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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dial-A-Ride Program Renewed

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu City Council is poised to approve a contract with Malibu Yellow Cab to perform transportation services for the municipality’s Dial-A-Ride program.
The service agreement calls for payments not to exceed $200,000 annually for the first two years of the contract and a fare hike for passengers.
“Rates for subsequent years will be adjusted from the year 2 rate based on the change in the Consumer Price Index,” the staff report notes.
Riders can use it for transportation purposes within city limits and only for medical purposes outside of the city limits.  Currently the fare is one dollar for trips within municipal limits and two dollars for outside city limits.
The city subsidizes the remaining costs of the fare with Proposition A funding.
According to a staff report, there are currently 334 eligible seniors registered as passengers with about 15 to 20 percent actually using the service on a regular basis.
The average monthly requests for rides generate 480 trips at a cost of $16,500, according to the staff report.
For fiscal year 2012-14, the city is expecting to receive approximately $200,000 in Prop A funds.
The city’s Public Works Commission recommended raising the fees for the Dial-A-Ride service program. Following the staff recommendation, the commission is urging the city council increase the fee for rides $2 per one-way trip within the city limits and $4 per one-way trip to Santa Monica and West Los Angeles.
The recommendation also includes using the remaining Proposition A funding to pay for occasional shuttle services for senior center programs.
The panel also recommended the city execute an agreement with Malibu Yellow Cab to continue to provide its services.
The program is offered to residents living in the city who are 60 years of age or older. The service will take seniors to Santa Monica, St John’s and UCLA hospitals and various medical offices along Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards for currently $2 each way, according to the city’s website.
There are scheduled shuttles between Malibu and Santa Monica and West Los Angeles. The hospitals and medical offices are the only locations outside of the city limits that DAR will service.
The service was established to help the senior population with transportation to doctor appointments, markets or the senior center as well as other destinations within Malibu city limits.
The story about making changes starts three years ago when some council members complained that too much Prop A funds were not being used and had to be sold on the dollar so they were not completely lost.
The Public Works Commission was given the task of trying to determine if a potential shuttle service or other ways could be used for utilizing the transportation funding, according to the staff.

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