Eligibility for paratransit service is based upon a person’s functional inability to use the fixed route TART bus service. Three categories of persons who are eligible for paratransit are established by the ADA.
Any person who is unable, because of a disability, to independently board, ride and/or disembark from a lift equipped bus. This includes persons who are unable to “navigate” the TART or PCT fixed route system without the assistance of another person.
For example, individual is unable to:
- board or disembark from an accessible vehicle without
- maintain balance while seated on a moving bus
- identify correct bus or stop
- understand transfer directions needed to complete the trip
Any person with a disability who is able to use a lift or ramp equipped bus, but for whom any desired trip cannot be made because the bus stop he/she wants to use is not accessible without potential damage to the lift or temporary conditions beyond the carrier’s control.
*This is a transitional category. All TART buses are accessible. When all stops are accessible, persons in this category will no longer be eligible for paratransit services.
Any person with a disability who has a specific impairment-related condition which prevents him/her from traveling to or from a boarding or disembarking location.
- Only a specific impairment-related condition which prevents the individual from traveling to or from a bus stop is a basis for eligibility under this category. A condition which makes traveling to or from a bus stop difficult, but does not prevent the travel, is not a basis for eligibility under this paragraph.
- Architectural barriers not under the control of TART and environmental barriers (e.g. distance, terrain, weather) do not alone form a basis for eligibility. However, the interaction of such barriers with an individual’s impairment-related condition may form a basis for eligibility if the effect is to prevent the individual from traveling to or from a bus stop.
Eligibility under Category 3 may be situational under the following conditions:
- Extreme weather conditions interact with an impairment-related condition
- Variations in the health/functional ability of the individual
- Visual, cognitive, or developmental disability prevents travel to or from a stop for exceptional trip
Some people with disabilities may be able to use fixed route TART bus service under certain conditions, but not under others. Eligibility for paratransit for some individuals will be determined on a trip-by-trip basis. Examples of conditional eligibility under each eligibility category are as follows:
Category 1: A person with a cognitive disability or blindness may have received mobility training which allows him/her to travel independently to a work site, but is not able to “navigate” the system to travel to other locations. This person will be eligible for paratransit only for the trips other than work.
Category 2: A person who requires the lift or ramp to board the bus and who’s desired destination is served by accessible service is not eligible for paratransit for that particular trip. However, if that person desires to travel to a destination that is not accessible by accessible buses, he/she will be eligible for paratransit.
Category 3: A person who uses a wheelchair who can travel to the bus stop in good weather, but is unable to maneuver with snow on the ground, would be eligible only on days of severe weather conditions.
A person with a temporary disability will be eligible for paratransit service if the disability results in his/her functional inability to use the TART bus system as described in the three eligibility categories.
Personal Care Attendants
A personal care attendant who is accompanying a passenger who requires assistance may travel free. The attendant must complete and submit a registration form.
Persons visiting the TART or PCT service area who provide documentation of ADA paratransit eligibility from another area will automatically be eligible for paratransit service. Persons who do not possess documentation, but claim their disability prevents them from using the TART fixed route bus system, will be considered “presumptively” eligible for a period not to exceed 21 days. If the individual plans to remain in the area longer, he/she must go through the eligibility process which has been established for residents.
Right to Appeal
Persons who are denied eligibility for paratransit services have the right to appeal the decision. A request for appeal must be filed in writing within 60 days of the denial of the application. The appeal will be heard by: 1) The Transit Manager, or 2) The Director of DPW or their designee. A copy of the appeals process is available for public inspection by calling (530) 550-1212 for TART during regular business hours.
Eligibility Appeals Process
If a person is denied eligibility he/she may appeal the denial by:
- Filing an appeal in writing within 60 days of the denial
- Presenting information during a scheduled hearing. The appeal will be heard by the Transit Manager or designee. The applicant will be notified in writing of the final decision within 30 days of the hearing.