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SEPTA PARATRANSIT TO NEARLY TRIPLE IN SIZE WITH TAKEOVER OF SHARED RIDE PROGRAM NOV. 8; TOUR AND NEWS BRIEFING SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY

SEPTA PARATRANSIT TO NEARLY TRIPLE IN SIZE WITH TAKEOVER OF SHARED RIDE
 PROGRAM NOV. 8; TOUR AND NEWS BRIEFING SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY
 Date: Wednesday, Oct. 28
 Time: 1:30 p.m. news media briefing
 2 p.m. tour of ParaTransit's computerized Reservation,
 Scheduling, and Control Centers.
 Place: Briefing: SEPTA Board Room, 3rd Floor, 714 Market St.,
 Philadelphia.
 Tour: 5th Floor, 714 Market St.
 Event: SEPTA ParaTRANSIT nearly triples in size with takeover
 of shared ride program on Nov. 8!
 Details:
 SEPTA ParaTRANSIT is big in purpose, size and high-tech performance. And, on Nov. 8, it will be the biggest paratransit operation in the United States.
 Its purpose is to provide door-to-door, advance reservation rides to the region's disabled (for the last 10 years) and senior population (starting November 8).
 How big is it? ParaTRANSIT will leap from a total of 98 vehicles to more than 278, and there will be about 367 operators involved, up from about 125.


Although quite different in the kind of service provided and the numbers of people carried, ParaTransit will now require as many vehicles and operators as the transit operations of cities the size of Fort Worth, Tampa, Providence and Allentown-Bethlehem. Allentown- Bethlehem is the third largest transit operator in Pennsylvania.
 On Nov. 8, SEPTA ParaTRANSIT will assume management of the Pennsylvania Lottery-funded Shared Ride Program in Philadelphia with its 61,500 registered patrons and about 8,000 regular riders. For more than 10 years, ParaTRANSIT has been providing door-to-door, advance reservation rides for disabled persons. Now, SEPTA is completing preparations to service Philadelphia residents 65 and older with expanded hours of operation and scheduling, and 40 locations outside the City. Total ParaTRANSIT ridership is projected to grow from about 400,000 rides last year to about 1.25 million next year.
 The Financial Facts:
 Complete fact sheets will be available at the briefing, but the following facts indicate the magnitude of the SEPTA ParaTRANSIT operation:
 The current potential expenditure for the Philadelphia Shared Ride Program, including user fares and State Lottery funds, is about $17.5 million annually. Adding in the $7 million currently spent for service to the disabled, the total SEPTA ParaTRANSIT budget could reach $24.5 million! With the projected expansion to accommodate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the SEPTA ParaTRANSIT budget is expected to grow to about $35 to $50 million annually within the next five years.
 PARTICIPATING:
 SEPTA Chief Operating Officer/General Manager Louis J. Gambaccini and Assistant General Manager Carol H. Lavoritano will introduce the program. SEPTA Special Services Manager Robert H. Corressel will conduct the briefing and respond to questions. Corressel and his staff will conduct the tour of ParaTRANSIT's very active, state-of-the-art facilities and show the various ParaTRANSIT vehicles, and their updated signage.
 CONTACT: SEPTA Press Relations, 215-580-7842.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/26/92


CO: SEPTA ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:

CC -- PH031 -- 4857 10/26/92 13:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1992
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