What is Road Runner ADA Service?
Road Runner ADA paratransit service is available to people with disabilities who are unable to ride Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) Fixed Route Bus Services. For people with disabilities who are unable to get to their transit stop or station, Road Runner operates a parallel service to LRTA Fixed Route. Road Runner is operated by Lowell Transit Management Corporation.
Examples of who may need ADA paratransit service: A person who is ambulatory, but has difficult walking, may be unable to walk the distance to his closest stop or station. Perhaps a person who uses a wheelchair is unable to get to her stop because no sidewalks or curb cuts exist or snow blocks the route. It could be that a person who is blind or uses a wheelchair is unable to cross a highway with heavy traffic. Some people with disabilities are unable to navigate a fixed route system. A person who is blind or has cognitive disability might have difficulty orienting himself in a complex system with many routes and many transit vehicles.
For individuals with disabilities who are unable to ride fixed routes, the ADA requires that paratransit services be provided at a level of service comparable to the fixed route system. Not all people with disabilities are eligible for ADA complementary paratransit services. Only those who are unable to access their fixed route system are eligible.
It is important to understand that under the ADA, paratransit functions as a “safety net” for people whose disabilities prevent them from using the regular fixed route system. It is not intended to be a comprehensive system of transportation that meets all the needs of persons with disabilities. By statute, complementary paratransit must provide a level of service that is comparable to that provided by the fixed route system.
Road Runner is an ADA complementary paratransit service that provides parallel service to the LRTA Fixed Route service. Lowell Regional Transit Authority contracts with Lowell Transit Management Corporation to provide paratransit service. Road Runner, the paratransit service, provides accessible, origin to destination, transit service for eligible individuals with disabilities. Road Runner will pick you up at your home and take you to where you want to go, as long as your origin and destination are within ¾ of a mile of the fixed route service area. These services are provided by advance request. An individual with a disability must schedule and reserve each paratransit trip.
Be aware that commuter bus and commuter rail services (service predominantly in one direction during peak periods with limited stops), intercity bus and rail systems (long distance travel between cities), and university transit systems are not required to provide comparable paratransit services.
ADA Complementary Paratransit is Comparable to the Fixed Route Service
Road Runner service is comparable and parallel to the LRTA Fixed Route service. Road Runner offers service on the same days and same times as LRTA Fixed Route service is offered. If LRTA does not offer evening service and Sunday service, Road Runner does not have to offer evening or Sunday service.
Comparable also means that Road Runner serves a geographical region similar to the geographical region served by LRTA Fixed Route. Although these requirements are quite complex, we can simplify by stating that, minimally, Road Runner must serve all areas within a corridor which extends ¾ of a mile on each side of each route served by the LRTA Fixed Route system. To visualize this, reference LRTA Fixed Route Bus Tracker Map. The corridor which is ¾ of a mile on each side of each route and from each end point is Road Runner service area. This is the minimum geographic area that must be serviced by Road Runner.
The type of service offered by Road Runner is comparable to the type of service offered by LRTA Fixed Route. Just as you must share your ride with other passengers on LRTA Fixed Route, so too, you must share your ride with other passengers on paratransit. Be prepared to accommodate those additional stops into your schedule. Your trip on Road Runner may take a comparable amount of time as it takes on LRTA Fixed Route. LRTA analyzes trip lengths on a monthly basis to determine if trip lengths are consistent with travel on LRTA Fixed Route Service. Performance measures track the reporting of trips in excess of 60 minutes within one town and two towns as well as travel over 90 minutes to Burlington and Westford. Also note that if LRTA Fixed Route service alters routes or hours, Road Runner paratransit service may experience comparable changes.