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ADA Complementary Paratransit Rider Guide

 

ADA Paratransit Service is for customers who have a disability that prevents them from making some or all of their trips on fixed-route buses, CAT offers a shared-ride, origin-to-destination service called ADA Paratransit service.

This service is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). ADA Paratransit service must be reserved in advance by calling our transportation call center from one to five working days in advance of a requested trip. CAT ADA Paratransit vehicles are small buses equipped with lifts and mobility device securement apparatus. ADA Paratransitservice operates up to ¾ of a mile on either side of CAT’s fixed-route bus service during the same days and hours as the fixed-route bus service. This ADA Guide provides information about, CAT's ADA Paratransit service including: how to become eligible to use the service, where it operates, the days and hours of service, how to request a ride and other important information.

If you still have questions after reading this guide, please call the Mobility Manager at (603) 225-3295 or 800-735-2964 for TTY. On request, copies of this ADA Guide can be provided in alternative formats or translated into other languages.

How to Apply for ADA Paratransit Services

Individuals interested in using ADA Paratransit service must first be determined eligible for the service. The eligibility application considers each person's functional ability to use fixed-route bus service. If a disability or health condition prevents you from using fixed-route buses under any conditions, you will be determined "unconditionally eligible." If you can use fixed-route buses some of the time, but not at other times, you will be determined "conditionally eligible" for those trips you cannot make by the fixed-route bus service.

To receive information about the eligibility process, call the Mobility Manager at (603)225-3295 and ask to have the ADA Paratransit service eligibility application packet mailed to you. Once you have reviewed the eligibility application packet and feel you might be eligible for ADA Paratransit service, complete the application and return it to:

Mobility Manager

Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc.

PO Box 1016

Concord NH 03302-1016

The application is designed to gather information about your environment and functional ability to use CAT's fixed-route bus service. A separate information form will be sent to your medical professional to gather additional information about your disability or medical condition and functional abilities. The person reviewing your application may ask for additional information as needed.

You will be notified in writing of your eligibility status within 21 days after a completed application including the completed medical professional information form has been received by the Mobility Manager. You will also receive an ADA Paratransit eligibility card if you are determined eligible for ADA Paratransit service. This card is honored for up to 21 days a year on any public transportation system throughout the United States.

If you do not agree with the decision that is made, you can appeal the decision to a review panel.

 

If your ADA Paratransit eligibility determination results in a finding of ineligible to receive ADA Paratransit service, or in a determination of limited, or conditional eligibility, and you feel that this determination has been made in error, you have the right to appeal this determination.

To file this appeal you must notify CAT in writing within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. After your appeal request is received, a hearing will be scheduled to evaluate your case. The hearing process (which should not take more than 30 days) will allow you to present information and arguments on your behalf. You may have others present who are knowledgeable of your physical or mental impairment and who can speak on your behalf, but you must pay the cost for these other spokespersons. After the hearing, you will be advised in writing of the decision of the appeal board. The decision of the appeal board is final.

CAT is not required to provide you with Paratransit service while your appeal is under consideration. If the appeal board has not made its decision within 30 days of receiving your appeal, you are entitled to Paratransit service from that time until a final decision is made.

 

Mail a written request for an appeal to:

 

Mobility Manager

Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc.

PO Box 1016

Concord, NH 03302-1016

 

Who is Eligible for ADA Paratransit Service?

The ADA regulations provide that a person may be eligible for Paratransit services under one of the following three categories:

I. Category 1 Eligibility (Unconditional Eligibility) The first category of eligibility includes people who are unable to use fully-accessible, fixed-route bus services. Included in this category is:

 

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. [Section 7.l23 (e) (1) of the ADA regulations]

 

II. Category 2 Eligibility (Conditional Eligibility until the fixed-route bus system is fully accessible)

This category is not required once a transit system is 100 percent accessible. Concord Area Transit is 100 percent accessible therefore this Category is not applicable.

 

III.     Category 3 Eligibility (Conditional Eligibility) The third category of eligibility includes:

"Any individual with a disability who has a specific impairment-related condition which prevents such individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on such system." [Section 37.123(e) (3) of the ADA regulations] This applies to an individual who, due to a disability, cannot access a bus stop to board the fixed-route bus system and cannot access his/her final destination after disembarking from a fixed-route bus. Eligibility is determined each time the eligible customer calls. Two important qualifiers to this category are included in the regulations. First, environmental conditions and architectural barriers not under the control of the public entity do not, when considered alone, confer eligibility. Inconvenience in using the fixed-route bus system is not a basis for eligibility.

Temporary Disabilities

Temporary eligibility is provided to customers who have a temporary disability that prevents them from using the CAT fixed-route bus system. Eligibility will be provided for the expected duration of the disability.

Service for Visitors

Visitors to the CAT’s fixed-route service area in Concord can use ADA Paratransit service for up to 21 days a year by providing documentation that they have been determined eligible for similar ADA Paratransit services by a transit agency in another part of the country. Visitors who do not have this kind of eligibility because they live in areas without public transit service might be asked for documentation of their health condition or disability.

Recertification of Eligibility

Each CAT ADA Paratransit service customer must be recertified upon reaching the eligibility expiration date listed on their ADA Paratransit eligibility card. ADA Paratransit customers will receive a notice of recertification a month prior to their ADA Paratransit eligibility expiration date. It is the customer's responsibility to complete the recertification paperwork and return it to CAT before the expiration date. If a customer fails to renew ADA Paratransit eligibility, they will be ineligible for service until the recertification process is completed.

ADA Paratransit Service Area and Service Hours

Paratransit is designed to be "comparable to" (or similar to) fixed route bus service. CAT is required to provide ADA Paratransit service within ¾ of a mile on either side of the existing fixed-route service operating on the same days and during the same hours of the fixed-route service unless deviated, fixed-route or demand response service is available.

Weekday Service

ADA Paratransit service is offered Monday through Friday. Weekday service hours are from 6:00 AM - 6:30 PM. No service is offered on Saturdays or Sundays. When funds are available, service for ten consecutive Saturdays during the holiday season will be provided. Announcement of the ten Saturday Service Days will be made in the first quarter of the fiscal year which is July to September.

 

ADA Paratransit service does not operate on the following holidays.

 

New Year's Day      Independence Day      Thanksgiving Day

President’s Day      Labor Day                   Christmas Day

Memorial Day        Veteran’s Day                                                        

Fares

           ADA Paratransit service fare is two dollars fifty cents ($2.50) one-way.

CAT fixed-route senior fare ....................................... $0.50 cents

CAT fixed-route single ride (one way) ............... $1.25

CAT fixed-route 10-ride pass ...............................$10.00

CAT fixed-route monthly student pass .................$11.00

CAT fixed-route 48-ride monthly pass ................. $32.00

Children under age five   (up to two per adult).....FREE

CAT ADA Paratransit service single ride ................$2.50

Concord Senior Transit ..........................................$1.00 suggested donation

 

NOTE: CAT drivers are not permitted to accept tips or gifts. If you would like to commend a CAT driver for services provided, call Mobility Manager at (603) 225-3295. To donate to the program, please call CAT Director at (603) 225-1989.

Scheduling Rides on ADA Paratransit Service

You can reserve your ADA Paratransit ride from one to five working days in advance of your trip. The ADA Paratransit scheduling office is open Monday through Friday (except the holidays listed above) from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. If you need to call on Sunday or on a holiday to request a ride for the next day, an answering machine will record your request and we will call you back the next morning to confirm your ride. Calls must be received by 4:00 PM in order to receive service the next day. Same day rides are based on availability only.

 

Please do not schedule a trip several days in advance if you are not sure if you will actually be going or if you are not fairly sure of the time you want to go. Reserving rides that are later canceled causes buses to be less efficient, can significantly increase the cost of the service and can lead to suspension of your ADA Paratransit service.

 

Scheduling Tips:    During the busiest scheduling times of the day (early mornings and late afternoons) you may be placed on hold until transportation call center staff can assist you. During these busy times, hold time can be 3-5 minutes or longer. If you are able, you may want to plan to place your trip requests during the middle of the day when the phone lines are often open.

How to Reserve an ADA Paratransit Service Ride

Once you are eligible for ADA Paratransit service, you may request a ride. To book a ride, call the transportation call center at (603) 225-1989. Transportation call center staff will guide you through the process of reserving a ride. They will ask for the following information, please have this information ready when you call.

1. Your first and last name.

2. The date and day of the week you need to ride.

3. The street address where you need to be picked up.

4. The street addresses where you are going and the telephone number (if you have it and any point of reference that might help the CAT ADA Paratransit driver find the location). If you will be going to a large facility that has several entrances (such as a mall or large medical facility), please indicate the exact point where you would like to be dropped off.

5. The time you would like to arrive (the appointment time, if applicable).

6. The time you will be ready to be picked up for a return trip (if applicable).

7. If you use a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, walker, scooter, or if you will need to use the lift. If you use a very large wheelchair or other large mobility aid, please see the "Power Lift Use” and “Multi-Wheeled Mobility Devices" sections later in this guide for information about the maximum sizes and weights our vehicles are designed to transport.

8.   If a personal care attendant or companions will be traveling with you.

9.   If a child under the age of five will be traveling with you.

10. If a service animal will be riding with you.

11. Any other information you feel we should know to safely and comfortably serve you.

Transportation call center staff will enter this information into the computer scheduling system that will identify a vehicle available to serve you. You may be put on hold while the best travel option is identified.

 

Scheduling Tips:    Although it is difficult to know ahead of time exactly when you will be ready for your return trip, it is very important to schedule the time as accurately as possible. Leave some extra time if you are not sure. If you are going to a doctor’s office or other medical appointment, tell the person who is making your medical appointment that you will be using CAT ADA Paratransit service. Ask them how long the appointment will take. This will help you to set your return time with CAT. If you have an appointment at 9:00 AM, you might want to tell transportation call center staff that you would like to arrive no later than 8:45 AM. Similarly, please leave time to get to the place where the Paratransit vehicle will pick you up for your return trip. For example, if you work until 5:00 PM, you should ask transportation call center staff for a 5:15 PM pick-up. If you cannot be picked up to return earlier than a certain time (for example, you cannot be picked up from work until 5:15 PM), let transportation call center staff know this. If you do not have a specific appointment time and can be flexible about your travel times let them know this.

Your Ready Time and Ready Window

After you have provided the above trip information, transportation call staff will offer you your trip options. We will make every effort to accommodate the pick-up and drop-off times you requested. However, since ADA Paratransit service is a shared-ride service and other customers may need to be scheduled on the same vehicle, it may be necessary to get you to your appointment earlier or pick you up for a return later than your request.

To ensure the scheduling options that are offered meet customer needs, CAT has established the following ADA compliant guidelines for the Paratransit scheduling process:

 

  • Every effort will be made to schedule your trip so you do not arrive more than 60 minutes before or after your requested drop-off time.
  • Every effort will be made to schedule a return pick-up no earlier or later than 60 minutes after the time you have requested.
  • Every effort will be made to schedule trips so travel times are comparable to the time it would take to make the trip by fixed-route bus.

The actual pick-up time offered and accepted by you will be your “ready time”. The Paratransit vehicle may arrive up to 15 minutes before or 15 minutes after your “ready time”. This is called the “30-minute ready window”. This window of time is needed to group rides and to accommodate unexpected traffic conditions, weather conditions or other delays and schedule changes. It is important that you are ready to meet the Paratransit vehicle during this 30-minute window of time.

EXAMPLE: A customer asks for a ride to and from work. The customer works from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. So the customer requests an 8:45 AM drop-off in the morning and a 5:15 PM pick-up in the afternoon. Transportation call center staff is able to offer an 8:00 AM pick-up in the morning and a 5:45 PM return pick-up in the afternoon. In the morning the ready time is 8:00 AM and the customer needs to be ready to meet the vehicle between 7:45 AM and 8:15 AM (the ready window). For the return, the customer's ready time is 5:45 PM and the ready window is from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

Out of courtesy to other ADA Paratransit service customers who are scheduled on the same vehicle, the CAT ADA Paratransit driver will wait for a customer no longer than five minutes within the ready window. The vehicle will depart when the five-minute period is up. Customers must be ready to depart at any time during the 30-minute ready window specified when the reservation was made. If a customer has not boarded the vehicle within five minutes after the vehicle arrives, the vehicle will depart.

The CAT ADA Paratransit call center staff will attempt to call the customer to advise that the vehicle has arrived. It is the customer's responsibility to be prepared to board when the vehicle arrives. If the customer does not board the bus within the five-minute period the trip will be canceled and marked as a "no-show."

Scheduling Multiple Trips

You can request up to three round-trips per phone call. If you have more than three round-trips you need to schedule, please let transportation call center staff know how many additional trips you would like to make and they will let you know if you need to call back at a later time to make the additional reservations. This limit on scheduling has been set to minimize the telephone hold time for all customers. The limit on the number of trips scheduled at one time helps to keep the phone lines from being tied up for long periods. You are also welcome to mail your requests into the transportation call center at Concord Area Transit, PO Box 611, Concord, NH 03302-0611, or Fax # (603) 228-1898, or e-mail your requests to dispatch@bm-cap.org

 

Scheduling Tips:   When you call to schedule trips, have a pen and paper handy so you can write down your pick-up ready time and the 30-minute ready window when you need to be ready for the bus. If you are scheduling several trips, have all of the information for each trip available when you call. This will help transportation call center staff serve you more efficiently.

Subscription Service

If you need a ride to the same place, at the same time, at least once a week, subscription service may be a good option for you. This service allows you to schedule these trips with one call. You will then be automatically placed on the schedule each week. Ask transportation call center staff about this option.

If you are receiving subscription service, it is important to let us know immediately if you don't need a ride on a particular day. This way we can make the change on our schedules. For example, if you have subscription service for a trip to school each weekday, keep us updated on holiday and vacation times when school is not in session. This will help us avoid unnecessary trips or missed connections. You can put your subscription trip on "hold" for up to three months. When you are ready to have your subscription service taken off "hold", call the transportation call center in advance to reinstate the service.

How to Change a Scheduled Ride

If your plans change and you need to adjust your ride times, call the transportation call center at (603)225-1989. Remember, the transportation call center is open Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8:30 AM until 4:00 PM. If you call on Sundays or holidays to change or request a ride for the next day only, an answering machine will take the information and we will call you back the next morning to confirm your trip. If you do not hear from us, assume your trip was scheduled at your requested time.

Tell transportation call center staff you would like to change a ride that has already been scheduled. They will ask you:

1. Your first and last name.

2. The date and time of the trip you are calling to change.

3. The new times you would like to schedule or changes you would like to make.

Transportation call center staff will always try to accommodate your needs, but changes to your original ride request may result in adjustments to your pick-up times or may not always be possible without advance notice.

NOTE:   Paratransit cannot change pick-up times or pick-up/drop-off locations on the day of your ride. These changes would create an inconvenience to other customers.

If Your Appointment is Running Late

Everyone has occasional circumstances outside their control that can cause delays at a scheduled appointment. If your appointment is running later than you expected and there is a chance you will not be ready for your scheduled return trip (or if you have missed the bus), call the transportation call center as soon as possible. Your request will be coordinated by the transportation call center with the ADA Paratransit drivers.

You will be asked:

1. Your first and last name.

2. The time of your original scheduled return trip pick-up.

3. The new return pick-up time that you are requesting.

Every effort will be made to adjust your return trip pick-­up time if you are running late and notify us of the delay. Please be aware that the new pick-up time may be up to an hour later than your request.

 

Remember:    Allow extra time for medical appointments or other appointments that may take longer than expected. This will reduce the unnecessary cost of sending an additional vehicle.

 

NOTE: If a bus is sent for your return trip and you do not board within the ready window, you will be assessed a no-show. If you call to cancel your return trip because you are running late, you will be assessed a late cancellation for the scheduled trip.

How to Cancel a Scheduled Ride

Late cancellations cost CAT and taxpayers thousands of dollars each year and affect our ability to provide trips to other customers. If you have scheduled a ride you no longer need to take, please call the transportation call center as soon as possible to cancel your trip. If you call to cancel your trip at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled pick-up time, you will not be assessed a late cancellation or no-show penalty.

To emphasize the importance of avoiding late cancellations, CAT has adopted the following policy:

Cancellation Policy

A scheduled trip not taken is not considered a late cancellation if the customer calls to cancel an appointment at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled pick-up time. If a trip is cancelled less than 24 hours in advance of the scheduled pick-up time, it will be recorded as a late cancellation for that trip. A customer will be allowed ten late cancellations in any six-month period before the following policy goes into effect:

 

Upon recording the tenth late cancellation within any six-month period, the customer will be issued a warning and will receive a letter listing the dates of the trips recorded as late cancellations and containing a reminder of the cancellation policy. If another cancellation occurs within a 30-day period, CAT will put the customer on a three-month probation period. When no other late cancellations are recorded for the customer during this probation period full eligibility will be continued and no other action will be taken.

 

However, if more than five additional late cancellations are recorded for the customer during the three-month probation period, the customer’s ADA Paratransit eligibility will be suspended. The customer will be notified of this suspension by registered mail. Eligibility will be suspended for one week for the first violation. If a second and subsequent violation occurs during this probationary period, the customer will be suspended for two months. If more than one year elapses between any two stages of violation, the progression of suspensions will start from the first step. The customer will have fifteen days from receipt of the letter to appeal the decision listed in the letter by following the appeal process described in the letter.

 

The suspension of service will become effective seven days from the date the registered mail letter of notification is mailed in order to allow the customer to appeal the suspension. Customers who feel they were charged with a late cancellation in error should immediately call the CAT Office at (603) 225-1989 or 800-735-2964 for TTY.

 

No-Shows

A no-show occurs when:

  • After scheduling a trip the customer no longer needs the ride, and fails to call and cancel at least 90 minutes before the trip.
  • The vehicle arrives on time, but the CAT ADA Paratransit driver cannot locate the customer at the requested pick-up location.
  • The vehicle arrives on time and waits for five minutes, but the customer is not ready to go and the CAT ADA Paratransit driver must leave to stay on schedule.

 

No-shows are costly. They also inconvenience other customers when there are delays that affect the schedule. To emphasize the importance of avoiding no-shows, CAT has adopted the following policy:

 

CAT will suspend the provision of service to an ADA Paratransit eligible customer who establishes a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips. A no-show will be added to the customer’s record when the following situations occur:

  • Not being at the scheduled pick-up point within five minutes of the bus’ arrival.
  • Canceling a ride less than 90 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
  • Not canceling a scheduled pick-up time.
  • Choosing not to ride after the bus arrives for the pick-up.

When a no-show occurs, the CAT ADA Paratransit service driver will notify the transportation call center. A notation will be made on the customer's record. If another no-show occurs within a 30-day period, CAT will put the customer on six-month probation. The Mobility Manager will mail a letter to the customer explaining the no-show policy, giving the dates of the no-shows recorded for the customer and explaining that the customer has been placed on probation. The letter will give the probation duration and the Mobility Manager will offer to work with the customer to attempt to identify ways to avoid further no-shows. When no other no-shows are recorded for the customer during this probation period, full eligibility will be continued and no other action will be taken.

However, if more than three no-shows are recorded for the customer during the six-month probation period, the customer will be notified by certified mail that their ADA Paratransit eligibility has been suspended. Eligibility will be suspended for one week for the first violation. If second and subsequent violations occur during this probationary period, the customer’s eligibility will be suspended for two months. If more than one year lapses between any two stages of violation, the progression of suspensions would start from the first step. The suspension of service will become effective seven days from the date the registered mail letter of notification is mailed in order to allow the customer to appeal the suspension.

The notification of suspension will include the specific reasons for the suspension. The customer will have 15 days from the receipt of the letter to appeal the suspension decision by following the appeal process described in the letter. If an appeal is requested, it will be scheduled for Appeals Committee review within 30 days of the request, and the suspension of service will be delayed until the appeal is heard. If the no shows are determined not to be the fault of the customer, full ADA Paratransit service eligibility will be restored. The customer will be notified by certified letter of the decision regarding the appeal within seven days of the Appeals Committee meeting and this notification will state the new date on which the suspension, if upheld, will begin.

The customer requesting the appeal may bring other persons to represent him/her including a lawyer, independent living or rehabilitation counselor or other professional to testify on his/her behalf. An interpreter will be provided if requested.

If you feel you were charged with a no show in error, immediately call our CAT office at 603-225-1989 or 1-800-735-2964 TTY.

NOTE:    To check the time, confirm with your CAT ADA Paratransit driver what time they have so you can verify you have the same time. It is suggested you synchronize your time to the time the CAT ADA Paratransit driver has since that is the time CAT uses when assessing a no-show. CAT uses official national weather service time.

 

If you no-show for the first leg of a trip, transportation call center staff will make reasonable efforts to confirm that your return trip is required by calling your home or trip destination number. If you miss a scheduled ride for any reason, be sure to call the transportation call center if you still want to keep other trips on that day.

If a schedule delay, bad weather or breakdown causes ADA Paratransit service to be late or to miss a pick-up and you decide to find another way to your appointment, please let us know you have done this and that you would still like a return ride.

After you have missed a scheduled pick-up, transportation call center staff will make every effort to contact you to verify that you still need a scheduled return trip. Please make sure that transportation call center staff has your current contact information, including a cell phone number if available so that we have the ability to contact you for this important follow-up.

When the ADA Paratransit Service Vehicle Arrives

The CAT ADA Paratransit service driver will drive the vehicle up to the curb in front of the pick-up address you provided. The vehicle might arrive up to 15 minutes before your ready time and up to 15 minutes after your ready time. Please be ready to go when the vehicle arrives so the CAT ADA Paratransit driver can stay on schedule for all customers. The CAT ADA Paratransit driver is not permitted to honk the horn to let you know the vehicle has arrived. So, wait in an area where you can see or hear the vehicle arrive.

If you think it may be difficult for you to know when ADA Paratransit service vehicle arrives (due to ur disability or where you are being picked-up), please let us know. We will work with you to figure out how we can alert you to when vehicles arrive, if at all possible.

Please note the vehicle may arrive anytime within the 30-minute ready window and can only wait for you for five minutes. If you are not ready, the CAT ADA Paratransit driver may have to leave to avoid inconveniencing other customers.

 

EXAMPLE: You are scheduled for a trip that has a 9:00 AM ready time. This means you should be ready for the vehicle to arrive anytime between 8:45 AM and 9:15 AM (the ready window). If the vehicle arrives at 9:05 AM, the CAT ADA Paratransit driver will wait for you until 9:10 AM. If the vehicle arrives at 8:50 AM, at the beginning of the ready window, the CAT ADA Paratransit driver can only wait until 8:55 AM.

 

CAT ADA Paratransit Driver Assistance

CAT ADA Paratransit service is an origin-to-destination service. At your request, CAT ADA Paratransit drivers will assist as you enter and exit the vehicle, and will assist you with fastening the seat belt and loading or unloading cargo (baggage, groceries, etc. not to exceed 30 pounds) that may be reasonably carried aboard by one person. For some individuals, or at some locations, CAT ADA Paratransit driver assistance may need to be provided that goes beyond this basic curb-to-curb service. This additional assistance will be provided based on the nature of an individual’s disability and the accessibility of the origin and destination locations. CAT ADA Paratransit drivers are not permitted to enter a private residence. When needed and requested, a CAT ADA Paratransit driver can provide basic balance support to assist you in safely traveling from the door of your origin or destination to the vehicle, and carry cargo as described above. This additional assistance needs to be requested at the time the trip is scheduled to adjust for the extra time. A CAT ADA Paratransit driver will not enter your residence to assist with cargo, or go beyond the door of your destination to assist you. CAT ADA Paratransit drivers will not operate a power wheelchair, scooter or other mobility aid.

CAT ADA Paratransit drivers are not required to travel across unsafe terrain, or into unsafe conditions to assist a customer. If your driveway or yard is not safe due to snow, ice, or broken ground, then the CAT ADA Paratransit driver will not be able to assist you as you walk or bring your cargo to your door. Also, if the CAT ADA Paratransit driver perceives a situation as not safe due to personal safety threats, they will not assist with your travel to and from the vehicle.

CAT ADA Paratransit drivers must be in effective control of the vehicle at all times. To ensure this they are not allowed to travel more than 150 feet from, or leave sight of, the vehicle that they are operating. Therefore, if the door to your residence or destination is further than 150 feet from or not within sight of the vehicle, the CAT ADA Paratransit driver will only be able to assist you to the point of travel that is within a safe distance or still within sight of the vehicle.

If you need assistance getting inside your residence or inside your destination, please arrange to have someone other than the CAT ADA Paratransit driver assist you.

To Check on Your Ride

Unexpected delays can happen due to road construction, traffic conditions or bad weather. If a CAT ADA Paratransit vehicle has not arrived by 20 minutes after your ready time (scheduled pick-up), call the transportation call center at (603) 225-1989. We will contact the CAT ADA Paratransit driver and give you an update on your trip. Stay within sight of the pick-up location if at all possible in case the vehicle arrives while you are calling.

After-Hour Emergencies

Should an emergency arise after 4:00 PM, call (603) 225-1989 and you will be connected to a transportation call center staff member. This is only for emergencies or if your vehicle is more than 20 minutes late for a pick-up. No trip reservations or schedule changes can be made after 4:00 PM.

Customer Tips: Make sure your address is clearly visible from the street, especially at night. If you are being picked-up at a large building, make sure (when you schedule your ride) to tell transportation call center staff which entrance you will use. Carry needed medication with you in case the CAT ADA Paratransit driver is delayed and your trip takes longer than expected. If you use oxygen, bring an adequate (extra) supply. If you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, please bring a small snack with you in case the trip is longer than planned.

Personal Care Attendants

Customers with disabilities can bring a personal care attendant with them on all CAT vehicles. A personal care attendant (PCA) is someone you may bring with you to assist you. A PCA must get on and off the bus at the same places and times as you do. A PCA rides at no additional charge on both CAT ADA Paratransit service and the fixed-route system.

To be able to have one PCA ride ADA Paratransit service you must be registered with us as needing a PCA. This is done as part of the eligibility process. If you did not indicate a need for a PCA when you first applied to be eligible for ADA Paratransit service and now need a PCA, you should call the transportation call center at (603) 225-1989 and ask to have your need for a PCA recorded.

You will need to tell transportation call center staff when you schedule trips that you will be traveling with a PCA. This ensures that there will be room on the ADA Paratransit vehicle for you, your PCA and other scheduled customers, and alerts transportation call center staff and CAT ADA Paratransit drivers that a PCA will be riding at no charge.

If you have a disability and want to bring a PCA with you on a CAT fixed-route bus, you just need to inform the CAT driver upon boarding that you have a disability and are bringing a PCA with you for assistance. Introduce the PCA to the CAT driver and pay your regular fare. Your PCA will ride for no charge.

Guests/Companions

A guest/companion is someone you want to bring along to share the trip, not someone you must bring to assist; a guest/companion pays the regular fare.

Power Lift Use

All CAT ADA Paratransit service vehicles are equipped with power lifts which deploy out of the rear of the vehicle. These lifts are calibrated to meet manufacturer specifications.

The ADA definition of a wheelchair is:

Wheelchair means a mobility aid belonging to any class of three- or more- wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairment, whether operated manually or powered.

However, the ADA does not require transportation providers to accommodate devices that are not primarily designed or intended to assist persons with mobility disabilities (e.g., skateboards, bicycles, shopping carts), apart from general policies applicable to all passengers who might seek to bring such devices into a vehicle.

The ADA states that a transportation provider may decline to carry a wheelchair/occupant if the combined weight exceeds that of the lift specifications set by the manufacturer or if carriage of the wheelchair is demonstrated to be inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.

 

It is the applicant’s responsibility to work with CAT to determine the dimensions and combined weight of their mobility device and whether it exceeds the lift specifications. This information is not used to determine ADA Paratransit eligibility. It will be used to determine if the vehicle lift can accommodate your mobility device.

 

The lift can be used for any mobility device that meets the above definition and does not exceed the lift specifications. The lift can also be used by customers upon request who use a walker, cane, or other mobility aid or by anyone who finds climbing the steps at the main entrance of the vehicle to be too difficult or dangerous. CAT drivers are all trained on how to use the power lift and will instruct you on how the lift works and how to ride the lift to ensure your safe transport.

It is recommended, but not mandatory, that all customers using wheelchairs back onto the lift. After a power wheelchair or mobility device has been positioned correctly on the lift and the brakes are locked, the customer will be asked to power off the motor before the CAT driver will move the lift up or down.

If requested, the CAT driver will place a sturdy folding chair on the lift so that a customer not using a wheelchair can sit securely, instead of standing while the lift is moving up or down.

Multi-Wheeled Mobility Devices

Some multi-wheeled mobility devices like scooters are difficult to secure on ADA Paratransit vehicles. Some multi-wheeled mobility devices also come with a warning from the manufacturer that they should not be used as seats on moving vehicles. Thus, the CAT ADA Paratransit driver may recommend you transfer to a vehicle seat if you can do so. While the CAT ADA Paratransit driver will not require you to transfer, we strongly recommend you do so that we can provide you and other passengers with the safest ride possible.

Mobility Device Securement and Seat Belt Policy

It is the CAT ADA Paratransit driver's responsibility to ensure that mobility devices are properly secured. Wheelchairs/mobility devices are required to be secured into a multi-point tie-down system at all times during the ride.

CAT encourages all customers to use available seat belts while the vehicle is in motion. Combination shoulder and lap belts are available at each mobility device securement station and all ADA Paratransit vehicle seats have lap belts. All CAT drivers are trained on the proper way to secure seat belts for all customers and will assist with securing a seat belt upon request.

Seat belt extensions are available, and on request, the CAT ADA Paratransit driver will fasten them to the existing seatbelts. These extensions will only work on the seats located directly behind the CAT driver’s seat on the street side of the vehicle.

Respirators and Portable Oxygen Equipment

Portable oxygen equipment and portable respirators are permitted on ADA Paratransit service. The CAT ADA Paratransit driver will assist you in securing this equipment on the vehicle. CAT ADA Paratransit drivers are not permitted, however, to assist you in using this equipment. If you need assistance with portable life support equipment, please arrange to bring a qualified attendant along with you.

Service Animals

Customers may travel with a service animal. Service animals include guide dogs, signal dogs and other dogs trained to work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities. If you will be traveling with a service animal, be sure to inform transportation call center staff when scheduling a ride.

Please note that the service animals must be under control at all times. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Pets

Animals that are not service animals may ride on ADA Paratransit service only if they are properly secured in a cage or kennel. For safety reasons, CAT ADA Paratransit drivers are not permitted to carry cages or kennels on or off the ADA Paratransit vehicles. If you need assistance with a pet, please arrange to travel with someone who can help you.

Packages and Personal Items

You may bring a limited amount of grocery bags, luggage or other packages or personal items with you on CAT fixed-route service. To ensure adequate room and safe travel for all customers, you are allowed to bring what you can carry onto the bus in one trip. Cargo must be stowed under the seat, on the floor in front of your seat or in your lap, must remain out of the bus aisle and cannot take up a seat if the seat is needed for a customer.

Grocery store carts are not permitted on vehicles, but you may bring packages on board in personal two-wheeled, collapsible carts. Upon request, CAT ADA Paratransit drivers will assist with cargo (baggage, groceries, etc. not to exceed 30 pounds) that may be reasonably carried aboard by one person. The CAT ADA Paratransit driver can assist you with this cargo to your door, if requested at the time the trip is scheduled to adjust for the extra time, but will not enter your residence to assist with cargo.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an accident or emergency, please remain calm and follow the instructions of the CAT ADA Paratransit driver.

A customer who becomes ill or notices another customer who may be ill, should immediately inform the CAT ADA Paratransit driver.

If a customer, due to their disability, is to be met by a PCA or other support person when they are dropped off and the PCA or support person is not there when the CAT ADA Paratransit vehicle arrives, the customer will be transported back to the transportation call center (or to another safe location). In this event, the customer's guardian or caregiver will be notified and required to come pick-up the customer or to make other transportation arrangements. If we are unable to make contact with the guardian or caregiver, the proper authorities will be notified.

Inclement Weather

CAT reserves the right to suspend, modify or cancel service during times of hazardous weather conditions that may jeopardize the safety of our customers and employees. On bad weather days, listen to the reports on the radio, on WMUR TV or go to the CAT website www.localhost/joomla2.5. The transportation call center will also be able to tell you if service is canceled or not.

If your trip is for dialysis, chemotherapy, or another life sustaining purpose, call the transportation call center at (603) 225-1989 to make sure you can get where you need to go. Every effort will be made to deliver life-sustaining and essential trips using ADA Paratransit service or by arranging other emergency assistance.

If you are planning to travel at times when inclement weather is predicted, take into consideration problems you may have in getting a return ride, should service have to be suspended. Also, if you are traveling during inclement weather, be sure to be prepared for longer ride times. For example, bring any medication you may need; if you use oxygen, bring an adequate supply; if you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, bring a small snack with you in case the trip is longer than expected due to the weather.

Community Disaster Emergency Procedures

During a community disaster, CAT will make every attempt to transport our customers as scheduled. Due to the nature of the disaster, it may be necessary to establish pick-up points that either require us to walk into the area to get you, or to have you get assistance from someone at your location to bring you to us. Through coordination with the local Disaster Control Center, we will make every attempt to establish these locations to minimize your travel to reach them. If you make other transportation arrangements due to the emergency, please let us know so we can account for all our customers who have scheduled trips.

By keeping our records as up-to-date as possible, we feel we will be able to provide a better service to our customers in times of an emergency. As part of our preparation for an emergency, we will periodically be requesting emergency contact information including a telephone number. If you have common places you travel, please provide us with telephone numbers to those locations as well.

If the nature of the disaster requires you to need your ADA Paratransit ride earlier than originally scheduled, contact the transportation call center at (603) 225-1989 and we will attempt to meet your needs. Keep in mind our ability to respond immediately is limited to the nature of the disaster. If you haven't yet been picked-up for your trip or you want to confirm that ADA Paratransit is able to get you where you need to go, call the transportation call center. If it is unsafe for CAT to travel into a disaster area, CAT reserves the right to suspend, modify or cancel service.

Suggestions and Comments

To allow us to follow-up on your comments or suggestions, please be specific and provide us with the following information:

  • Your name, address and phone number.
  • The date, time and location of the incident.
  • The vehicle number or CAT ADA Paratransit driver's name.
  • If you have a compliment, suggestion, comment, or report concerning a CAT staff member, we need the time of your conversation with them and the name of the employee.
  • A detailed explanation of the incident or suggestion.

We will follow-up each comment received and will contact you by phone or in writing to confirm we have received your comments.

 

Customer comment cards are available on the buses or you may call in your comment to the Mobility Manager at (603) 225-3295.

Customer Courtesy and Conduct

CAT has a list of common-sense rules to ensure the safety of all customers and CAT employees. We ask that customers, their personal care attendant and any companion(s) traveling with customers observe the following

 

Rules of Conduct:

   No smoking on the vehicles.

  • Customers shall maintain appropriate, reasonable personal hygiene.
  • No eating or drinking on board.
  • No abusive, threatening or obscene language or actions.
  • No petting guide dogs or other service animals without the permission of the owner.
  • No operation or tampering with any vehicle equipment.
  • Head, arms and other body parts must be kept inside the bus.
  • No physical abuse of another customer or a CAT driver or employee.
  • No playing of radios, cassette tape players or compact disk players (without headphones), or other noise equipment while on board.
  • Littering is prohibited.
  • Shirts and shoes or other footwear must be worn.
  • Baby strollers must be folded and stowed away so as to not block the aisle or cause injury to any person on the bus.
  • Objects must not be thrown from the bus window.
  • Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Parents must control children.
  • Federal regulations prohibit the transportation of flammable or explosive materials on transit vehicles.
  • Weapons of any kind are prohibited on CAT buses.

 

Customers, their personal care attendants (PCA) or companions traveling with customers, who violate rules of courtesy and conduct, may be subject to penalties, up to and including suspension of service.

Customers, their PCA or companions who engage in physical abuse or other illegal activities, or cause physical injury to another customer, or a CAT driver or employee, may be subject to immediate and permanent suspension from ADA Paratransit service. They may also be subject to criminal prosecution which may include fines.

Customers, their PCA or companions who engage in an activity that seriously disrupts the safe or effective operation of ADA Paratransit services, may also be subject to a suspension of service. If a customer is seriously disruptive to the transportationservice, wereserve the right to require that a PCA or guardian travel with the customer as an option instead of service suspension.

Eligibility & Service Suspension/Termination Appeal Process

Any customer, PCA or companion who is suspended from service, will be notified in writing and will be given an opportunity to appeal the suspension. A customer who disputes the basis for their eligibility, or a suspension or termination of service may request an appeal hearing by writing:

 

 

Mobility Manager

Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc.

PO Box 1016

Concord, NH 03302-1016

 

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS

 

CAT Transportation Call Center                (603) 225-1989

CAT Customer Service - Mobility Manager         (603) 225-3295

TTY................................................................ 1-800-735-2964

Concord Area Transit    *    PO Box 1016    *    Concord NH    *    03302    *    More Contact Information