PARATRANSIT SERVICE INFORMATION & ELIGIBILITY
Eligibility for GET-A-Lift paratransit service is directly related to the inability of a person with a disability to use the existing fixed-route service. The regulations describe three specific circumstances under which a person would be considered ADA paratransit eligible.
An individual who is unable, as the result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), without the assistance of another person (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride or disembark from an accessible bus. A person who is unable to “navigate” the system (e.g., recognize & board the correct vehicle, having available the correct fare/and or using the fare collection system, recognize destination, and understanding transfers that might have to be made.)
Any individual who could use the fixed-route service, but cannot because the fixed-route he/she wants to ride is not wheelchair lift-equipped. When all fixed-route buses are accessible, eligibility will not be granted under this category. GET’s fleet is 100 percent accessible. This condition would apply when an individual travels outside of GET’s service area as a visitor.
A person whose disability interacts with the environment to prevent travel to or from a bus stop. Distance to or from the stop alone does not make a person eligible. Also, the lack of fixed-route service or inconvenient bus schedules is not a basis for eligibility.
GET-A-Lift service is provided within ¾ miles of, and during similar hours as, GET’s regular fixed-route service. GET-A-Lift service and scheduling guidelines include scheduling trips 1 to 14 days ahead of the requested date, picking up customers within a quoted 30-minute pick-up window and ride times generally not exceeding 90 minutes for each trip.
Types of Eligibility
Unconditional eligibility – an individual who can never use the fixed-route service independently.
Conditional eligibility – an individual who can use the fixed-route service under certain circumstances. Feeder service will be provided.
Temporary eligibility (conditional or unconditional) – an individual whose disability prevents the use of the fixed-route service during a designated time period.
Visitors – A visitor, a person who is paratransit eligible in another jurisdiction is automatically eligible and the host transit agency must provide up to 21 days of paratransit service. Visitors with disabilities who are not certified by another transit provider, but whose disability is visually apparent, are automatically eligible for visitor’s status up to 21 days of paratransit service. Visitors with disabilities that are not apparent through visual observation will be asked to provide documentation as proof of their disabilities prior to being granted eligibility. The District reserves the right to ask for proof of residency for a visitor who is not paratransit eligible in another jurisdiction. The “21 days” of service that shall be provided to visitors with disabilities are to be calculated as any combination of 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor’s first use of service
Companions – A companion is a family member, friend, or business associate who is riding along with the individual with a disability but is not providing personal care services. In addition to a personal care attendant (PCA), the agency must provide space for one companion accompanying an eligible rider. Other additional people accompanying the rider will be accommodated on a “space available” basis. People are considered to be accompanying the eligible rider if they are picked up and dropped off at the same locations as the eligible rider. Companions must be charged the same fare as the eligible rider and PCA’s must ride free.
When you schedule trips, you will need to inform the reservationist that you will be traveling with a companion.
Eligibility is determined by 3 factors:
Individual’s ability to get to/from the bus stop.
Individual’s ability to board/exit the bus.
Individual’s cognitive ability to navigate the regular bus system.
ADA Eligibility Objective:
Eligibility is not based on the disability, but rather the functional inability of a disabled person to use the fixed route service.
To determine when and under what circumstances an individual can and cannot use the fixed-route service.
Paratransit eligibility is not based on a medical decision.
Objectively identify functional ability.
GET-A-Lift vehicles are designed to accommodate mobility aids that are up to 48 inches in length, up to 30 inches wide, and which, together with the passenger, weigh up to 600 pounds. These size limits are consistent with federal ADA regulations and the “common wheelchair” definition ( 49 C.F.R. Section 37.3 2001). Not all wheelchairs and mobility aids will fit on a fixed route bus or GET-A-Lift. While the accessibility standards for buses are designed to accommodate the majority of power and manual wheelchairs and mobility aids, there will be some that are too large or heavy to fit. GET-A-Lift will carry a wheelchair and occupants if: the lift and the vehicle can physically accommodate them, can be boarded and de-boarded safely, does not block the aisles, unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.
The applicant’s disability and how it affects their functional ability to use the regular bus service is the only criterion used in determining eligibility. Operational issues are not considered in the eligibility process. These are issues that affect any individual, whether they suffer from a disability or not. Operational issues not used to determine eligibility, include:
Lack of bus service to an area
GET-A-Lift eligibility may be granted for up to 3 years. Customers wishing to continue GET-A-Lift service must reapply and complete the eligibility process prior to their eligibility expiration date in order to prevent a lapse in GET-A-Lift service.
What Types of Trips can be taken on GET-A-Lift?
GET-A-Lift can be used for the majority of your transportation needs, this includes:
- Medical Appointments
The standard fare is per passenger for each one-way trip within GET’s service area. This amount is for a ONE-WAY ride. If you book a round trip, remember to calculate the amount for both ways.
The entire assessment process may take up to one hour. The certification process consists of a completed application and a one-hour in-person functional assessment. If using a mobility device please bring the device to the interview; we also encourage you to bring any medical documentation that may assist in determining your eligibility. GET-A-Lift service may be made available to and from the in-person functional assessment upon request; standard GET-A-Lift fares and scheduling guidelines apply (see page 1). Photo ID is needed to verify customer’s identification for the in-person assessment. Applicants are notified by mail regarding their eligibility determination. If you become eligible for the GET-A-Lift service, you will receive a GET-A-Lift identification number and a Rider’s Guide describing the GET-A-Lift service and booking process in more detail. Eligible customers will receive a customer identification card that includes the customer’s photo.
For additional information or to apply for ADA paratransit service, please contact the GET-A-Lift Eligibility Office at 661-869-6347 or download the application.