Transportation can be a significant issue if one does not drive. Some have family or friends to take them to appointments or the store. Unfortunately, not everyone has this option. Plus, transportation may be complicated for anyone with a disability, especially finding transportation that is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
Is there transportation available for anyone?
Yes! Most counties and some cities offer transportation services. The most common is public transportation, but it may not meet the needs of a person with mobility or cognitive issues. Thankfully, other programs are out there but often have qualifying factors. Of course, if someone can afford it, private transportation providers are available even for someone in a wheelchair; just let the provider know it’s a non-emergency appointment since vendors bill differently.
What are the various types of public transportation available?
Public transit – buses or rail systems
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) transport-Paratransit
Paratransit is public transportation with a twist. The Federal Transit Administration regulates paratransit providers under the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In fact, Paratransit is mandated in municipalities where there is a public transit system. Services include mobility for disabled people who cannot ride regular public transit some or all of the time. Providing ADA transportation accommodates the specific needs of their riders with flexible schedules and routing.
Who is eligible for Paratransit?
Counties set the parameters for eligibility, but generally speaking, these are the qualifying factors:
A disabled person and cannot navigate the transit system without assistance.
A person with a disability who requires an accessible vehicle when one is not available.
A disabled person and cannot reach a transit stop because of inaccessibility or a location that is too far.
What are the three types of Paratransit programs?
Unconditional eligibility (all trips) is for riders that cannot use the fixed route service under any conditions.
Conditional eligibility (some trips) is for riders who use the fixed route service in specific situations. When the origin-to-destination is too far or inaccessible, this rider may qualify for Paratransit. Since this is conditional and to avoid confusion, everyone (the rider, reservationists/schedulers, and dispatchers) should clearly understand their eligibility conditions.
Temporary eligibility (defined period of time) is for a rider who only requires Paratransit for a limited period.
Is there a website to learn about a county’s transportation options?
Yes! Each county has a website letting residents know what transportation programs are available. Provided below is a link to local bay area county’s programs: