Who is Eligible for ADA Paratransit Service?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, transit providers have the responsibility to make their services accessible for, and usable by individuals with disabilities. The expectation of the ADA is that most transit services provided for individuals with disabilities will be provided by the regular fixed route bus service. ADA Paratransit service is considered a “safety net” for those individuals with disabilities whose disability still prevent them – not merely makes use more difficult – from using the fixed route system, even when it is fully accessible.
Specific ADA eligibility guidelines define eligibility as appropriate for individuals with disabilities when one or more of the following are prevented:
Boarding, disembarking, or riding on any regularly accessible bus is prevented even
with the assistance of the lift and other commonly available help;
Travel on a route is prevented because the system lacks required accommodations or
A disabling condition prevents getting to or from bus boarding locations when
traveling within the service area.
The ADA also recognized that many individuals with disabilities can use the fixed route bus system in some instances, but maybe not all. Therefore, ADA regulations address this type of need as appropriate for Conditional Eligibility. An example might be a person who utilizes a manual wheelchair and can use the fixed route service when the terrain is accessible, but needs paratransit service when the destination is at the top of a hill from the bus stop.
The following issues do not automatically establish eligibility:
- Personal convenience, such as the fixed route service does not meet your personal schedule, takes too long, or does not serve destinations you travel to;
- Lack of familiarity or experience with the fixed route system;
- Having a disability, even when certified by SSI, SSA, or the VA;
- Having dialysis treatment;
- There is no automatic eligibility for seniors;
- The fact that using the fixed route service may be more difficult or less comfortable;
- Having a note from your doctor;
- Fear of crime;
- Illiteracy or inability to understand directions due to limited English comprehension;
- Being unable to drive due to a medical condition.
- You must be six (6) years old or older to be eligible for paratransit.