Would you love to run errands, go shopping and take in fun events around Central Arkansas, but you don’t have transportation? Would you love to be able to use the city transit system, but the nearest bus stop is several blocks from your home and your disability prevents you from getting there? Do you find yourself depending on friends, family and neighbors to go places when you’d rather not have to do so? Did you know that public transportation systems are required by federal law to provide paratransit services?
Here’s how that works: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees individuals with disabilities equal access to transportation. As a result, limits on accessibility to transportation for disabled individuals must be removed if it’s reasonable to do so. So if you, for instance, have a visual or mobility impairment that prevents you from getting to and from the bus stop, the bus can come to you- that’s a reasonable accommodation. Because of this, most public transportation systems have created paratransit systems; which is for people with disabilities who cannot use the “fixed route” or “mainline” bus service.
Paratransit systems have processes to determine eligibility. Generally speaking, you complete an application and provide verification of your disability from a doctor, licensed health care provider, licensed rehab/social worker or Orientation Mobility Specialist familiar with your disability.
If you live in the Rock Region Metro’s service area, this link will provide you with more information and a copy of the application form: https://rrmetro.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/METROLinksApplication.pdf