PARATRANSIT SERVICE INFORMATION & ELIGIBILITY

Note: You must fill out an application and medical evaluation in full to be considered for paratransit services.

Regulatory Definition:

Eligibility for On-Demand 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.

  1. 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.)

2. 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.

3. 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.

On-Demand Paratransit service is provided within ¾ miles of, and during similar hours as, GET’s regular fixed-route service. On-Demand Paratransit  service and scheduling guidelines include scheduling trips 1 to 7 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.

1830 Golden State Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: 661-869-2438
www.getbus.org

On-Demand Paratransit Fares

The standard fare ($3.00) 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.

Eligibility

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.

  • 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.

 

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:

  • Age
  • Distance
  • Overcrowded buses
  • Weather conditions
  • Lack of bus service to an area

On-Demand Paratransit eligibility may be granted for up to 3 years. Customers wishing to continue On-Demand Paratransit service must reapply and complete the eligibility process prior to their eligibility expiration date in order to prevent a lapse in On-Demand Paratransit service.

Mobility Devices

On-Demand Paratransit 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 On-Demand Paratransit. 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. On-Demand Paratransit 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.