Paratransit Services

Q. How do I find transportation services for a disabled person?

A. You should contact the transit (bus) agency in your area. They should have a paratransit service for disabled people. This type of service will pick you up at your residence and take you where you need to go. They should have vans with wheelchair lifts if you need that. (Revised: September 2010)


Q. Our town operates a transit service with accessible buses. Since there is a private taxi service in town, we must follow the 5311 rules. The private taxi service has no vehicles equipped to transport people who use a wheelchair. Is there a specific amount of time a wheelchair user must call ahead to reserve transportation services via the transit? Is there a set time of day (for example 3:00 pm) for the cut - off time for same day services for a wheelchair user? Our transit director was told by the state DOT that we could not pick up a wheelchair user because she called after 3:00 pm. This lady had no other way to get to the clinic, except the Transit. The state DOT said she would just have to call the ambulance. We do not expect the average citizen to call an ambulance when they need to just visit a clinic. Please advise.
 
A. The section 5311 rules apply to public transit operators providing rural public transit services.  The DOT's ADA paratransit regulations at 49 CFR Part 37, subpart F, section 37.131(b)(1) require ADA paratransit operators to provide next-day trip scheduling during "normal business hours."  Itís not clear from the question whether the service in question is ADA paratransit, nor it is clear what the operator's normal business hours are (i.e., whether they close at 3 pm). 
(Revised: September 2010)