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Paratransit

Paratransit is a shared ride service that operates on a fixed schedule. This service is for getting students, faculty and staff between the A&M campus and their local residences. Since it is a curb-to-curb service, no assistance is provided to the individual between the door of their starting point or destination. Paratransit vehicles may go into driveways or parking lots if such action can be executed safely. Paratransit service is available to qualified students who live within three-quarters (3/4) of a mile of a fixed-route and qualified faculty and staff who live within ten (10) miles of a fixed-route. The goal of The Texas A&M University Transportation Services Paratransit is to more closely “mirror” regular bus service. As such, Paratransit Service is only available during the hours that the fixed-route service operates. Changes or modifications in the fixed-route service hours and schedules may be reflected in the Paratransit service.

If a fee is required to use the fixed-route service, that same fee shall be charged to riders of the Paratransit.

The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), a civil rights bill, was designed to remove barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in American society.

Under the ADA, agencies, which operate fixed-route transit system, are required to provide curb-to-curb, demand responsive service that “mirrors” their fixed-route service. This service is a “safety net“; it is only for those persons who do not have the functional capability to ride the fixed-route buses. This service is called Paratransit.

ADA at A&M

Application for Paratransit Service and ADA Certification (PDF) (MS Word)

Doctor Certification of Disability


Eligibility

Under the ADA, disability alone does not qualify a person to ride Paratransit. A person must be functionally unable to use the fixed-route system. Paratransit service is provided to the following three general groups of students with disabilities:

  1. Students, faculty or staff who have specific impairment-related conditions which make it extremely difficult to travel to and from a bus stop.
  2. Students, faculty or staff who need a wheelchair lift and a wheelchair lift-equipped bus is not available on the route when they need to travel.
  3. Students, faculty or staff who are unable to board, ride or exit from the buses even if they are able to get to a bus stop and the bus is equipped with a wheelchair.

All applicants for ADA Paratransit eligibility will be informed of their eligibility status in writing within five (5) business days of the date the completed application was filed with The Office of The Paratransit Coordinator. Each applicant deemed eligible will be assigned to one of the three Eligibility Categories.

Conditional eligibility will apply to individuals who are able to use the fixed-route service for some trips but may require Paratransit for other trips or in special circumstances. Eligibility for Paratransit trips will be determined on a trip-by-trip basis and will be based on the individual’s functional ability to independently use the fixed-route buses for some trips or part of a particular trip.

Unconditional eligibility will apply to individuals who have been judged functionally unable to independently use the fixed-route system in any circumstances.

Temporary eligibility will apply to individuals with temporary physical disabilities requiring a wheelchair, or visually impaired individuals who have not been “mobility trained”. Temporary eligibility lasts for the expected term of the disability, or until a visually or cognitively impaired individual has had an opportunity to be “mobility trained”, but in any event no longer than 12 months. After the 12-month period, individuals who were granted temporary eligibility must reapply and be reevaluated if they desire to continue on Paratransit.

When an applicant has been found eligible for Paratransit, that person will receive a packet of materials providing information on how to make reservations, the rights and responsibilities of riders, how to make complaints and other important information.


How to Apply

A prospective applicant may call, write or email for information:
Paratransit Coordinator
Texas A&M University
MS 1373
College Station, Texas 77843-1373
Phone 979.845.1971

New applicants will be expected to contact the Paratransit Coordinator to have their applications reviewed and questions answered. The applicant must have all supporting documentation requested on the application form. The applicant may also provide any other documentation that is wished to be considered as part of the certification process. The applicant may receive assistance to complete the application from other persons as desired and such assistance should be identified on the application form in the designated space. Please make sure that the application is complete; incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.  If any information is not true or misrepresents the facts, the applicant will be found ineligible.

The Office of The Paratransit Coordinator determines eligibility based principally on the application form and the information submitted with it. An applicant must establish that he/she is functionally unable to use the fixed-route system.  The Office of the Paratransit Coordinator may require that you provide additional information to the department regarding your disability and your ability to independently use the fixed-route service. Failure to provide any requested information will be conclusively deemed a withdrawal of the Paratransit applications.

If someone requires the assistance of another person to be able to travel on Paratransit, this person will be allowed to travel with them and will not be required to pay a fare. However, this person must board and leave the vehicle from the same location as the Paratransit registered person. The fact that an attendant is required for travel must be indicated on the application otherwise any person accompanying the eligible person will be considered a friend or companion and will be required to pay a fare (Off-campus service only).


Appeals

If you do not meet the ADA eligibility criteria you will be informed of this decision in writing within five (5) working days. The letter will explain the reasons for denial as related to the eligibility criteria. You have the right to appeal the denial of eligibility, the level of eligibility granted for a particular trip on the fixed-route buses for those with conditional eligibility. Appeals are handled through the office of the Paratransit Coordinator. Requests for appeals must be made in writing within 10 business days of the denial letter. Your options for appeals are appearing in person with additional information or just sending in additional written materials.

All appeals will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee, which will review the original decision made by the office of the Paratransit Coordinator. The office of the Paratransit Coordinator shall be communicated in writing within 10 business days after the appeal record is complete. Such notification may be made in the form of a letter or by electronic mail if this option is available to the appellant. If a final decision is not made in writing within this period, Paratransit service will be made available until such time as the final decision is made.

Appeals may be mailed to:

Texas A&M University
1373 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-1373
Attention: Paratransit Coordinator

or emailed to:


Documentation Guidelines

In order to qualify for Paratransit Service under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, applicants must complete an application for qualification and provide appropriate medical and/or psychological documentation, which provides evidence of a “substantially limiting ” disability that would prevent the applicant from using our normal fixed-route bus service. In accordance with the law, our office is required to have this documentation on file in order to provide the requested accommodation.

In order for The Office of Paratransit Services to provide Paratransit service to a person with a disability, we rely on documentation from the appropriately trained evaluators to provide documentation as to the presence and severity of the disability itself. By providing the information outlined below, the evaluator will assist us in being able to serve the applicant effectively. We find that these guidelines provide the detailed information necessary to assess the appropriateness of the applicant’s request for Paratransit service. Given that the manifestations of the applicant’s disability may change over time, the evaluation must reflect the applicant’s current status. This documentation must reflect the following:

  1. A specific diagnosis (including level of severity).
  2. The specific findings in support of this diagnosis including relevant history, tests administered, test results and your interpretation of those results.
  3. A description of the applicant’s functional limitations as they are directly related to the stated disabilities.
  4. The evaluator’s name, address, phone number (in the event our office needs to contact the evaluator) and professional credential relevant to the diagnosis.
  5. The documentation must be on letterhead, typed, dated and signed.

Thank you for your assistance in helping us provide Paratransit service to our faculty, staff and students with disabilities. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 979.845.1971.

Documentation may be delivered:

In person:
Transportation Services, Building 0969, Agronomy Road

By Fax:
979.862.4817

Or Mailed:
Texas A&M University
1373 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-1373