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We are a public agency, and we provide public transportation services to residents of Virginia's Regional Planning District X, which includes Mr. Payne's home county of Nelson County, four other rural counties, and the small urbanized area of Charlottesville, Virginia.

We have a population of about 161,000 in that community and those rural counties. We operate a fleet of 32 vehicles and probably will be expanding that to about 34, all under 20 passenger. We offer demand response service, fixed route, commuter route service, and we run the regional ride sharing system in our area.

We do operate in a community where there is a fixed route system. In the city where the fixed route system exists, we provide the accessible transportation service. Our ridership this past year, that was for the 1987-1988 year, we provided 160,000 passenger trips, of which approximately half were for disabled persons, and about 23 percent of our total trips, or somewhere in the neighborhood of 37,000, were for persons in wheelchairs. So, we are experienced in transporting the disabled.

As for my own experience, in addition to operating this transportation system, I serve as a member of the executive committee of our local independent living center, I am on the Transportation Committee for the Virginia Board for the Rights of the Disabled, and I have served for the past three years, since 1986, and was one of the founders of the National Association for Transportation Alternatives, NASTA, which merged this summer with Rural America to form the Community Transportation Association of America.

We at CTAA are the advocacy and membership organization for what we always call the "significant others," but we basically serve the rural, small urban, human services and specialized transportation systems as a membership organization.

We have public entities as members, we have private non-profit members, and we have some private for profit members. We have about a 300-member membership, but we serve actually an industry of somewhere around four to five thousand providers.

About 1200 of those are small rural systems with Section 18 funds. And we have a number, I would say somewhere between four and five thousand out there of other kinds of systems, human services, HHS systems.

I am presently continuing as a member of the Board of CTAA, and I am here in my capacity as a member of the Board to present the CTAA Board's views.

We represent those folks who know what specialized and accessible transportation is all about. We know how difficult it is to provide, and we know how important it is. So I want to give you my views-remember that I am speaking for myself but mainly for my industry.

CTAA's statement of objectives pledges the organization to work to establish public policies that recognize individual mobility as a basic human right. That came out of our statement of purpose. So it follows logically that we subscribe to the central prirciple of the Americans With Disabilities Act, that this commitment to mobility cannot be discriminatory in character.

At a meeting of our Board last week, we agreed it was important that we establish a statement and a formal policy on accessibility, I Mr. MINETA. I would like to ask the following members of the next panel to come before us: Ms. Wilson, Immediate Past President, Community Transportation Association of America here in Washington, D.C., as well as Executive Director of JAUNT, Charlottesville. We will have Mr. Payne doing the honors here.

I would like to have, also, Mr. Ray Mundy, Executive Director of the Airport Ground Transportation Association, Knoxville, come before us; Mr. Alfred B. LaGasse, III, Executive Vice President, International Taxicab Association, Kensington, Maryland; Mr. Rudolph H. Bruhns, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Greater Houston Transportation Company, and Mr. Robert M. Werth; President, Diamond Transportation Incorporated; Alexandria.

I would like to yield time to our very fine colleague, Mr. Payne. Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. It is my honor and privilege to introduce our next witness, Linda Wilson, who is representing the Community Transportation Association of America. Linda is the Executive Director of the Jefferson Area United Transportation Corporation, which is known as JAUNT, which serves the rural counties outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Prior to being elected to Congress, I was involved in running a business and owning a business near Charlottesville, Virginia, and in that capacity had direct dealings with Linda and with JAUNT in arranging transportation for workers who, without JAUNT, would have been unable to have a job there or anywhere else in a rural setting.

In addition to working for JAUNT, Linda is the Immediate Past President of the Community Transportation of America. She is extremely knowledgeable about transportation issues, and I found her advice regarding even this bill before the committee to be very useful. Linda, thank you very much for joining us here today.

I look forward to hearing your remarks regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thanks.

Mr. MINETA. Ms. Wilson, you may proceed. TESTIMONY OF LINDA WILSON, IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JAUNT, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA; RAY MUNDY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AIRPORT GROUND TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION, KNOXVILLE, TN; ALFRED B. LaGASSE, II, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL TAXICAB ASSOCIATION, KENSINGTON, MD; RUDOLPH H. BRUHNS, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, GREATER HOUSTON TRANSPORTATION CO., HOUSTON, TX; AND ROBERT M. WERTH, PRESIDENT, DIAMOND TRANSPORTATION, INC., ALEXANDRIA, VA Ms. WILSON. Thank you so much. You gentlemen are patient. You have waited a long time for this panel. I hope we can say you have left the best for last.

As Mr. Payne has introduced me, I am the Executive Director of JAUNT, Incorporated in Charlottesville and have been in that capacity since 1980. We are an agency providing primarily public transportation.

We are a public agency, and we provide public transportation services to residents of Virginia's Regional Planning District X, which includes Mr. Payne's home county of Nelson County, four other rural counties, and the small urbanized area of Charlottesville, Virginia.

We have a population of about 161,000 in that community and those rural counties. We operate a fleet of 32 vehicles and probably will be expanding that to about 34, all under 20 passenger. We offer demand response service, fixed route, commuter route service, and we run the regional ride sharing system in our area.

We do operate in a community where there is a fixed route system. In the city where the fixed route system exists, we provide the accessible transportation service. Our ridership this past year, that was for the 1987-1988 year, we provided 160,000 passenger trips, of which approximately half were for disabled persons, and about 23 percent of our total trips, or somewhere in the neighborhood of 37,000, were for persons in wheelchairs. So, we are experienced in transporting the disabled.

As for my own experience, in addition to operating this transportation system, I serve as a member of the executive committee of our local independent living center, I am on the Transportation Committee for the Virginia Board for the Rights of the Disabled, and I have served for the past three years, since 1986, and was one of the founders of the National Association for Transportation Alternatives, NASTA, which merged this summer with Rural America to form the Community Transportation Association of America.

We at CTAA are the advocacy and membership organization for what we always call the “significant others,” but we basically serve the rural, small urban, human services and specialized transportation systems as a membership organization.

We have public entities as members, we have private non-profit members, and we have some private for profit members. We have about a 300-member membership, but we serve actually an industry of somewhere around four to five thousand providers.

About 1200 of those are small rural systems with Section 18 funds. And we have a number, I would say somewhere between four and five thousand out there of other kinds of systems, human services, HHS systems.

I am presently continuing as a member of the Board of CTAA, and I am here in my capacity as a member of the Board to present the CTAA Board's views.

We represent those folks who know what specialized and accessible transportation is all about. We know how difficult it is to provide, and we know how important it is. So I want to give you my views-remember that I am speaking for myself but mainly for my industry.

CTAA's statement of objectives pledges the organization to work to establish public policies that recognize individual mobility as a basic human right. That came out of our statement of purpose. So it follows logically that we subscribe to the central principle of the Americans With Disabilities Act, that this commitment to mobility cannot be discriminatory in character.

At a meeting of our Board last week, we agreed it was important that we establish a statement and a formal policy on accessibility, I am not going to read that. It's rather wordy, and we have a lot to accomplish. But it is attached to my written testimony, and I would ask that you take note of it because we worked hard to come up with a statement that we thought was fair and important.

The issue of accessible transportation has a special familiarity for our members. Most of us in this industry started out doing human services transportation. My own transit system began in 1975 as a consortium of several community agencies; probably at that time, only five or six.

We now serve 77 human service agencies in the 5-county area. We are the human service transportation provider. About half of our passengers are funded or paid for by human service agencies, and the other half pay out of their own pockets as public riders.

So, we know what we are talking about when we refer to the transit dependent. That includes persons with disabilities, and they continue to constitute the core of our ridership.

In many urban areas, it's interesting to note that CTAA members, and my own agency is one, are relied on at the present time to provide all the accessible transportation for the public transportation system.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, which is our central city, we have a very small fixed route bus system, and right now, the system is not life equipped or basically handicap accessible. It has kneeling buses that make it easy for elderly people to get on, but wheelchairs cannot be accommodated. So we provide the accessible system, all the accessible transportation in the urban area.

In many rural areas around the country, our members are human service transportation providers who receive no UMTA funding or no direct federal transit assistance. Many of these are human service agencies who get HHS funds, but there still may be in those rural communities-it was interesting this morning to hear Mr. Craig, for example, talking about his rural area because in many rural areas, only the human service agencies provide any transportation for the folks who live there.

We are particularly aware that the barriers to accessibility take many forms, and that removing those barriers requires a variety of responses. It's not going to take one response or another response to remove those barriers. That includes both accessible fixed route service and complimentary paratransit service.

The CTAA organization believes that this legislation should be put into the perspective of our members and the people we serve. I want to point out several concerns that we have. First of all, the national commitment to full accessibility for transit reflected by this bill--and I am going to say something that is unpopular with a lot of people-has to be accompanied by a national commitment to achieve it without making transit and those who depend on it bear the full cost.

There is no way that you can pass a bill like this and not have some accompanying appropriations bill. It is absolutely impossible. If enactment of ADA is not accompanied by appropriate financial support, it becomes a zero-sum game in which service will actually be diminished rather than made more equitable and adequate.

Just to point out a couple of things, currently the non-urban areas in the country receive about 3 percent of all the UMTA funds. This past fiscal year, non-urban areas received $64 million. The appropriations that have already been approved by the House for non-urban areas in 1990 is $52 million, so that is a $12 million dollar cut.

At the same time, it is being considered that we will have to increase the amount of transportation we are providing to the disabled. There is a definite contradiction here, because we already receive so little money that most of us aren't even able to buy new buses. This is significant because most of our vehicles are small vehicles. They are body on chassis vehicles or mini vans that have ramps. None of us have anything really fancy, no big buses. The most expensive vehicle in my fleet costs under $40,000.

You would think replacing a vehicle wouldn't be such an expensive proposition. We consider our vehicles worn out or depreciated at 90,000 miles, and about three years. But I just recently auctioned off some 1981 vehicles that were creeping up on 200,000 miles.

We have been, as we have been replacing vehicles, getting more and more wheelchair accessible vehicles. But it's an expensive proposition, because the money is not there to pay for them.

So what we are concerned about here is the fact that while we are talking about the program, in no way can you avoid discussing the costs.

One thing no one has mentioned today is insurance. If you are going to be handling persons who are disabled, you are going to expect your insurance to go up, believe me, take it from one who has to pay that insurance, and there are many hidden costs.

There just has to be accompanying money or this bill will never happen, no matter how much you want it to happen. It will never be a reality because the money won't be there.

Secondly, the equality of access to transit sought by this legislation is only a part of the equality of access to transit that our organization is working for. We want to stress that in many rural areas and in a surprising number of small urban areas, ADA is mandating equal access to non-existant or totally inadequate transit resources and services.

What we are saying here basically is that what ADA is mandating is that where transit exists, there be equal access, but no one is mentioning anywhere in this act that those areas that do not have any transit provide something for the disabled who do not have any way to get around.

We have heard people talking about the fact that when you are blind, you cannot drive. It's expensive to purchase a vehicle if you are disabled. People have different sorts of disabilities. There are some people who cannot even drive an equipped vehicle because of their type of disability.

What this basically means is that you have to live in the city. You cannot be disabled and live in a rural area. For instance, in Virginia, 77 percent of the state doesn't have any kind of public transportation. We have statistics showing that our recent analysis determined that one-fourth of all the urbanized areas of less than 100,000 population are unserved by federally assisted transit. 97 percent of the larger urbanized areas have public transit. The disparity is even greater in rural areas which represent 40 percent of

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