Paratransit

A detailed guide describing the Marin Access Paratransit service can be found under Paratransit Rider’s Guide by clicking here.

What Is ADA Paratransit Service?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into federal law in 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in the areas of employment, public services such as transit, public accommodations, private services, and telecommunications. The ADA requires all public transit operators to provide a special service to eligible disabled and elderly individuals whose disabilities prevent them from using lift-equipped public transit. The special service, called “paratransit service,” is required by the ADA to complement fixed route public transit service. For this reason, it operates at similar times and in similar areas (defined by the ADA as a minimum of three-quarters of a mile on either side) of existing public fixed route transit, non-commute bus and van routes. The ADA also requires transit operators to establish specific eligibility criteria for users of paratransit service and requires there be no trip priorities (e.g. medical versus recreation) on ADA paratransit services.

Who Is Responsible for Providing ADA Paratransit?

Marin Transit is responsible for provision of Marin local public paratransit service to complement local fixed route bus and van service in Marin County. Golden Gate Transit is responsible for provision of public paratransit services (primarily intercounty service that crosses county lines) to complement its regional fixed route bus service that operates between Marin, Sonoma, and San Francisco counties. Golden Gate Transit also provides intercounty paratransit service to western Contra Costa County, as a complement to regional Route 40/42 serving Richmond and El Cerrito.

Is Paratransit a Shared-Ride Service?

The Marin Access ADA paratransit service is considered a shared ride system. Other passengers may be on board during transit to a passenger’s destination. Your scheduled pick-up times or route of travel may be altered so another passenger can be accommodated. The vehicle may stop and pick up other riders as it proceeds to your destination. Shared rides lower the cost of paratransit service by increasing system productivity. Marin Access Paratransit schedulers may ask you to accept trip reservation times that are different from your original requested pick-up time. Your reservation time may be moved up to an hour earlier or later than you requested. We ask that you be flexible. By changing your time, more passengers can be served.

How Much Will It Cost?

 

Local Fares

The one-way fare for travel within the paratransit service area within Marin County is an exact fare of $2.00 (cash or ticket) payable at time of boarding.

Drivers do not sell ticket booklets or carry change.

For trips outside the service area (but remaining within Marin County) the one-way fare is $2.50.  These trips are considered “extended” trips (see Service Area page 16).

“Will-call” trips (a local trip where the passenger is not ready for his/her scheduled pick-up and calls to have Marin Access send out a second vehicle) are also subject to the $2.50 fare.

Intercounty Fares / Zones

One-way intercounty paratransit fares are based on a system of zones.  The exact fare depends upon the length of the trip and the fare zone (zones 1 – 6) in which it begins and ends.  These zones are the same ones used by Golden Gate Transit for their regional fixed-route transit fares.

What Door-to-Door Paratransit Services Are Provided?

  1. Loading and unloading of passengers to and from the vehicle.
  2. Escorting passengers to and from the front door of the primary building upon arrival at both origin and destination with the following limitations:
    1. Drivers cannot cross the threshold of homes or apartments to interior areas within living accommodations.
    2. Drivers cannot leave the line of sight of a vehicle or leave a vehicle unsupervised with passengers aboard.
    3. Drivers cannot assist passengers in wheelchairs or other mobility devices up more than one stair.
    4. Assisting with carrying personal articles not exceeding four bags, with no bag over 20 pounds. Personal articles such as small suitcases may be transported but are limited to only those items weighing no more than 20 lbs that can be safely stored under passenger’s seat. Packages and items exceeding these weight and size limits will not be transported.
    5. Ensuring passenger has crossed the threshold of the front street door of his/her drop-off site. The Marin Access Paratransit driver has completed his/her service responsibilities once assured the passenger has crossed the threshold of the drop-off site.

    Passengers with special needs requiring greater assistance are encouraged to bring an attendant and/or discuss their needs with a Marin Access Paratransit supervisor. There is no additional fare for an attendant or personal services assistant.

    Who Is Eligible for Marin Access Paratransit Service?

    In order to receive service, all paratransit passengers must be ADA-certified by completing a Bay Area Regional Paratransit Eligibility application form and qualifying under one or more of the following ADA eligibility criteria:

    1. You are unable to independently board, ride, or exit an accessible Golden Gate Transit bus, Marin Transit fixed route van, or similar transit vehicle because of your disability.
    2. You are able to independently board, ride, and exit an accessible bus, but accessible bus or van equipment has not been assigned to your route, or a Golden Gate Transit bus or Marin Transit van lift cannot be deployed at your stop. (Please note: All Golden Gate Transit buses and Marin Transit vans are lift-equipped.)
    3. You are unable to travel to or from a transit stop because of your disability.

    Passengers may be considered fully or conditionally eligible under

    Categories 1, 2, or 3 depending on their disability or the equipment assigned to their route. Conditionally eligible passengers include passengers who are eligible for paratransit only when certain conditions exist (e.g., wet weather, cold temperatures, darkness), the passengers can use the bus for only a portion of their trip, or they have a temporary disability. Conditionally eligible passengers are required to use fixed route service whenever conditions permit. At some point, consumers capable of using the bus may be found eligible for a paratransit trip to and from a bus transfer point rather than for the entire trip. This long-term goal of cooperation between the fixed route and paratransit systems furthers the ability of the paratransit program to meet its responsibilities under the ADA.

    ADA-eligible visitors from outside the Bay Area may also use paratransit service. Visitors will be eligible for any combination of 21 days of service during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor’s first use of Bay Area paratransit service.

    How Do I Become Certified for Paratransit Service?

    To determine your eligibility for ADA paratransit services, contact the local provider in the area where you live. You will be provided with a regional ADA Paratransit Application Form to complete and return.

    If your local public paratransit provider finds you ADA eligible, you will receive a letter informing you of this determination and outlining any conditions of eligibility. This information will be entered into the regional ADA paratransit database and you will then be certified eligible to use Marin local, Golden Gate Transit intercounty, and other public paratransit services throughout the Bay Area (subject to any conditions). Recertification of eligibility is currently required every three years (less with a temporary disability). If you are found ineligible or you object to the conditions of your eligibility, each local Bay Area paratransit provider has an appeals process.

In Marin County eligibility for Paratransit is handled through Marin Access’s Travel Navigators at 415.454.0902

Is There Assistance for Low Income Riders?

Marin Transit is pleased to be able to offer a Paratransit Fare Assistance Program for ADA eligible riders currently receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income).  Funded by Marin County’s Measure B (vehicle registration fee), this program currently provides eligible clients with 20 rides within Marin County per quarter free of charge . For more information about this program please contact a Travel Navigator at 415.454.0902.

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