In the News

Here’s the latest news about how Paratransit, Inc., is working to better serve your transportation needs. If you have a story, idea or comment, please contact us.

Congratulations to Kevin Welch: 2014 Transit Advocate of the Year

img-thumbnail kevin-welchKevin Welch has developed and expanded Paratransit’s Travel Training program in the Sacramento region since 1986. Travel Training is a program sponsored by Paratransit, Inc., promoting the use of Sacramento Regional Transit’s public fixed route bus and rail system. It also promotes public transit use by citizens of adjacent counties, including Yolo, Yuba, Placer and San Joaquin.

Kevin has personally trained and overseen the training of thousands of people on how to safely ride and navigate our region by using Sacramento Regional Transit District’s two primary transit modes, bus a rail. His trainees are people with disabilities, seniors, people with low-income status, and people whose ability to speak and understand English is limited. Kevin has also trained many people to become expert travel trainers. His graduates are successful at navigating RT through the innovative teaching techniques he has developed.

Kevin’s public transit advocacy is aimed at community groups and individuals with unmet transit needs. He participates in public forums within our region, armed to the hilt with “all things RT” about the value of learning to use public transit, recruiting new trainees, distributing public transit materials, and encouraging people who can no longer drive to explore public transit options.

Kevin helped produce a VIDEO demonstrating the life-changing value of public transit geared to Sacramento’s mobility challenged community. The result of his work adds to RT’s ridership and helps maintain loyal RT riders in the months and years following training. Or, as Kevin sometimes irreverently puts it, “putting butts on the bus.”

Contact the Mobility Training team HERE.

Paratransit, Inc., joins our community to thank Kevin Welch for his ongoing work.

Congratulations and thanks Kevin!

Paratransit Receives 2013 WTS Innovative Tansportation Solutions Award on Behalf of Wheels to Work

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From left to right: Sandra Hamameh (Women’s Empowerment); Ninh Dao-Dickinson, Paratransit, Inc. Chief Operating Officer; Community Outreach Ambassadors Giovanni Jackson, Donna Blacksmith, and Carrie Thomas-Bradshaw; Linda Deavens, Paratransit, Inc. CEO; Lisa Culp, Executive Director of Women’s Empowerment; and Pete Spaulding, Paratransit, Inc. Board President.

Award salutes the creative work of an outstanding and innovative transportation project or service that improves the quality of life for its users and the community.

WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) Sacramento’s Annual Awards & Scholarship Dinner was held on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. The event honors deserving female students and the region’s top transportation professionals and their achievements.

The evening began with introductory remarks from Heather Yee, Sacramento Chapter President. The program was then turned over to the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening, Bethany Crouch from KTXL Fox 40 Morning News. After dinner, scholarships were handed out to exceptional graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. WTS Sacramento awarded $10K in scholarships this year, a chapter all-time high.

After the scholarships, the annual awards were presented. Bimla Rhinehart (CTC Executive Director) and Joe Tavaliogne (CTC Chair), collected the Employer of the Year Award on behalf of the California Transportation Commission. Next, Linda Deavens, CEO of Paratransit, Inc. accepted the Innovative Transportation Solutions Award on behalf of the Wheels to Work Program. Julie Passalacqua of Mark Thomas and Co. took home the Member of the Year Award for her innovative start-up of the Sacramento Chapter Transportation YOU program. The final award, Woman of the Year, went to Celia McAdam, who has had an eventful year as the Executive Director of the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency.

A very productive Silent Auction and Raffle was held to benefit the WTS scholarship program and raised nearly $3000.

We congratulate all winners and are proud to be among them! Please visit the WTS website to support their important work.

Paratransit's Mobility Training Program Receives 2012 "SACOG Salutes" Regional Organization Of The Year Award

The Sacramento Council of Governments honored the Mobility Training Department of Paratransit, Inc. at their annual breakfast for their efforts in providing transportation options to individuals with disabilities, seniors, individuals with low income, and limited English speaking residents in our 5 county region. Mobility training offers one-on-one and small group instruction in the safe and effective use of public fixed route transit. Since its beginnings over 30 years ago, the Mobility Options Department of Paratransit has provided training to over 13,000 individuals creating independence and a sense of freedom to those who may have otherwise been isolated, without the ability to access goods and services in there community.

Paratransit All-Star Drivers Are #1

winners For the fourth consecutive year, Paratransit’s Driving Team placed first, as State Champions, at CalACT’s Driver Safety Roadeo. The annual competition took place on March 6, 2011, in Long Beach, California.

Thirty-six drivers from 8 transit districts, representing cities throughout California, vied individually and as a team, for the distinguished honor of being recognized as California’s premier ADA service driver and driving team. Drivers are required to exhibit their skills while performing fourteen different maneuvers throughout the obstacle course, many involving time constraints or closest distance determination. Not only did Paratransit place first in team competition, Paratransit’s own driver, Hardev Rakka, defended his individual state championship title, placing first for the second consecutive year. Paratransit team member, Sisto Garcia, placed second in the individual skills competition as well as earning a “perfect score”, along with Paratransit team driver, Doua Thor, during the Passenger Assistance and Securement component of the course. Doua and Sisto represented two of only three drivers to attain a perfect score in this segment of the competition and recently organized and facilitated Paratransit’s In-Service Passenger Assistance and Securement Training provided to all Paratransit, Inc. drivers. Doua Thor and Amy Parkin, Paratransit’s only female participant, were among the top 10 drivers in the overall individual competition.

Because of Paratransit’s Driving Team’s consistent performance, we would like to honor the entire team by sending them to the International Championship competition sponsored by the Community Transportation Association of America this June in Indianapolis. In order to do this, we will be holding fund raising activities including a BBQ, rummage sale and raffles. We are counting on your help too. We will gratefully accept your financial contribution to this worthy cause. If you are able to bless us with a contribution, please make your check payable to Paratransit, Inc. and mail it to the address below.

Paratransit Bus Roadeo Team
P. O. Box 231100
Sacramento, CA 95823

You may also call Ninh Dickinson, if you have any questions about other ways you can help. Her number is (916) 429-2009 x7324. Thank you so much for considering this request and for any support you can provide.

Please join us in congratulating our team members, Hardev, Sisto, Amy and Doua. We are tremendously proud of our “All-Star” driving team; we hope all of you are too! It’s reassuring to know that you are being transported by the very best of the premier drivers in our state, and we think, in the nation too. Please help us to prove this!

Our staff at Paratransit would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda Deavens, Paratransit’s Chief Executive Officer, for her continued commitment and support to our industry and our community. Her leadership and inspiration continues to motivate us to be the best we can be in all that we do.

Mobility Training Cost Benefit Analysis

Earlier this year, a study was done to perform a cost benefit analysis of travel training for people with disabilities and was presented at the 2011 Transportation Research Board annual meeting in Washington DC. This was done with the help of JD Culver and Kevin Welch from our Sacramento office and used the service provided by Paratransit as a model. The study illustrated how proper travel training helps to curb costs of specialized services for public transportation providers as well as provide effective training to help increase independence and mobility of people with disabilities.

This powerpoint presentation offers a summary of the meeting in Washington DC.

If you would like to see the more in depth analysis, click here.

New CTSA In San Bernardino

Valley Transportation Services, A Consolidated Transportation Services Agency (CTSA) is a newly created 501 C3 Nonprofit Entity established to serve the mobility needs of seniors, persons with disabilities and persons of low income in the Valley portion of San Bernardino County. Valley Transportation Services was established in September of 2010 and receives funding through the County local sales tax initiative, Measure I. Valley Transportation Services has a 7 member Board of Directors who are appointed by San Bernardino Associated Governments, Omnitrans and the County of San Bernardino

Services:

Valley Transportation Services desires to secure professional consulting services to develop branding concepts, develop a logo, symbols and or design, web page/site and establish branding strategies to deliver a message and brand.

The consultant will provide professional and marketing services to prepare final design and or working templates that will include but not be limited to the following: logo, slogan, graphics, letterhead, website and various other marketing and promotional items.

The proposed new brand should convey an inviting image for coordination and transit. Decisions regarding colors, logos and new signage will convey the new brand and be consistent in all marketing material.

View the RFP here.

Here you can find the answers to several frequently asked questions.

Linda Deavens Speaks About Paratransit

No-Show Late Cancellation Policy

We are asking for your help in cancelling all un-needed trips at least two hours in advance. You may cancel a trip by calling 429-2009.

Sacramento Regional Transit is sending out a letter to all active riders to inform them that they will begin enforcing the ADA paratransit No-Show/Late Cancellation policy.

A no show occurs when the paratransit vehicle arrives at your pick up location within the 30 minute pick up window, waits the required five minutes and you do not board the vehicle. It is very important that at the time of booking you provide us with a valid phone number to reach you if, upon arrival, the driver is unable to locate you.

A late cancellation occurs when you cancel a trip less than two hours before the scheduled trip. No-shows and late cancellations adversely impact service. All no-shows and cancellations will be monitored. The reason the ride was not cancelled in a timely manner will be recorded. Missed trips are considered excessive when an individual reserves seven (7) or more trips within any month and no-shows and/or late cancels forty (40) percent or more of those scheduled trips. This will be considered a pattern or practice of missed trips and a violation of the No-Show/Late Cancellation policy.

A pattern or practice involves intentional, repeated or regular actions, not isolated, accidental or singular incidents. Clients incurring excessive missed trips may be suspended and will have the right to appeal the decision.

Again, you may cancel a trip by calling (916) 429-2009. We appreciate your help in this matter.

Spokane Mobility Training Program Extended A Fourth Year

MobilityTrainingSpokane The Spokane Transit Authority (STA) recently extended their three year contract with Paratransit, Inc., for mobility training services to include a fourth year.

In three short years the mobility training team of Program Manager, Sean Powers, and mobility trainers Steve Prochnow and Janelle Wagenmen, have worked with staff in Sacramento to successfully build one of the top mobility training programs in the country.

Over the past three years the Spokane Mobility Training Program has successfully trained 314 individuals to safely and effectively access public transit in the Spokane area. Many program participants would have been using ADA paratransit service, or have no transportation at all, if it wasn’t for the training they received. Now participants have the freedom of traveling when they want and where they want on their own time schedule. To many of these successful trainees, it is often not about the destination, but more about the journey taken in getting there that makes a difference in their life.

Having mobility training on the menu of services offered by Spokane Transit assures the community that people with disabilities and seniors have good transportation options while maintaining reasonable costs for public transportation.

The mobility options staff and management of Paratransit is very excited about continuing our close working relationship with Spokane Transit. Without their continued support we could not have experienced the success or seen the positive impact that this program has had on the lives of people with disabilities and seniors in the Spokane area.

Paratransit Celebrates 30th Anniversary

The skies were dark but the mood euphoric for Paratransit’s 30th anniversary party and celebration. On April 9th, 2009 our community, employees and public servants celebrated this milestone with food and fellowship at our Florin Road facility. Since 1978, Paratransit, Inc. has provided transportation and independence to the elderly and disabled communities throughout the greater Sacramento area. Tours of the facility, video presentation, lunch and guest speakers highlighted the event.

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Linda Deavens, Paratransit CEO, kicked off the gala providing the crowd of nearly 350 people with a historical footprint of our birth and development. With great pride and appreciation she thanked those whose service to the organization was paramount in our accomplishments and evolution.

“Today is all about people” Linda explained, “those who use our service, those who make it possible”, citing our passengers, Board of Directors, transit, agency and public service partnerships. She credited our “wonderful staff, whose attitudes are that of how they can make it happen”, with whatever task that is put before them.

Councilmember Lauren Hammond, Vice Mayor and the first African American woman to be elected to our City Council, was honored for her many contributions to our community. In 2005 Ms. Hammond joined the Paratransit Board providing us with her knowledge and expertise on transportation issues. She was also recognized for her service in the State Senate as their coordinator for the Americans for Disabilities Act.

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In her speech, Ms. Hammond addressed “what an honor it was to be on the Paratransit Board of Directors”. She paid tribute to Paratransit as the “trailblazers” of the ADA transportation industry. She acknowledged Paratransit for persevering when “no one else was doing what they were doing and finding the way to do it themselves, making sure that everyone has the accessibility they deserve”. “The reality is, this is a necessary service”. “There are so many who can’t get around to do the things everyone else does, either by way of public transit or by their own means of transportation”. She commended Paratransit for their commitment to clean energy and ongoing improvements to provide for a sustainable environment. Ms. Hammond concluded stating “how extremely proud she was of Paratransit, as a neighbor, as a business, as a service, a commitment with a smile”. She thanked Bill Durant, Linda Deavens and Mary Steinert for “their continued commitment to the community”.

CARR-smallCouncilmember Hammond recognized fellow community dignitaries in attendance, Larry Carr of SMUD’s Board of Directors, Supervisor Roger Dickinson and Stacey Smith of Senator Barbara Boxer’s office.

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Linda Deavens introduced Councilmember and former Vice Mayor, Steve Cohn. Councilman Cohn’s vision is for Sacramento to be the most livable city in America, with excellent schools and libraries; abundant parks and open spaces; a dynamic Central City; vibrant with arts, sports and cultural attractions. Steve’s desire is for everything we would need to be within walking distance and if it wasn’t, it would be easily assessable by a prolific transportation network in which Paratransit plays a significant role. Councilmember Cohn provided some statistics creating visions of space travel, citing that in 2008, Paratransit provided close to 1,000,000 miles of transportation to our passengers. This is the equivalent of approximately 237 trips to the moon and back, difficult for many of us to comprehend. The crowd laughed when he stated “they are not doing this with two borrowed busses anymore” acknowledging where we started in 1978, the growth of our fleet, quality of our staff and accomplishments. He went on to state that “he hears that our customers feel like Paratransit is really part of the community”. “That it is not just a customer/business relationship, the relationship they have with their passengers is much greater than that”. Steve praised Linda Deavens, co-founders, Bill Durant and Phil McGuire, for their leadership being “creative in terms of how best to make this service available in a very efficient way”. He closed in extending his “congratulations”, followed by a round of “Happy Birthday” sung by those attending.

MCGUIRE2-small Founder and Paratransit’s first Executive Director, Phil McGuire, spoke of Paratransit’s early days. He remembered fondly, on July 20, 1978, personally walking Paratransit’s incorporation papers into the Secretary of State’s office. He proudly recognized some of Paratransit’s original employees and former co-workers, Bill Durant, Linda Deavens and Mary Steinert for their accomplishments and success.

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Phil now heads up Paratransit’s Innovative Paradigms division. Innovative Paradigms is a consulting and operating business, “that takes the message and concepts developed at Paratransit, Inc.”, offering their services to a variety of transit agencies and non-profit organizations.

WILEY-small Deavens introduced long time friend and Paratransit partner, Regional Transit’s General Manager, Mike Wiley. Also recognized was Senator Dave Jones’ representative.

DURRANT-small During her finale, Deavens paid tribute to former Executive Director, Bill Durant. “Bill has been our leader for so long, teaching us to do the right thing”. “He taught us to understand what is important, what our values are and to live up to those values”. As Deavens donned Groucho Marx’ nose and glasses, the crowd roared with laughter, telling all that these glasses were Bill’s standard issue to Paratransit staff in his day. Bill joked; they were to remind us “not to take ourselves too seriously”. Something we should all remember to do.
GROUCHO-smallBill humored the crowd while talking about the store clerk’s reaction, when he bought 300 pairs of these glasses telling her they were prescription glasses for perspective. Durant honored all of those he met, worked with, and laughingly, argued with, during his time with the organization. He talked warmly of those, along with him, who advocated for everyone to have equal transportation options, to be able to live as independently as possible, with dignity and to appreciate our differences.

Ms. Deavens recognized the twentieth anniversary of Non-Profits United Insurance Corp., formerly Paratransit Insurance Corp. Deavens stated that there was a time “we couldn’t buy insurance”. Paratransit, along with their sister organizations throughout California, formed a statewide association starting their own insurance company.

PICTURE-small Community partner Jill Yungling, of Eskaton Adult Day Health Care, presented Ms. Deavens with a picture drawn by one of their participants and regular Paratransit rider, Larry Vance. She joked, “In the absence of any prompting”, Larry drew this picture of a bus with “Paratransit, A Special Company” illustrated on the side of it.

Special thanks were extended to the students at CSUS for producing the beautiful commemorative video for Paratransit.

The staff and management at Paratransit extend their thanks to J.R.’s Bar-B-Que for providing a fabulous meal and KHITS 92.1 for the great music.

A wonderful time was had by one and all. Our sincere appreciation and thanks to everyone that attended along with those who participated in creating and celebrating our special day with us.

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Paratransit Inc. Receives Senate District 6 Small Business of the Year Award

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Paratransit Inc. was selected as the 2008 Senate District 6 Small Business of the Year and was honored at the 2008 California Small Business Day Luncheon on May 28th. The event was hosted by the California Small business Association and sponsored 31 small business organizations/chambers. The event was an opportunity where organizations and the State Legislature joined together to “Salute Small Business”. Over seventy legislators had the honor of recognizing a small business from their district.

Paratransit Inc. was enthusiastically selected to receive this award by State Senator Darrell Steinberg. In a letter from Senator Steinberg to Paratransit, Inc. he notes:

“When asked to select a small business in my district for special recognition, it did not take long for me to settle on Paratransit, Inc. There are a number of reasons why.”

“First, Paratransit Inc. has achieved Gold Star certification by the Sacramento Sustainable Business program, a program which assists business and public agencies to prevent pollution and conserve resources. It should be noted that Paratransit is one of only three businesses in the Sacramento area to achieve Gold Star level of environmental responsibility for its energy and water conservation, pollution prevention, commitment to recycling and green building strategies.”

“Second, Paratransit’s mission to meet the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities and the elderly and promote their independence is a mission I share. In fact, promoting independence and inclusiveness for people with disabilities in housing, employment, and social activities is a passion that inspired me to seek public office in the first place. Paratransit has long been an ally in promoting the civil rights and independence of their clients and my constituents.”

“And finally, Paratransit has been recognized amongst transit agencies, statewide and nationally, as a model of efficiency and customer service – an inspiration at this time of high gas prices, increased concern about greenhouse gases, climate change, and interest in effective mass transit options. Executive Director Linda Deavens, likewise, has been recognized for her leadership in this area.”

Thank you, Senator Steinberg for recognizing Paratransit for our hard work in meeting the mobility needs of the elderly and individuals with disabilities, providing leadership in the transit industry, and for our dedication to environmental responsibility.

Paratransit Inc. Receives Bike-Friendly Employer of the Year Award

BikeAward

In July of 2008, the city of Elk Grove awarded Paratransit, Inc. with the Bike-Friendly Employer of the Year Award. This award recognizes those businesses who have taken a leadership role in promoting cycling in the community, and who demonstrate a commitment to creating a bike friendly environment. Paratransit offers bike racks and lockers and showers and clothes lockers are also available to employees that bike to work.

Paratranst, Inc. is a participant in the Regions Million Mile Month challenge which is a program that promotes biking throughout the region. This year Paratransit, Inc achieved 88% of our pledged mileage goal when our Employees biked 2,870 miles. Paratransit encourages healthy lifestyles and supports it employees who want to bike to work with flexible schedules and an Employee Wellness Program that includes a reimbursement for bike purchase costs.

Paratransit's New Division: Innovative Paradigms

innovativeParadigms

Paratransit, Incorporated announced the creation of a new division to compete in the fixed route bus and Paratransit contracting industry. Innovative Paradigms plans to target selected contracting opportunities where true contractor/transit agency partnerships can be created.

In addition to service contracting, Innovative Paradigms will build a consulting practice in transit and Paratransit management. From its headquarters in Sacramento, Innovative Paradigms expects to collaborate with carefully chosen transit agencies to share its highly successful approach to service delivery.

Visit their new website at innovativeparadigms.com.

Keeping You Connected With Paratransit's New Automated Telephone System

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Automated Telephone System

The Automated Telephone System is designed to give you quick and convenient self-service access to the Paratransit, Inc., information and services you need most. It will provide selected general information, as well as allow you to Schedule new rides and Confirm and Cancel existing rides. It will call you with a reminder for trips you have scheduled for the next day. Because this system is connected directly to our dispatching system, the Automated Telephone System will notify you that a vehicle is on its way to your pick-up location – and it will even provide you with the most current estimated arrival time.

The Automated Telephone System uses advanced technology that engages you in a “conversation” to determine what you need and it responds accordingly. Simply use the numeric keypad on any touch tone telephone to book, cancel, or find out about your rides. You can transfer to a Call Center Agent at any point during your Automated Telephone System call by pressing 0 (zero).

Getting Enrolled

To access the Automated Telephone System you will need a Personal Identification Number (ID). Contact a Customer Service Agent at (916) 429-2009 option 4 to get your ID and complete the enrollment process.

It’s easy! You will be asked to provide phone numbers to be used by the Automated Telephone System so it can call you with ride times and arrival notifications, and a list of addresses to and from which you commonly travel. These addresses will be the only ones used by the Automated Telephone System when you use it to Schedule new rides. Our Customer Service Agents will be happy to update or add new addresses anytime upon your request.

View Automated Telephone System brochure