to students.
“(d) Trip purpose restrictions. The entity shall not impose restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose.”
The below quotes are from FTA sanctioned reports - Topic Guide 3 [ELIGIBILITY FOR ADA
PARATRANSIT]
“Transit agencies are not allowed to require travel training, or to base eligibility decisions on applicants'
potential to be successfully trained to use the fixed route service.”
“For people who voluntarily enter travel training, it is a best practice to provide them temporary eligibility,
because it is possible that their ability to use the fixed route service may change in the short term: there may
be trips they can make by fixed route at the end of the training that they cannot make beforehand. Temporary
eligibility is appropriate just as it is for any applicants when there is reason to believe their travel abilities
may change in the short term. Before temporary eligibility expires, the applicant should be reassessed
because paratransit may still be needed. But if people are not interested in travel training, a transit agency
may not condition their eligibility on it, nor may the agency force an applicant to take travel training.”
12/06/2010 CMTA Wrongful Eligibility Denial Determinations (PB) 10 of
** 08/27/10 R. D.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
“Per the information provided by applicant, MetroAccess is a shared ride services and there will always be
individuals in or boarding the vehicles. We do not provide individual rides for passengers nor is this a
qualifier for MetroAccess services.”
Note: First, the applicants concern with paratransit being a shared ride service might indicate a cognative
and/or psychiatric disability which can definitely affect independent use of the bus system. Clearly, a more
comprehensive certification application is needed in order to make a more accurate and thus legal
determination. Furthermore, the aforementioned invalid criteria of walking 200 feet and crossing a street
is not sufficient to deny paratransit service unless additional proof is provided in the determination letter.
** 09/14/10 A. J.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
“Per the information provided by applicant, you are unfamiliar with the routes in you neighborhood;
however, that is not a qualifier for MetroAccess.”
Note: Since the applicant is unfamiliar with bus routes in her neighborhood as well as the fact that travel
training cannot be forced or used as coercion on an applicant, (See my FTA complaint in 06/2010 for an
example of this CMTA illegal procedure), then it is highly unlikely that the applicant can get to these bus
stops independently. Even if she could, the aforementioned invalid criteria of walking 200 feet etc. is not
a sufficient reason to deny someone paratransit.
DENIAL CATEGORY V.
Lack of Definitive Information
** 03/29/10 C. K. 04/8/10 S. G.
“Information provided indicates that the client has the ability to use the Fixed Route Service (Regular Bus).”
Note: As per DOT ADA regulations, the determination letter must specifically list the reasons why a client
is denied paratransit service. Clearly, this letter fails to follow the law because no information whatsoever
is provided to prove that the applicant can independently use the bus system at all times.
** 03/29/10 D. C.
“Primary diagnosis by Physician, does not reflect your inability to ride the fixed-route service, per the
information provided. Per information provided by the client, does not have any difficulty navigating the
Fixed Route Service nor understanding how to ride the Fixed Route Service.”
Note: Since a primary diagnosis which defines the cause of the disability is not a legitimate criteria in the
eligibility determination process, the denial of this applicant for paratransit service is questionable to say the
least. No information is provided whether the applicant can use the fixed route system at all times, “Good
Days”, or has “Bad Days”, which prevent them from using the bus system “sometimes”.
** 04/8/10 A. H. 04/28/10 C. B. 05/19/10 F. S. 05/19/10 B. B.
“Per your physicians, your disability does not appear to affect independent travel and therefore you can use
the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your transportation needs.”
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your accessibility ...”
Note: Since a physicians role is not to determine whether the applicant can independently navigate the entire
bus system, i.e. they do not provide transportation opinions, this determination letter violates Sec 37.125.
Furthermore, even if the physician has sufficient evidence of an applicants functional abilities pertaining to
fixed route to disqualify them from paratransit service, then the determination letter must clearly list these
reasons. This determination letter does not.
Sec 37.125: “... a diagnosis of a disability is not dispositive. What is needed is a
determination of whether, as a practical matter, the individual can use fixed route transit in
his or her own circumstances.”
** 04/28/10 H. W.
“Per your physicians, you have the ability to use the Fixed Route Service (regular bus) for your
transportation needs.”
Note: As mentioned numerous times, a physicians role is not to provide a transportation opinion as per Sec
37.125. Furthermore, this applicant lives in Pflugerville, a city in which other applicants, with similar
situations, have been granted conditional eligibility instead of being denied paratransit. Clearly, this
determination letter is based on arbitrary and subjective criteria, which is not a sanctioned practice under
DOT ADA.
** 06/23/10 G. O.
“Per information provided by the client, there is not a qualifying factor that can be considered for
MetroAccess services.”
Note: The violations in this determination letter are self evident: no proof is listed pertaining to why the
information that the aplicant provided is not a “qualifying factor” for paratransit; no indication as to why
the applicant is allegedly able to navigate the entire fixed route system is provided, (a necessary criteria in
order to adhere with DOT ADA).
** 07/17/10 W. W. 07/17/10 B. W.
“Per the information you provide, you did not list any mobility problems affected by your disability and
therefore you have the ability to use the Fixed Route Service for your transportation needs.”
“Per the information you provide, there is nothing that prevents you for using the fixed route service.”
Note: Apparently, the MetroAccess eligibility specialist failed to consider why the applicant did not list any
mobility problems caused by the existing disability:
 Does the applicant have cognative and/or psychiatric conditions that adversely affected
comprehension and completion of the current MetroAccess certification application?
• The applicants could have mobility problems due to medical conditions, which as per the 2008
amendment act to the ADA, can qualify as legitimate disabilities in the determination process, i.e.
episodic and/or variable conditions that the applicant might overlook because the current CMTA
certification application fails to even consider these;
 The current certification application fails to ask sufficient questions pertaining to functional abilities,
i.e. it does not ask an applcant to list mobility problems caused by their disability.
Furthermore, the determination letter does not give any reasons why the applicants can use the entire fixed
route bus system, it only states that since they failed to list mobility issues caused by their disability,
therefore, the applicants must possess the necessary functional ability to utilize the entire bus system.
Clearly, these applicants should be evaluated with a more comprehensive application than CMTA has
chosen.
DENIAL CATEGORY VI.
Improper evaluation: Many denials occurred because the applicant stated they were familiar with fixed route
in their neighborhood. However, as per DOT ADA, familiarity with the bus route does not automatically
disqualify someone from receiving paratransit because familiarity with bus routes does not prove an
applicants ability to independently navigate the bus system, i.e. this familiarity could exist soley because the
applicant could have ridden the bus with a friend or personal care attendant.
The following reasons were given to these applicants who were denied paratransit service. Note that even
if the applicant is familiar with routes in their neighborhood, the invalid criteria that the applicant can walk
200 feet, cross an undefined street/intersection does not automatically mean that they can independently
navigate to the nearest “Accessible” bus stop for all their destinations. Clearly, the MetroAccess eligibility
specialist did not consider factors such as architectural barriers and variable and/or episodic medical
conditions that affect functionality. These applicants must be properly evaluated using a more
comprehensive application than CMTA has chosen. In most cases, these applicants would receive at least
conditional eligibility: paratransit service from the disembarkation point on the bus to their destination.
1 “Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service for your transportation needs.”
2 “Per the information provided by applicant, you are familiar with the routes in you neighborhood and have
the ability to use the Fixed Route Service.”
** 08/27/10 A. E. 09/15/10 H. B. 09/15/10 C. G.
09/27/10 J. B. 09/27/10 B. C. 10/14/10 L. F.
10/14/10 E. B. 09/21/10 K. E.
“Per your Physician, your disability does not affect your ability to walk 200 ft., cross the street and
intersection without assistance and therefore can use the Fixed Route Service.”
“Per the information provided by applicant, you stated that the bus stop was to far; however you have a bus
stop 75ft from your residence and you are familiar with the routes in you neighborhood and have the ability
to use the Fixed Route Service.”
Note: Again, the invalid criteria of walking 200 feet and crossing an undefined type of street violates DOT
ADA due to insufficient evidence for denial. Furthermore, familiarity with bus routes in a neighborhood
does not automatically equate with independent use of the entire bus system.

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