BeST Transit’s ADA Paratransit Program
BeST Transit offers fixed-route bus service of Bradford, Sullivan and Tioga counties. BeST Transit will make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Door-to-door paratransit service is available throughout BeST Transit’s service area.
Click link below to view or print BeST Transit’s ADA Complementary Paratransit application:
The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 specifies that all transit authorities who offer Fixed Route services must make available Paratransit service to those individuals who cannot use the Fixed Route bus based on disability.
ADA Regulations strictly limit the use of ADA Paratransit Service to the following individuals: Any individual with a disability who is unable, as a result of a physical or mental impairment & without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding device) to board, ride or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily accessible to and usable for individuals with disabilities. OR 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 the Fixed Route system.
To become qualified for ADA Paratransit Service you must complete an application (attached to this brochure) and submit the application to BEST TRANSIT for review. BEST TRANSIT will make a determination regarding your status for the ADA Paratransit Service. You will either be granted permanent status until age 65, yearly recertification status and temporary status or denied ADA Paratransit Service.
Federal Guidelines for ADA Paratransit Service:
- Once approved for ADA Paratransit Service, you can utilize the service at any time that the fixed route bus operates.
- ADA Paratransit approved riders are permitted to have a personal care attendant (PCA) ride for free so long as the PCA boards and disembarks the bus with the rider. A note from a physician stating a PCA is medically necessary to accompany a passenger may be needed.
- ADA Paratransit approved riders are permitted to have 1 guest ride with them. The guest must pay the ADA fare. PCA’s are not considered guests.
- ADA Paratransit approved riders can have more than one guest ride with them so long as there are available seats on the bus. BEST TRANSIT is not required to make accommodations for more than 1 PCA and 1 guest.
FAQ regarding BEST TRANSIT’s ADA Paratransit program
Q. Who is eligible for ADA Paratransit service?
A. Any person under the age of 65 that lives or travels within ¾ of one mile of the boundaries of the BEST TRANSIT Fixed Route network and cannot use the Fixed Route due to a physical or mental disability.
Q. How much does it cost to ride the ADA Paratransit Service?
A. A. Federal law allows BEST Transit to charge twice the fixed route fare for persons who use the ADA Paratransit Service. The current one-way fare for an ADA trip is double the normal zoned fare. Persons need to call during normal business hours a minimum of one day before to schedule a Paratransit trip. In the event an ADA Paratransit trip is requested for a day following a weekend, observed holiday or other day in which the BeST offices are closed, the rider must leave a voicemail in the general mailbox indicating the desired trip time and destination. BeST will then contact the rider to confirm the trip request on the next business day. All fares must be paid at time of boarding
Q. Where can I go on the ADA Paratransit Service?
A. Once approved for ADA Paratransit Service, you can travel to any destination along the BEST TRANSIT fixed route. BEST TRANSIT cannot limit your usage of ADA Paratransit Service once you are approved.
Q. What if I need to go somewhere that the BEST TRANSIT fixed route bus does not go?
A. Then you cannot use ADA Paratransit Service for that trip. You must either pay full fare or utilize the PWD program under the BeST TRANSIT guidelines.
Q. If I am determined to be ADA Paratransit eligible and I want to ride the fixed route bus instead, how much does it cost to ride the fixed route bus?
A. BEST TRANSIT encourages EVERYONE to ride the fixed route bus. If you are determined to be ADA Paratransit eligible, you also qualify to ride the fixed route bus for a discounted rate. A one-way trip for ADA Paratransit eligible riders on the fixed route is only half-price of regular fare. In order to utilize the fixed route at a discount, you must show your ADA card to the bus driver (bus drivers do not carry change). This discount does not apply to guests. Guests must pay full fixed route fare for the zone of travel.
Q. How do I schedule an ADA Paratransit trip?
A. You must schedule your trip during normal business hours which are Monday – Friday between 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. BEST TRANSIT cannot accept same day reservations. ADA law allows BEST TRANSIT to negotiate trip pick up and drop off times, but all trips must be provided within one hour of the initially requested time.
Q. Is there a penalty for not showing up or canceling my scheduled trip?
A. YES. You must call BEST Transit within two hours of your scheduled pick up time to cancel your trip. Failure to do so may result in your trip being labeled as a “No-Show”. Should a pattern of repeat no-shows be established within a time period of 90 days, BeST reserves the right to temporarily suspend riding privileges. BEST Transit will issue you a letter after the first, second and third no-show and provide written documentation regarding future no shows and/or a potential temporary suspension of service. All ADA riders will have an opportunity to appeal a temporary suspension by providing written documentation to BeST.
What is the process for determining if I am ADA Paratransit eligible?
All information about ADA Paratransit Service is available in accessible formats including large print upon request.
- You must complete the attached ADA Paratransit.
- After BEST TRANSIT receives your completed application for ADA Paratransit Service, you are entitled to a decision from BEST TRANSIT within 21 days. Should you not receive a decision within 21 days, you can request and use ADA Paratransit Service until a decision is made.
- BEST TRANSIT will review your application and submit a decision to you in writing regarding your ADA Paratransit status.
- BEST TRANSIT may require recertification of the eligibility of ADA Paratransit eligible individuals at reasonable intervals.
- BEST TRANSIT has an administrative appeal process through which individuals that are denied eligibility can obtain review of the denial. That process is this: All appeals must be submitted to BEST TRANSIT in writing within 60 days of notice of decision. BEST TRANSIT may request a face to face meeting and/or forward the appeal to the BEST TRANSIT Board of Directors for consideration.
To receive an application and a copy of this information in the mail, contact BeST Transit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 570.888.7330, ext. 222
BeST’s ADA Complaint and Investigation Procedures
BeST Transit offers fixed-route bus service of Bradford, Sullivan and Tioga counties. BeST Transit will make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Door-to-door paratransit service is available throughout BeST Transit’s service area. The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 specifies that all transit authorities who offer Fixed Route services must make available Paratransit service to those individuals who cannot use the Fixed Route bus based on disability.
These procedures do not deny the right of the complainant to file formal complaints with other State or Federal agencies or to seek private counsel for complaints alleging discrimination. Every effort will be made to obtain early resolution of complaints at the lowest level possible. The option of informal mediation meeting(s) between the affected parties and BeST may be utilized for resolution. Any individual, group of individuals or entity that believes they have been subjected to discrimination prohibited under Title VI and related statutes may file separate complaints.
- A formal complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged occurrence. Complaints shall be in writing and signed by the individual or his/her representative, and will include the complainant’s name, address and telephone number; name of alleged discriminating official, basis of complaint (race, color, national origin), and the date of alleged act(s). A statement detailing the facts and circumstances of the alleged discrimination must accompany all complaints. A BeST ADA complaint form can be found at the end of this document. BeST encourages individuals to submit ADA complaints in writing using this form and mailing it to:ADA Coordinator
Endless Mountains Transportation Authority
27824 Route 220
Athens, PA 18810
- In the case where a complainant is unable or incapable of providing a written statement, a verbal complaint of discrimination may be made to the BeST ADA Coordinator. Under these circumstances, the complainant will be interviewed, and the BeST ADA Coordinator will assist the complainant in completing a written statement.
- When a complaint is received, the ADA Coordinator will provide written acknowledgment to the Complainant, within ten (10) business days by registered mail or hand delivery.
- If a complaint is deemed incomplete, additional information will be requested, and the Complainant will be provided 60 business days to submit the required information. Failure to do so may be considered good cause for a determination of no investigative merit.
- Within 15 business days from receipt of a complete complaint, BeST will determine its jurisdiction in pursuing the matter and whether the complaint has sufficient merit to warrant investigation. Within five (5) days of this decision, the Executive Director or his/her authorized designee will notify the Complainant and Respondent, by registered mail or hand delivery informing them of the disposition.
- If the decision is not to investigate the complaint, the notification shall specifically state the reason for the decision.
- If the complaint is to be investigated, the notification shall state the grounds of BeST’s jurisdiction, while informing the parties that their full cooperation will be required in gathering additional information and assisting the investigator.
- When BeST does not have sufficient jurisdiction, the Executive Director or his/her authorized designee will refer the complaint to the appropriate State or Federal agency holding such jurisdiction.
- Complete investigation will be conducted, and an investigative report will be submitted to the Executive Director within 60 days from receipt of the complaint. The report will include a description of the incident, summaries of all persons interviewed, and a finding with recommendations and proposed resolution where appropriate. If the investigation is delayed for any reason, the Title VI Coordinator will notify the appropriate authorities, and an extension will be requested
- The Executive Director or his/her authorized designee will issue letters of finding to the complainant and Respondent within 90 days from receipt of the complaint.
- If the Complainant is dissatisfied with BeST’s resolution of the complaint, he/she has the right to file a complaint in the time allotted by law with:
BeST Transit has designated the Operations Manager as the position responsible for determining requests for reasonable modifications. A reasonable modification may also be requested at time of application for paratransit services.
Reasonable Modification requests should be submitted to:
27824 Route 220
Athens, PA 18810
Per Federal guidelines, BeST Transit will consider all requests for reasonable modifications. The individual requesting the modification must:
- Describe what they require in order to utilize the service
- Not required to use the term “reasonable modification”
- Whenever possible, requests for modifications will be made and determined in advance of the desired modified service. Requests can be made in these ways:
- Paratransit eligibility Process
- Customer service inquiries
- Customer comment process
- Email to designated representative
- When a request for modification cannot be made and determined in advance, due to a condition or barrier at the destination of a paratransit or fixed route trip of which the individual with a disability was unaware until arriving, vehicle operators will make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request. Vehicle operator will consult with BeST Transit dispatch before making a determination to grant or deny the request.
Requests for modifications of policies and practices may be denied only on one or more of the following grounds:
- Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of BeST Transit service, programs, and/or activities
- Granting the request could create a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others
- Without the requested modification, the disabled individual is able to fully utilize BeST Transit services, programs, and/or activities for their intended purpose
- Causes undue financial or administrative burden
- In any case where a request is denied, BeST Transit will take any other actions to ensure that the disabled individual receives the services and/or benefits provided by BeST Transit, so long as they would not result in a direct threat or fundamental alteration
- In determining whether to grant a requested modification, BeST Transit will be guided by the provisions of the United States Department of Transportation 49 CFR Appendix E to Part 37.169.
All individuals requesting reasonable modifications will be notified in writing within ten (10) days of receipt of request. A copy of such documentation will be retained by BeST Tranist.