No-shows due to late trip cancellations, cancellations at the door, and absentee customers are a cost of doing business for a paratransit system. However, as the cost of providing paratransit service grows and NCTD complies with the federal requirement to meet the demand for all eligible trips, no-shows reduce the efficiency and reliability of LIFT service while adding significant costs to operate the service and negatively impact NCTD’s ability to effectively meet overall customer demand and result in inefficient use of taxpayer dollars.
A customer will not be marked a no-show if the vehicle arrives after the scheduled 30-minute pick-up window or for circumstances beyond the customer’s control, such as the following:
- Family emergency
- Illness that precluded the customer from calling to cancel
- Customer was inside calling to check the ride status and was on hold for extended time
- Customer’s appointment ran long and did not provide the opportunity to cancel in a timely way
- Another party cancelled the customer’s appointment
- Customer’s mobility aid failed
- Sudden turn for the worse for an individual with a variable condition
- Adverse weather impacted the customer’s travel plans, precluding the customer from cancelling in a timely way
The purpose of this no-show policy is to prevent patterns of abuse in order to maintain efficient system operation, sustain a zero percent denial rate, improve customer service and maximize the use of operating funding. No-shows will not be issued when a scheduled trip is missed for reasons beyond the customer’s control, but customers should always make every effort to cancel scheduled trips in a timely manner. Trips missed by a customer for reasons beyond his or her control include trips missed due to transit agency error or lateness.
If a passenger misses a scheduled outbound trip, LIFT will not automatically cancel his/her return trip. Each leg of the trip must be treated separately. Without an indication from the passenger that the return trip is not needed, it will remain on the schedule.
First and second no-show/late cancel: The customer will receive a notice of occurrence letter at the end of the month which the no show/late cancel trips occurred.
Three or more no-shows/late cancels: For customers with three or more no-shows during a calendar month and where the no-show/late cancels are 10 percent or more of the customer’s scheduled trips for the month, the customer’s service will be suspended for a seven day period. The suspension period from using NCTD LIFT paratransit begins 30 days after the notification is mailed.
Any customer who exceeds the no-show threshold in a calendar month for a second time within a six month period will be subject to a two week suspension. Any customer who exceeds the no-show threshold in a calendar month a third time within a six month period will be subject to a 30-day suspension. Thereafter, suspensions will increase by a 30-day increment for each additional time a customer exceeds the set threshold over a six month period. At the end of six months, a customer’s monthly record of no-shows will go back to zero.
Customers who cancel or no-show an equivalent to 50 percent or more of their trips in any given month shall be removed from subscription service. If a customer is removed from subscription service, they will need to contact the LIFT provider to request to be added back on subscription service pending space available. If a customer is removed from their subscription service, due to no-shows and late cancellations, they will not be eligible to return to subscription service for one month, pending space available. To appeal a suspension, refer to the process in the “Appealing a Suspension” section below.
In addition to suspensions for no-shows and late cancellations, a customer may also be suspended as a result of seriously disruptive behavior, as described under “Prohibited Activities” of this document.
A pick-up is considered on time if the operator arrives anytime within the 30-minute window. Drivers are required to wait for five minutes once they arrive at a location for a passenger.
Drivers will depart after five minutes if the customer is not present. Customers will not be marked a no-show if the vehicle arrives outside the 30-minute window.
Customers will be notified of a suspension of LIFT service by letter mailed, at the end of each month, to the most recent address provided to NCTD in connection with the application process. The letter will contain the following information:
- A listing of the dates when the no-shows occurred
- If not related to no-shows, the basis of the suspension
- The dates of the pending suspension
- Instructions on how to appeal a suspension
The notice will be made available in alternative formats, upon request. Service suspensions can be appealed by following the directions included in the notice letters.