For individuals unable to use the city’s public transit system due to disabilities, Access-A-Ride provides “demand response,” or paratransit service. In 2012, there were 6,137,023 unlinked passenger trips on Access-A-Ride, up significantly from the 3,944,504 trips in 2007. Those eligible for Access-A-Ride service may opt-in for free bus and subway travel as an alternative to paratransit, or use “Accessible Dispatch” hailing services for taxis that are wheelchair-accessible.
Every year about 172,000 registered AAR users rely on paratransit services, almost double the 91,953 registered users in 2005, and nearly three times the 59,721 registered users in 2000. The increased number of users is attributed to more New Yorkers qualifying for these benefits, and a reduced trip reservation lead time in recent years.
Paratransit service is operated by MTA New York City Transit through private carriers, and funded by farebox payments by riders and their guests, the Urban Tax, NYC Reimbursement and NYC Transit contribution.