- "What is the HOP's paratransit system?
- Who is eligible to use the paratransit system?
- What disabilities qualify in determining eligibility?
- How do I apply to use the paratransit service?
- When does the paratransit system run, where does it go and how much does it cost?
- Can I have a friend ride with me?
- Who is considered a personal care attendant (PCA)?
- Now that I am certified paratransit eligible how do I reserve a trip?
- I have reserved a trip to the grocery store and it will only take 10 minutes or less. Will you wait on me?
- Or, you are taking me home and I need to run by the bank to cash a check. Will you wait?
- I have been certified eligible for paratransit service in another area and am visiting your area for a few days. Can I ride your system?
Access to mainline, fixed route transportation services is the main goal of public transportation provided by the HOP. We recognize, however, that some persons with disabilities are not able to use the fully accessible fixed route services; therefore, we provide paratransit services to eligible individuals which is comparable to the fixed route service. Paratransit services are provided on a door-to-door basis within the HOP service area.
ADA paratransit eligibility for complementary paratransit service is directly related to the inability of a person with a disability to use the existing fully accessible fixed route system. Eligibility includes those persons unable to use the fully accessible fixed route services. Federal Law defines eligibility as follows:
"Any individual with a disability who is unable, as a result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities." [49 CFR Part 37.123(e)(1)]
Individuals must be determined eligible before they can access the paratransit system.
ADA paratransit eligibility is not just based on the presence of a disability, but on the effect that the disability has on the person's ability to use the fixed route service. Several factors must be considered in determining ADA paratransit eligibility. These include:
- The applicant's disability, which may require professional verification;
- The accessibility of the fixed route system;
- Architectural barriers that, in combination with the person's disability, prevent use of the fixed route service; and
- Environmental conditions that, in combination with the person's disability, prevent use of the fixed route service.
While documentation of a particular disability or use of a mobility aid is still important, this information alone cannot be used to make an eligibility determination. Functional ability of the applicant to use fixed route transit service must be included in the assessment process. Our responsibility is to identity the relationship between a person's disability and their travel capabilities given such factors as: the accessibility of the fixed route system; the distance to and from stops/stations; environmental factors such as snow, ice, heat, cold; and natural and man-made architectural barriers such as steep terrain, lack of curb-cuts, and busy roads and/or intersections.
The HOP has a Paratransit Eligibility Certification Form that must be filled out by each individual requesting service. Individuals may request a form by calling the HOP office at 254-933-3700 ext. 5010. One will be mailed to you. The HOP has twenty-one (21) days after receipt of a completed form in which to make an eligibility determination, and rides may not be reserved until the individual is notified of eligibility. ADA paratransit eligibility may include conditions and limitations of eligibility. When an individual is certified eligible, they are issued a pass that shows the driver they are eligible to ride, and they will be informed about the necessary procedures to follow to receive transportation.
When? The paratransit system operates the same hours as the fixed route system - 6:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays, and 6:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Saturdays. Pick-ups cannot be before 6:00 a.m. and drop-offs will be no later than 6:30 p.m. weekdays and no later than 5:30 p.m. Saturdays.
How much? The paratransit service charges $2.00 per trip (one way) per individual riding. A trip is considered as being one way from origination to destination (not round trip). Paratransit service will also provide for a personal care attendant (PCA) traveling with an eligible rider if the eligible rider is approved to have a PCA. In addition to a personal care attendant, the service allows one companion accompanying the eligible rider. Other persons accompanying the rider will be accommodated on a "space Available" basis. Persons 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 will be charged the same fare as the eligible rider and PCAs ride free. When an eligible rider is reserving a trip, he/she is required to reserve the space for the companion and/or PCA otherwise space will not be available and the trip may be denied.
Yes. Any one (1) individual is guaranteed space and may accompany the eligible rider on the vehicle; i.e., family member, child, neighbor, friend, business associate, date, etc. We do not limit your choice of type of companion. You are required to reserve a space for the companion when you reserve your own ride. Additional individuals beyond the first companion are carried only on a space available basis; that is, they do not displace other ADA paratransit eligible individuals and cannot be guaranteed a ride with you. The companion fare is $2.00 per one way trip.
A personal care attendant is someone designated or employed specifically to help the eligible individual meet his or her personal needs on a "regular" basis. You may still bring a companion with you even if you have a PCA, but a companion does not count as a personal care attendant. You are required, as part of the initial eligibility certification process, to indicate whether you travel with a personal care attendant. If someone does not indicate the use of an attendant, then any individual accompanying him or her will be regarded simply as a companion and the companion must pay the $2.00 fare per trip.
To make appointments, call (254) 933-3700 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. You may also call (800) 791-9601 on Sundays and holidays between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to request or cancel a trip via a recorded message. Reservations can be made up to 13 days in advance and up through the day before your appointment.
When scheduling a trip, please provide:
- Your name
- Whether a personal care attendant (PCA) will travel with you
- Whether a guest will travel with you, including children and service animals
- Your pick-up address (building number, name and/or landmarks)
- The date you wish to travel
- The appointment address & appointment time
Trips are not provided on a one-on-one basis. Several individuals' trips are scheduled on the same vehicle at the same time for efficiency and, therefore, your desired departure time must be flexible. Schedulers may negotiate pickup times with you to begin as much as one hour before or after your desired departure time depending on vehicle availability, so, know the time you need to arrive at your destination and plan your trips in advance of calling. At the same time you reserve a trip you should reserve a return trip if one is required. We schedule all trips the day before and cannot accommodate call-ins for immediate pick-up.
I have reserved a trip to the grocery store and it will only take 10 minutes or less. Will you wait on me?
No. There are other individuals depending on our services and our vehicles cannot wait for people. You must reserve a return trip and a vehicle will be scheduled to provide your ride.
Again, no. We will take you to the bank if you have reserved a trip to the bank but the driver will not take you there without it being scheduled in advance. Again, we will not wait. It is important that you manage your trips and reserve space in advance.
I have been certified eligible for paratransit service in another area and am visiting your area for a few days. Can I ride your system?
Yes. All that is required is to present to us your "ADA paratransit eligible" certification from your local transit agency and we will provide any combination of 21 days service during any 365-day period beginning with your first use of the service during the 365-day period.