ADA Complementary Paratransit Service Requirements

Public entities that provide fixed route services must also provide ADA complementary paratransit services for persons whose disabilities prevent them from using the fixed route system.  (ADA complementary paratransit requirements do not apply to commuter bus, commuter rail, or intercity rail service, however.)  This includes a rider’s inability to access vehicles, transit stops, or facilities, or to independently navigate through the system.  Complementary paratransit must be origin-to-destination service, providing service from a passenger's origin to the passenger's destination. 

The requirements for ADA Complementary Paratransit summarized in this toolkit include:


Readers are also advised to review the General Requirements for All Service Types section of this toolkit, as well as Chapters 8 and 9 of FTA Circular 4710.1 - Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Guidance.

Unless stated otherwise, the information in this section is based on U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) regulation 49 CFR Part 37- Transportation Services for Individuals with Disabilities (ADA), particularly Subpart F, Paratransit as a Complement to Fixed Route Service, and the FTA ADA Circular.

Click here to download a sample ADA policy template for a rural transit system that operates ADA complementary paratransit service.


General Requirements for All Service Types

Before reviewing the requirements specific to ADA Complementary Paratransit service, readers are advised to review the general requirements for all service types that are summarized in the General Requirements section of this toolkit.


Origin-to-Destination Service

Under Section 37.129, transit providers are required to provide complementary paratransit service that is “origin-to-destination.”  Transit providers can establish whether door-to-door or curb-to-curb service will be provided as the basic mode of paratransit service. If a transit agency establishes curb-to-curb as its base level of paratransit service, there may be times when the agency must offer service beyond this base level due to a passenger’s disability.  U.S. DOT, in its Origin-to-Destination Service Disability Law Guidance document, gives the following examples of when “origin-to-destination” service might be necessary:

  • The nature of a particular individual’s disability or adverse weather conditions may prevent them from negotiating the distance from the door of their home to the curb.
  • A physical barrier (e.g., sidewalk construction) may prevent a passenger from traveling between the curb and the door of their destination.

In such cases, the driver will need to provide assistance to the individual from the outside door of the residence to the vehicle.  Providing this level of service may require more time from the driver than on a base-level service stop, and because of this U.S. DOT has deemed it reasonable that transit providers ask for advance notice from any passenger in need of this assistance when the reason for the additional assistance is known in advance of the trip.  U.S. DOT also recognizes that there are certain limits to this assistance that a transit agency can establish to ensure safety for the driver and other riders.  For example, the policy might state that the driver will provide beyond-the-curb assistance as long as they can maintain sight of the vehicle, or the driver will provide assistance up to X feet from the vehicle.

To read more, please see the U.S. DOT’s full guidance document.


Service Criteria

ADA complementary paratransit service must be comparable to the fixed route bus service in terms of six service criteria specified in Section 37.131.  Note that under the ADA, paratransit functions as a “safety net” for persons whose disabilities prevent them from using the fixed route system; it is not intended to provide a comprehensive level of mobility that meets all of the travel needs of all persons with disabilities at all times. As such, the service criteria are intended to mirror the level of service provided by the fixed route system. While neither the ADA nor the U.S. DOT implementing regulations prohibit the provision of service to individuals beyond those that meet the eligibility criteria or to provide additional service beyond the minimum requirement, doing so may lead to oversubscription and overuse, and interfere with an agency’s ability to meet the basic service requirements.

The six criteria for ADA complementary paratransit are:

1. Hours and days of service – ADA complementary paratransit service must be provided on the same days and during the same hours as the fixed route service for the comparable trip. [Section 37.131(e)]

2. Service area (geographic area of service) – ADA complementary paratransit service must be provided within ¾ mile on either side of each fixed route as well as a ¾-mile radius at the end of each fixed route, and within a ¾-mile radius of rail stations.  Within the transit agency’s core service area, small areas that are surrounded by the fixed route corridors must also be served by paratransit. [Section 37.131(a)] Additional discussion on geographic coverage and rural road conditions is provided later in this section of the toolkit.

3. Response time – The transit agency must schedule and provide paratransit service to any ADA complementary paratransit eligible person at any requested time (on a particular day) in response to a request for service made the previous day (i.e., next-day service).  The transit agency must accept reservations during normal business hours on all days preceding a service day. This includes accepting reservations during general weekday business hours on Sundays for Monday service and holidays preceding service days.  Reservations may be taken by staff or by mechanical means, such as voicemail or email.  Transit agencies may use real-time, same-day scheduling as well as accepting advanced reservations [Section 37.131(b)].

4. Fare – The one-way paratransit fare may be no more than twice the full fixed route fare for a similar trip, exclusive of discounts.  A rider’s personal care attendant (PCA) may not be charged a fare.  Regardless of whether a PCA accompanies an eligible rider, at least one additional accompanying individual must be permitted to board and can be required to pay the same fare as the rider; additional companions may accompany the ADA-eligible customer on a space-available basis) [Section 37.131(c)].

5. Trip purpose – There may be no restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose.  Service must be provided regardless of the nature of the trip [Section 37.131(d)].

6. Capacity constraints – Entities must plan, budget, and implement their paratransit systems to meet all of the anticipated demand.  The transit agency must have enough paratransit vehicles, drivers, reservations staff, and reservations capacity available to ensure that eligible demand for service does not exceed supply of service on a regular basis. Constraints on capacity are prohibited [Section 37.131(f)]. A transit agency cannot limit the availability of complementary paratransit to eligible riders through waiting lists, significantly late trips or other specific practices that result in limiting service.  These are described below.


Prohibited Capacity Constraints

As noted above, one of the six service criteria for complementary paratransit is a prohibition against capacity constraints.  With respect to ADA complementary paratransit, capacity generally refers to the ability the transit agency to meet the demand for eligible passenger trips by eligible individuals.  Limited vehicles and drivers operating during times of peak demand may create prohibited capacity constraints at specific times of day.  Entities must also have sufficient telephone lines and reservations staff available to accept reservations during peak calling times.

Section 31.131(f) prohibits limiting the availability of complementary paratransit service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals by any of the following:

  • Restrictions on the number of trips an individual will be provided (for example, no more than four trips per day)
  • Waiting lists for access to the service (for example, placing callers’ names on a list when the schedules are full and informing them they will be contacted if space becomes available, or telling callers to call back at a later time to see if space becomes available)
  • Any operational pattern or practice that significantly limits the availability of service to ADA paratransit eligible persons.  Examples of such operational patterns or practices include substantial numbers of:
    • Significantly untimely trip pickups (either early or late –Chapter 8, Section 8.5.3 of the FTA ADA Circular provides in-depth guidance on how to determine untimely service.)
    • Trip denials (including trips that cannot be scheduled within one hour of the requested pick-up time, as discussed later under Negotiating Trip Times)
    • Missed trips (trips that are scheduled, but do not take place due to a fault of the transit agency)
    • Trips with excessive trip lengths (time on board the vehicle in comparison to the length of a similar trip using the fixed route system –Under Section 8.5.5 of the FTA ADA Circular, FTA notes that transit agencies may consider all elements of fixed route trips between origins and destinations when determining comparability in paratransit travel time, including time spent walking to and from a bus stop, waiting for the bus to arrive, and making any necessary transfers from one vehicle to another. There are no federal regulations or guidance specifying how many minutes are comparable for walking, waiting, and transfering. Transit agencies should determine trip length comparability based on what would be involved to complete a trip using fixed route on a case-by-case basis. A transit agency could establish a local policy on comparable ride time for ADA complementary paratransit service that specifies that for trips taking x minutes to complete using fixed route, factoring in y minutes for time spent walking to and from a bus stop, waiting for the bus to arrive, and making any necessary transfers from one vehicle to another, a rider could expect an ADA complementary paratransit trip to take no more than z minutes. Agencies should contact the Regional Civil Rights Officer at their FTA Regional Office or the FTA Office of Civil Rights for further guidance.

Other indicators of limited service availability as discussed in Section 8.5.6 of the FTA ADA Circular include:

  • Untimely drop-offs
  • Poor telephone performance, such as busy signals or excessively long hold times for trip reservations

For these issues, it is important to note that the prohibition is against a “pattern or practice” which involves regular or repeated actions, not isolated, accidental, or singular incidents.  As stated in Appendix D to 49 CFR Part 37, a missed trip, late arrival, or trip denial occasionally does not trigger this provision.  Additionally, operational problems outside the control of the transit agency do not count as part of a pattern or practice under this provision. For example, if the vehicle is involved in an accident on the way to pick up a passenger, the late arrival would not count as part of a pattern or practice. However, a failure to account for regularly-occurring traffic congestion in operations planning could constitute a capacity constraint. Refer to Section 8.5 of the FTA ADA Circular for detailed discussion on capacity constraints on ADA complementary paratransit.



A transit agency that is required to provide ADA complementary paratransit is also required to have an eligibility determination process that limits eligibility for ADA complementary paratransit service to individuals whose disability prevents them from using the fixed route system [Section 37.125(a)].  Eligibility for paratransit is to be based on an individual’s functional ability, specifically whether they are able to use the fixed route system independently. It is not intended to be based on a medical diagnosis or type of disability.

Eligibility Categories

The regulations require that ADA complementary paratransit be provided to the following categories of individuals:

  • A person with a disability who cannot navigate the transit system without assistance. Referred to by the FTA as Eligibility Category 1, an individual under this category is unable, as the result of a disability, 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 [Section 37.123(e)(1)].  Examples of individuals who would qualify under this category include those with intellectual, cognitive, vision, or psychiatric disabilities who cannot independently navigate the fixed route system for some or all of their trips.
  • A person with a disability who requires an accessible vehicle when one is not available. Referred to by the FTA as Eligibility Category 2, an individual under this category needs the assistance of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device and is able to use accessible fixed route service, but the available fixed route service is not accessible [Section 37.123(e)(2)]. Eligibility under this category is necessary when accessible vehicles are not being used to provide service on the fixed bus route the individual wishes to use, or if a boarding or disembarking location (i.e., bus stop) is inaccessible and the lift or ramp cannot be deployed there (more information is available in the Vehicle and Facility Accessibility section of this toolkit).
  • A person with a disability who is unable to reach the transit stop. Referred to by the FTA as Eligibility Category 3, an individual under this category has a specific impairment-related condition which prevents the individual from traveling to or from a bus stop in the fixed route system [Section 37.123(e)(3)].  The individual’s specific impairment-related condition is a key factor.  For example, for an individual who uses a wheelchair, a lack of sidewalks or barriers along the sidewalk (such as lack of curb ramps, or an object constraining the width of a sidewalk so as to be impassable) may prevent them from being able to travel to a bus stop.  An individual who is unable to be outside in temperature extremes due to their disability may be prevented from traveling to a bus stop during those times of extreme temperatures.  An individual with a vision disability may be unable to cross a complex intersection in order to get to or from a bus stop.

Types of Eligibility Given to Individuals

As described in Section 9.3 of the FTA ADA Circular transit agencies can grant the following types of eligibility to individuals:

  • Unconditional Eligibility – An individual who is unable to use fixed route transit services under any circumstances requires unconditional eligibility, allowing the individual to make all trips using complementary paratransit.
  • Conditional Eligibility – An individual may be able to use the fixed route system for some trips.  Transit agencies can establish conditional eligibility for those individuals, and would only be obligated to provide complementary paratransit for those trips that the individuals cannot make using fixed route, based on the conditions of the particular trip [Section 37.123(b)]. 
  • Temporary Eligibility – Temporary eligibility, for a defined period of time, can be granted to individuals who experience a temporary loss of functional ability that prevents them from using fixed route service [Section 37.123(c)].  For example, an individual may need to undergo two months of treatment for a health condition, resulting in severe fatigue that prevents use of the fixed route service for the duration of the treatment.

Eligibility Determination

Establishing and following an ADA complementary paratransit eligibility process that strictly limits eligibility to those individuals in Categories 1, 2 and 3 is key to ensuring that paratransit service is available for those who have a civil right to the service in accordance with the ADA.  Transit managers are encouraged to read Chapter 9 of the FTA ADA Circular and Sections 37.123-127 of Part 37 carefully, and to consult the resources on ADA complementary paratransit eligibility that are listed at the end of this section.  Attachment 9-1 of the FTA ADA Circular provides a sample task list to be considered when assessing abilities to use fixed route transit. Key points about ADA eligibility criteria and the eligibility determination process are discussed below. 

Careful determination of eligibility for ADA complementary paratransit service is a legal requirement and can be an effective way to ensure that paratransit service is available for those who are entitled to it. Appropriate use of conditional eligibility can be particularly effective.  

A transit provider may apply the conditions of an individual’s eligibility to each trip request they make. Conditional eligibility, if implemented properly, helps to manage demand by identifying trips that can be made reasonably on the fixed route system, while preserving the individual’s eligibility for paratransit service when their functional ability makes it necessary.  

An example of this is when a person who uses a wheelchair may be able to reach the transit stop and use the accessible fixed route service on their own during mild weather.  However, they may not be able to reach the transit stop when the sidewalks are covered in snow or ice. On those occasions, they are eligible to use the ADA complementary paratransit service, but on days when the path to the transit stop is clear and accessible, the individual should use the accessible fixed route service. Reservationists should be aware of the exact type of service the individual is eligible for when receiving requests.

To assist both the reservationist and the rider, conditions for the paratransit eligibility should be clearly defined.  In our example above, it is better to state the exact conditions when the rider is unable to travel to the transit stop (when there is ice/snow on the sidewalks) rather than simply saying they are eligible “during the winter months” or “during bad weather.”  There are many days during the winter when there is no snow/ice on the ground, and the description “bad weather” is too vague.  Clearly defining conditional eligibility is the most effective way to manage demand and ensure that riders who need paratransit are being served.  The DREDF Topic Guide on Eligibility for ADA Paratransit offers practical guidance on incorporating conditional eligibility into daily operations.

Eligibility Determination Process

While many transit systems use paper forms to collect applicants’ information to determine eligibility, systems are increasingly moving to more personal, hands-on approaches.  These approaches include phone or in-person interviews, functional assessments, or both.  Section 37.125(g) of Part 37 requires the following elements for an ADA paratransit eligibility determination process:

  • If a rider makes the request, the transit agency must provide all information about the process, materials necessary to apply for eligibility, and notices and determinations concerning eligibility in accessible formats.
  • If, by a date 21 days following the submission of a complete application, the transit agency has not made a determination of eligibility, the applicant must be treated as eligible and provided service until and unless the application is denied.
  • The determination concerning the eligibility must be put in writing.  If the determination is that the individual is ineligible, the determination must state the reasons for the finding.  Sample letters are provided as attachments to Chapter 9 of the FTA ADA Circular.
  • Because this is a civil rights issue, there must be a system in place by which a rider can appeal any decisions that are made concerning eligibility.  Eligibility appeals must be handled by someone who did not make the original decision.  Written appeals cannot be required (though a declaration of intent to appeal can be required to be written), and an opportunity to be heard must be part of the appeals process.  A sample Appeal Request Form is provided as an attachment to Chapter 9 of the FTA ADA Circular.

For more information about the eligibility process, please see the following resources:

Service to Visitors

ADA complementary paratransit service must be made available to visitors on the same basis as it is provided to eligible riders. “On the same basis” means under all the same conditions, service criteria, etc., without distinction. For the period of a visit (and at least 21 days in any 365 day period, per 49 CFR Section 37127(e)) , the visitor is treated exactly like an eligible local user, without any higher priority being given to either.

Visitors can provide documentation in one of two ways. The first is to present documentation from his or her “home” jurisdiction's paratransit system. The local provider will give “full faith and credit” to the visitor’s ID card or other documentation from the other entity. If the individual has no such documentation, the local provider may require the provision of proof of visitor status (i.e., proof of residence somewhere else) and, if the individual's disability is not apparent, proof of the disability (e.g., a letter from a doctor or rehabilitation professional). Once this documentation is presented and is satisfactory, the local provider will make service available on the basis of the individual's statement that he or she is unable to use the fixed route transit system.

Transit agencies must accept this documentation directly from the individual and not require that the documentation be provided directly from the individual’s home transit agency.

FTA expects the process of entering the visitor into a transit agency’s paratransit system to be completed the same day, or not more than one day later. The ADA complementary paratransit service provided to visitors must be provided on the same basis as the service provided to local residents.

Additional details on requirements related to service for visitors can be found in Section 9.9 of the FTA ADA Circular.


Other ADA Complementary Paratransit Operational Requirements and Considerations

Geographic Coverage and Rural Road Conditions

The first of the six service criteria for ADA complementary paratransit is geographic coverage. As noted above, the regulations require that complementary paratransit service be provided within ¾ mile on either side of each fixed route as well as a ¾ mile radius at the end of each fixed route, and that within the transit agency’s core service area, small areas that are surrounded by the fixed route corridors must also be served by paratransit. [Section 37.131(a)]

Rural transit agencies may face challenges in covering the ¾ mile radius to serve ADA complementary paratransit eligible passengers living on unpaved or poorly maintained roads, particularly when weather conditions, flooding, or other environmental conditions can make such roads impassable or very difficult to use.  If current road conditions present a direct threat to the health or safety of others (passengers, staff), the transit agency can deny service to locations on the unsafe road. 

Appendix E to 49 CFR Part 37 provides U.S. DOT guidance on reasonable modification requests. In this appendix, under Example 17 (Exposing Vehicle to Hazards), the U.S. DOT states that, if the passenger requests that a vehicle follow a path to a pick up or drop off point that would expose the vehicle and its occupants to hazards, such as running off the road, getting stuck, striking overhead objects, or reversing the vehicle down a narrow alley, the request can be denied as creating a direct threat.  Example 18 (Hard-to-Maneuver Stops) states that a paratransit passenger's request to be picked up in a location that is difficult, but not impossible or impracticable, to access should generally be granted as long as picking up the passenger does not expose the vehicle to hazards that pose a direct threat (e.g., it is unsafe for the vehicle and its occupants to get to the pick-up point without getting stuck or running off the road).A transit agency that operates fixed routes within 3/4-mile of roads that are unpaved, poorly maintained, or subject to environmental concerns such as flooding, may wish to conduct a home visit with a roadway assessment for each new ADA complementary paratransit passenger living on such roads, and advise the passenger how roadway conditions will impact the transit agency’s ability to access the passenger’s home. 

Each passenger’s situation (and each road involved) should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, the transit agency may be able to work with the rider to identify a workaround, such as alternative routing. The transit agency may wish to consult with its legal counsel before making any service-related decisions.

Negotiating Trip Times

Under 49 CFR 37.131(b)(2), the transit agency may negotiate pickup times with an eligible paratransit rider; they may not, however, require any eligible passenger to schedule a trip for more than one hour before or after their desired trip time.

Section 8.4.5 of the FTA ADA Circular notes that this negotiation window is also subject to the rider’s practical travel needs. For example, riders may end their workday at 4 p.m. and request a 4 p.m. pickup. In this case it would not be appropriate to offer a pickup time that is earlier than 4 p.m. because the rider would still be working. However, offering a pickup any time between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. would be appropriate and consistent with the negotiation requirement.  Similarly, it would be inappropriate to schedule a trip that would require a rider to arrive late for their job.

If the transit agency is unable to schedule or negotiate a requested trip time within the allowable window under 49 CFR Section 37.131(b)(2), this would constitute a trip denial, even if the rider accepts a trip that is beyond the negotiation window.

For an in-depth discussion and guidance on negotiating ADA complementary paratransit trip times, see Section 8.4.5 of the FTA ADA Circular.

Rider No-Shows

Transit agencies are permitted to establish a process to temporarily suspend service, for a reasonable period of time, to individuals who establish a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips.  For purposes of determining whether such a pattern or practice exists, the transit agency cannot include trips missed due to circumstances beyond the rider’s control (for example, a sudden family emergency, a turn for the worse, a failure of mobility equipment, or the unexpected absence of a PCA). As a matter of policy, FTA permits transit agencies to regard late cancellations as no-shows for trips that are cancelled less than one or two hours before the scheduled pick-up time, subject to the same provisions.

Before imposing a suspension, the transit agency must establish that a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips exists. For example, for a rider who travels by ADA complementary paratransit to and from work every day, three no-shows in a month would not constitute a “pattern or practice” of no-shows.  

To establish whether a rider has exhibited a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips, agencies must consider both the number and frequency of no-shows before imposing any suspension of service. This means that you should not have a policy that applies a suspension for a set, absolute number of no-shows.

Instead, the FTA recommends that a transit agency establish a two-step process for determining whether a pattern or practice exists. The first step establishes a threshold at which point you would look in more detail at a rider’s trip and no-show history. This threshold would be a set number, for example, 4 or 5 no-shows.  The second step would then review that rider’s trips and no-shows and see if the number of no-shows exceeded a defined percentage, for example, 10% to 20% of the rider’s total scheduled trips that month.

Transit agencies should review Section 9.12.2 the FTA ADA Circular as well as the DREDF Topic Guide on No-Shows in ADA Paratransit. The Topic Guide is particularly helpful, including a section titled “Not Difficult to Administer.”  The FTA ADA Circular provides a sample no-show policy as Attachment 9-4.


Under 49 CFR Section 37.125(h), riders may only be suspended for a reasonable period of time. A rider who is facing a possible suspension for violating the no-show policy must be notified in writing about that possibility (including the specific basis for the suspension and the proposed sanction) and given an opportunity to appeal.  The appeals process must provide the individual an opportunity to be heard and to present information and arguments in person, consistent with the appeal process that is needed for the eligibility determination process. As described in Section 9.7 of the FTA ADA Circular, there must be a separation of function, and the transit agency must make a decision within 30 days of the completion of the appeal process or reinstate service until and unless the appeal is denied. Information on the process for suspension is provided in the FTA ADA Circular, Chapter 9, Section 9.12.3.  Importantly, the length of suspension should begin with a relatively short amount of time (for example, one week).  Subsequent suspensions for a rider with continued violation of the no-show policy can be longer.  Note that the FTA considers any suspension period longer than 30 days to be excessive.

Demand Response Service and ADA Complementary Paratransit

ADA complementary paratransit can be provided in conjunction with other demand response services, such as dial-a-ride service for the general public. If a transit agency provides fixed route and ADA complementary paratransit, as well as other demand response service, the agency can operate both the demand response and paratransit together. However, for those passengers and trips that qualify for the ADA complementary paratransit, compliance is necessary with the specific requirements for ADA complementary paratransit under 49 CFR Part 37 Subpart F.


Planning Paratransit Service and Ongoing Consultation with People with Disabilities

A Paratransit Plan Is Needed if New Fixed Route Service Is Implemented

If a transit agency decides to implement a new fixed route service when there was none before, the agency will need to prepare a Complementary Paratransit Plan (see Section 8.8 of the FTA ADA Circular).  The specifics of what needs to be included in the plan are provided in 49 CFR Part 37, Section 37.139.  The plan must describe how ADA complementary paratransit will be provided to complement the new fixed route service [Section 37.139(d)] and that the planning process included an opportunity for public comment and consultation with people with disabilities [Section 37.139(f)].

Ongoing Consultation with People with Disabilities

U.S. DOT regulations require that transit agencies have an “ongoing mechanism” that provides for the participation of people with disabilities in the continued development and assessment of services [37.137(c)]. Typically, this involves an ongoing committee or advisory group that includes members with disabilities. It may also include periodic meetings or workshops.  A transit agency must perform this consultation when the agency is considering changes or revisions to its ADA complementary paratransit service. For example, if a transit agency is considering a reduction in the advance reservation time period from 14 days to 7 days, it is important that this change be discussed with the committee or group representing people with disabilities.  This consultation is especially important if the changes or revisions would result in reductions in service. Section 8.9 of the FTA ADA Circular provides additional information about the consultation requirement.


Facilitating Use of Fixed Route Service when Possible

As noted in TCRP Report 163: Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities, a main tenet of Title II of the ADA is to provide public services in the most integrated setting possible—to make mainstream fixed route service systems accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Increased use of fixed route transit service (rather than ADA complementary paratransit) benefits both people with disabilities and transit agencies. For riders, fixed route service can be spontaneous and typically has lower fares.  Transit agencies can provide trips on fixed route transit for a significantly lower cost than on ADA complementary paratransit.

The following are some strategies that go beyond the minimum ADA requirements that rural transit agencies may want to try.

  • In communities where securement areas on fixed route are frequently full:
    • When procuring larger fixed route vehicles, consider procuring more than two wheelchair securement areas per vehicle
    • When procuring smaller vehicles, consider procurement of full-length securement tracking, allowing drivers to fold up seats and secure wheelchairs anywhere on the vehicle
  • To reduce the demand for complementary paratransit by individuals who can’t get to a bus stop of on a vehicle due to physical barriers in the environment:
    • Make bus stops accessible
    • Make sidewalks and pedestrian pathways connecting bus stops accessible
  • To increase community awareness about fixed route transit accessibility:
    • Promote accessible fixed route transit through targeted marketing, brochures, and outreach
    • Provide trip planning assistance with accessibility information (including whether or not each bus stop is accessible)
    • Provide travel training services
  • To encourage individuals to use fixed route whenever possible:
    • Emphasize abilities and travel options rather than limitations.
    • Conduct in-person functional assessments of ability, apply conditional (trip-by-trip) eligibility for ADA complementary paratransit and identify when fixed route transit can be used. 
    • Allow people who have been certified as eligible for ADA complementary paratransit for some trips (conditionally eligible) to ride fixed route for free

TCRP Report 163 provides extensive information on potential strategies to increase fixed route ridership by people with disabilities.


Section Sources

Updated June 17, 2020