Welcome to the. Webinar Series A collaborative program between the ADA National Network and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

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1 Welcome to the Topic Guides on ADA Transportation Webinar Series A collaborative program between the ADA National Network and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) Sponsored by: The Session is Scheduled to begin at 2:00pm Eastern Time Audio and Visual are provided through the on-line system. This session is closed captioned. Individuals may also listen via telephone by dialing code # (This is not a Toll Free number) 1 Topic Guides on ADA Transportation GUIDE3 Webinar Features Closed captioning click icon(topof of screen) or control-f8 and adjust your screen Questions - type and submit questions in the Chat Area Text box or press control-m and enter text in the Chat Area Please do not use emoticons or handraising features during this session 2 1

2 Topic Guides on ADA Transportation GUIDE3 Today s Presenter Marilyn Golden Policy Analyst, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund 3 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME FUNDED BY THE FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION 2

3 ADA Technical Assistance: The Topic Guides on ADA Transportation Topic Guide 4: Telephone Hold Time In ADA Paratransit 5 The Topic Guides on ADA Transportation were funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to provide technical assistance on ADA transportation to transit agencies, riders, and advocates. The Topic Guides on ADA Transportation were developed by the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund and TranSystems Corporation. 6 3

4 THE GUIDES BRING TOGETHER: Americans with Disabilities Act requirements U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ADA regulations FTA enforcement determinations Operational best practices Information from many other sources 7 THIS SERIES OF GUIDES CONSISTS OF: 1. Equipment Maintenance 2. Stop Announcement and Route Identification 3. Eligibility for ADA Paratransit 4. Telephone Hold Time in ADA Paratransit 5. Origin to Destination Service in ADA Paratransit 6. On-Time Performance in ADA Paratransit 7. No-Shows in ADA Paratransit 8 4

5 Find the Topic Guides on ADA Transportation at: dredf.org/adatg/ 9 Introduction No capacity constraints Telephone hold times and related telephone capacity issues 10 5

6 Best Practices in Telephone Hold Times Must design and implement system to achieve minimal telephone wait times Regardless of method, key elements of ADA compliance: Establishing standards Thorough monitoring 11 Best Practices in Telephone Hold Times, cont d. Two basic methods to measure: Best way: Maximum allowable If no technology to measure maximum: hourly average For both, need Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system 12 6

7 Best Method: Maximum Allowable Hold Times Good standard: 95% in 3 minutes 99% in 5 minutes Measure each call group separately 13 Another Method: Hourly Average of Hold Times Calculate average hold time for each hour Averages need to be hourly at most Not longer, such as daily or weekly, which masks true results 14 7

8 Another Method: Hourly Average of Hold Times, cont d. Good practice for hourly averaging: 95% of hourly averages no more than 1 minute 99% of hourly averages no more than 2 minutes Measure each call group separately Also conduct random sample of maximum hold times 15 Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) Systems If buying an ACD system, should measure maximum hold time 16 8

9 Transit Agencies Without ACD Systems Must monitor in other ways 17 Where s My Ride Calls As important as reservations Should have shortest hold times Callers cannot wait Staff person should check with caller frequently 18 9

10 Secondary Holds Should be avoided Should only be necessary in specific situations 19 Checking Back With Caller Frequently At least once every minute 20 10

11 Tracking Secondary Hold Time Technology can measure secondary holds Or else, use other methods Measure separately from initial hold time 21 Best Practices for Reducing Secondary Holds Adequate number of dispatchers Install technology to enable other staff (e.g. dispatch assistants) to handle most inquiries 22 11

12 No Busy Signals Must monitor Can obtain busy reports Trunk busy reports 23 Don t Necessitate Long Distance Charges 24 12

13 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Abandoned Calls Track and report 25 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Avoid Limits On The Number Of Trip Requests Per Call 26 13

14 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME What Else Riders and Advocates Need To Know: The Rider s Role Call during off-peak times, when possible Check on rides only when they are actually late 27 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Enforcement of Your ADA Rights May pursue in any order: Filing local complaint Engaging in local advocacy Filing ADA complaint in Washington D.C. Filing lawsuit 28 14

15 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME What Else Transit Agencies Need To Know: Customer Service Draft APTA Recommended Practice: Provide professional, courteous, honest information in patient manner Accurate estimated times Calls answered quickly 29 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Customer Service, cont d. Draft APTA Recommended Practice, cont d.: Most recent known location Number of other stops before caller Estimated time of arrival 30 15

16 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Customer Service, cont d. Draft APTA Recommended Practice, cont d.: Vehicle number Other identifying information such as vehicle type, identifying name Do not placate with stock answer such as It will be 10 minutes or Your driver is around the corner 31 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Customer Service, cont d. Draft APTA Recommended Practice, cont d.: Confirm exact pickup location Ensure information gets to driver Obtain contact t number Rapid resolution is a priority 32 16

17 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Subscription Service: Benefit: reducing call volume 33 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Subscription Service, cont d. Don t Misinterpret 50% Cap Transit agencies with no denials may provide as much subscription service as they wish 34 17

18 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Responding To Where s My Ride Calls During Pickup Window 35 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Telephone Messages and Callbacks Not acceptable for Where s My Ride line If use callbacks, book trips based on requested times 36 18

19 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Telephone Messages and Callbacks, cont d. Call to confirm scheduled times If can t reach rider, requested times become scheduled times Not a best practice 37 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Communication Access Provide communication access to callers with speech and hearing impairments Maintain TTYs in working order Train staff: TTY, relay service, speakerphone Best practices for aiding callers with speech impairments 38 19

20 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Staffing Issues Adequate staffing for reservations and dispatch ( Where s My Ride ) calls Staff to call volume Cross-training 39 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Call Recording Capabilities 40 20

21 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Alternative Technologies Some transit agencies utilize technology to reduce calls, add other benefits: Automated systems / websites to confirm reservations, get vehicle location, and/or cancel ride Book rides on-line, via Interactive Voice Response (IVR), or Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) and IVR can provide real-time vehicle location data via computer, cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA) 41 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Alternative Technologies, cont d. Introduce new technologies carefully Obtain rider input Test thoroughly before going live 42 21

22 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Customer-Friendly Call Options and Menus 43 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Call Handling Procedures and Scripts 44 22

23 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Complaint Investigation Record and investigate all complaints Timely responses Address performance issues 45 TELEPHONE HOLD TIME Resources from FTA FTA ADA website: FTA Office of Civil Rights by phone or (888) (Voice) (800) (TTY) 46 23

24 GUIDE3 Final Comments Thank you Marilyn Archive will be available within 2 business days at: with link to session survey will be sent to you following this session Please complete the survey as we value your feedback 47 Easter Seals Project ACTION Event Accessible Transportation Coalitions Initiative Two-day in-person events in your community facilitated by ESPA Coalitions will either build on or create a new plan to address transportation issues Each coalition is a group of community leaders including: Transportation providers, people with disabilities, planners and engineers, public officials, and other highly engaged leaders One-year systems change process designed to improve accessible transportation options for people with disabilities ESPA will provide individualized follow up technical assistance and support to the coalition

25 Easter Seals Project ACTION Event Accessible Transportation Coalitions Initiative (cont.) Coalition member should be prepared to implement the objectives and steps in their plan, expand the coalition as needed to get the work done, revise the plan to reflect real life efforts and share successes, challenges and solutions with ESPA. Applications for ATCI are due no later than January 31, For more information, visit the ATCI Website at For questions, contact Kristi Ross at (800) or 49 Thank you for participating in today s webinar Next scheduled session: Origin to Destination Service in ADA Paratransit February 8, :00pm Eastern More information and registration available on-line at: Slide 50 25

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