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Home>Getting Around>Paratransit>Accessibility: VTA Paratransit Service

Accessibility: VTA Paratransit Service

Now, Applying for VTA Paratransit is Just Two Simple Steps.

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VTA Accessible Bus and Light Rail Services:

One of VTA’s top priorities is to provide mobility and access for all of our customers. All buses are equipped with lifts or ramps to make boarding easier for persons who use wheelchairs or mobility devices or for anyone who may have difficulty negotiating steps. Light rail stations also provide level boarding, meaning that there are no steps required to get on board, or offer ramps for boarding assistance. Operators are always available to provide boarding assistance.

VTA Buses and Light Rail vehicles have priority seating available near the front of the vehicle as an added convenience for individuals with limited abilities.

Operator and automatic announcements, large print, visual display boards for persons with hearing impairments, and tactile signage for persons with visual impairments provide information throughout VTA Bus and Light Rail services.

With these bus and light rail features, access by individuals with disabilities has been greatly improved.

For more information, please contact VTA Customer Service at (408) 321-2300; or TTY (408) 321-2330.

VTA Paratransit Service:

VTA offers specialized accessible paratransit services to those with disabilities who are unable to independently use bus and light rail as specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  (Appendix 49 CFR37.123)

VTA ACCESS Paratransit determines paratransit eligibility and provides paratransit service for those members of our community who need more specialized assistance when riding with us. 

Just follow these TWO EASY STEPS to apply for VTA Paratransit service!

1. Submit an application form and authorization to contact your physician or licensed professional: mail, fax, or drop off the signed and completed one-page application.

VTA's contract service provider will then contact you, or your representative, to set a date and time for a phone interview.

2. Participate in a phone interview: VTA ACCESS Paratransit will call you to review your application and conduct a brief phone interview to help determine your Paratransit eligibility.

Paratransit Eligibility:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) establishes the criteria for Paratransit eligibility.

Specifically, eligibility is based upon your functional ability to use the bus or light rail system, some or all of the time. Eligibility is not based on your age, economic condition, or inability to drive an automobile.

Please note that having a medical condition or a disability does not automatically qualify you for ADA eligibility.

VTA partners with it's contract service provider to conduct an application process to determine eligibility based on ADA Paratransit eligibility standards (Appendix 49 CFR37.123) summarized below:

Category 1 -Any person with a disability who is unable to board, ride, or disembark from an accessible vehicle without the assistance of another person (except for the operator of a lift or other boarding device).

Category 2 - Any person with a disability who needs the assistance of a lift ramp to board, ride or disembark from an accessible vehicle and, an accommodating vehicle is not available or key stations have not been made accessible.

Category 3 - Any person with a disability who has a specific impairment-related condition that prevents the person from traveling to or from a boarding and disembarking location.

About the Interview

• The phone interview takes approximately 15 minutes.

• During the phone interview, you will be asked questions about your functional abilities and limitations that may keep you from independently using bus and/or light rail services for some or all of your trips. This will assist in determining whether or not you are eligible for paratransit services.

• VTA ACCESS Paratransit will follow up with your physician or appropriate third party professional to validate disabilities and functional limitations.

• Within 21 days following the phone interview and verification of disability, you will receive a decision regarding your VTA Paratransit eligibility by mail.

Second Level Assessment

• If your eligibility for ADA paratransit has not been sufficiently established, we may need to call you for a second phone interview or arrange to meet with you so you can clarify for us your need for paratransit.

• Within 21 days following the second interview, you will receive a decision about your eligibility.

• If your eligibility decision takes longer than 21 days, you will have a right to paratransit service until you receive a final decision.

Paratransit ID Cards

• If your application is approved, you will receive a start-up kit in the mail which includes instructions on how to use the paratransit service.

• You will also receive a paratransit  ID card as proof of eligibility.

• If you are able to take some of your trips on fixed route, we will arrange to take your photo for your paratransit ID card, as this will allow you to ride free on VTA Bus and Light Rail service.

VTA Paratransit Appeals Process:

If your eligibility for paratransit service is denied, you will receive written notification, which will include instructions for appealing the decision. If you disagree with the denial, you may use the appeals process. You may also appeal if you receive conditional eligibility.

As part of the appeals process, you may be asked to participate in a functional assessment. The purpose of a functional assessment is to determine if applicants have the physical, visual and cognitive abilities to use fixed route service and, if so, under what conditions. The functional assessments are conducted in partnership with qualified professionals from local community agencies familiar with your type of disability/health conditions. The independent professional may come to your residence or preferred location to conduct a functional assessment.

All eligibility decisions made during the appeals process will be final. However, if your condition changes (in the future) and you believe that you have become eligible for ADA paratransit service, we urge you to reapply.

Paratransit Fares:

The fare for a regular one-way Paratransit trip is established at twice the one-way adult cash fare of VTA's fixed-route bus and light rail services.

Accessible Formats Available:

Upon request, this information is also available in accessible formats (large print, Braille, audio tape) by calling VTA ACCESS Paratransit at (408) 321-2300, TTY (408) 321--2330.

Contact Us:

For more information about VTA’s Paratransit Eligibility Certification and Appeals Programs, please contact VTA ACCESS Paratransit at (408) 321-2300, TTY (408) 321-2330.

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Notices & Service Alerts

Last update: 12/12/2017

Fare Changes: begin Monday, January 1st

Bus & Light Rail Service Changes: begin Monday, January 1st

Reroute of Downtown San Jose Lines: due to TiVo Santa Run Sun 12/18

Reroute of Line 55: Due to Construction 12/11 & 12/12