Current through Register Vol. 44, No. 51, December 21, 2022
be eligible for STOA, any specialized transportation service must be available
to all transit disabled persons in the service area on an equal opportunity
basis and may not give preference to any particular client subgroup. This
requirement is not intended to preclude market segmentation based on the amount
of physical assistance required by the rider. Service must operate in
accordance with the published service area, hours of operation and fares.
Acceptable arrangements shall be made to market the availability of the
(1) Service funding:
(i) A public transportation system may accept
a per passenger payment from a human service agency in lieu of collecting a
fare from a human service agency client. Also, the public transportation system
may charge the human service agency a fare higher than the fare charged to
other riders in those circumstances where accommodating the travel demand of an
agency requires the system to operate a level of service which exceeds
available Federal and State mass transportation operating assistance and the
local match to that assistance.
(ii) Where a human service agency's
transportation needs are met by a public transportation system, such system
shall continue, to the extent necessary, to use human service agency program
funds to cover that portion of the costs of specialized transportation services
not covered by fare-box, Federal and State mass transportation operating
assistance and the local match to that assistance.
(iii) If Federal operating assistance is
available, it must be included as a source of revenue to cover the costs of the
specialized service in at least the same proportion as it covers the costs of
the services to the general public. In urbanized areas, the use of Federal
assistance must be approved by the area's Metropolitan Planning Organization in
the Transportation Improvement Program. Voluntary local assistance (in excess
of STOA match requirements) may be substituted for available Federal operating
(i) Where it is necessary to establish
procedures for prioritizing service delivery in order to allocate scarce
resources, the prioritizing procedures must be fully documented and may not
give preference to any client group.
(b) Where the principal operator of mass
transportation service for the general public as defined in section
directly provides specialized transportation services which are open to all
members of the transit disabled public and where such services meet other
eligibility requirements as specified in the STOA regulations, these
specialized services are eligible for State transit operating assistance.
Where more than one mass transportation system in the same
service area proposes to provide specialized transportation services, the New
York State Department of Transportation will determine which system is the
system eligible to receive STOA for the provision of specialized services to
the transit disabled.
To be eligible for STOA, specialized transportation service provided in any
county having no urbanized areas, or cities receiving STOA, must be operated,
or purchased through contract, by the principal operator of general public
transportation in the county.
In counties where there is more than one public transportation system, and a
specialized service is proposed to be provided by an operator other than the
principal operator, as defined in Section
such specialized service may be eligible for STOA under the following
transportation service plan:
(i) A specialized
service plan must be developed. Service is to be provided in accordance with a
specialized service plan, which details appropriate justification for the
operation of service by other than the principal operator and includes comments
of the principal operator. The service plan should document service area;
eligibility; hours of service; fares; service characteristics; restrictions;
prioritization; and advance reservation requirements; organizational structure;
and service agreements. The plan must also specify acceptable arrangements to
market the availability of the service to persons who are disabled.
(ii) Such plan is subject to review by the
Department to establish eligibility for STOA program funding. A program/report
prepared to meet Federal requirements as meeting the plan requirements of this
Subpart provided all requirements of this Subpart are included or appended may
(i) Private, for-profit and
private, non-profit operators operating in the proposed service area must be
afforded an equal opportunity to bid on the proposed contract(s), and
contract(s) should be reoffered for bid on a regular basis.
(ii) Eligibility must be limited to an
operator (s) (1) whose primary organizational purpose, as stated in its
incorporation papers, is as an operator (s) of passenger transportation, (2)
who has or is obtaining an operating permit as a common carrier from NYSDOT,
and (3) who will subject its vehicles to NYSDOT inspections.
(iii) The public transportation system must
substantially control all transportation service components of the specialized
transportation service system, including holding of contracts with the
operators, marketing, and the compilation of Federal and State reports. The
contract for service must insure that the service complies with these
regulations including the scheduling and dispatching of operations.
(3) Justification for use of
Where mass transportation services for the transit disabled
is best accomplished by contracts with more than one service operator, because
of reasons of geographic coverage or market segmentation necessitated by
differing amounts of physical assistance required by the passengers, then the
justification, economic or otherwise, for employing more than one service
operator must be documented in the plan.
(e) Ineligible service(s):
(1) Transportation services limited to the
disabled and/or elderly shall not be eligible for STOA in any service area
where there is no public transportation system offering service for use by the
(2) Transport of
meals or goods or emergency medical trips are not eligible services.
(3) Portions of the specialized services
which are client-specific and not available to the general transit disabled
population are not eligible to be included in the calculation of State
services provided to disabled persons, as defined in section
are eligible for STOA. Where the specialized service system also serves
non-disabled persons, according to this definition, a method of allocation of
service passengers and vehicle miles must be documented and approved by the
Commissioner, such that STOA payments can be made only on behalf of persons
qualified to receive specialized services (i.e., persons who are disabled).
Where a human service agency's transportation needs are met
by a public transportation system, such system shall continue, to the extent
necessary, to use human service agency program funds to cover that portion of
the costs of public transportation services not covered by farebox, Federal and
State mass transportation operating assistance and the local match to that