The paratransit service is a curb-to-curb, shared ride program that compliments Wichita Transit’s fixed-route bus service. Riders must be waiting at the sidewalk or at another safe waiting area in front of, or as close as possible to, the entrance of the pick-up location. The van driver will wait for a rider at the curb of a public street, in front of, or as close as possible to the rider’s designated pick-up location. Wichita Transit drivers cannot enter a building or come to the door to assist passengers. If a rider needs assistance exiting the pick-up location or entering the destination location, a companion or personal care attendant must be available to assist. For drop-offs, the operator will drop the rider off at the sidewalk or another safe location next to the curb in front of, or as close as possible to, the designated drop-off location.
If your pick-up is at an apartment complex, nursing home, or adult program/day care center, it is the rider’s responsibility to let the scheduler know if there any special instructions are needed, such as security gated entries, apartment building numbers, or multiple entrances to large institutions. Otherwise, van drivers will pick-up and drop-off at the main entrance or designated/predetermined points of entry. If the rider fails to inform the scheduler of special instructions and the pick-up cannot be made, it will be recorded as a No-Show.
Passenger Assistance by Van Drivers DOES NOT include the following:
- Assisting passengers on unsafe or steeply inclined mobility ramps or stairs.
- Locking/unlocking doors or activating/deactivating alarms to any facility or residence.
- Loading and unloading personal items (except as provided for in the Packages section of this guide – see page 13).
- Handling service animals.
- Handling the controls of electric wheelchairs or scooters.
- Providing medical treatment.
- Scheduling trips, changing schedules, confirming future trips, making change for fares or keeping track of fare overpayments.
THERE IS A 30-MINUTE PICK-UP WINDOW AT EACH PICK-UP LOCATION. Passengers must be ready to board the van ANYTIME within the 30-minute pick-up window. When the van arrives anytime within the 30-minute pick-up window, it will wait five minutes before it leaves. If the passenger does not board the vehicle, the passenger will be marked as a No-Show, and the van will leave.
For example, if your pick-up window is between 10:00 AM and 10:30 AM, the van can come anytime during that 30-minute window. They will wait only five minutes. If you are not there between 10:00 AM and 10:30 AM, and the van comes, you will be marked as a No-Show.
THE VAN OPERATOR AND/OR DISPATCHER WILL NOT CALL THE PASSENGER TO ADVISE THAT THE VEHICLE HAS ARRIVED. It is the responsibility of the passenger to be at the curb to board when the van arrives. If you are unsure of your pick-up window, please call Special Services at 352-4828.
Use of Wheelchairs and other Mobility Devices
Wichita Transit will make every attempt to accommodate common wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices. As defined by the ADA, these devices are not to exceed 48 inches in length, 30 inches in width, and 600 pounds in total weight (occupied). Mobility devices exceeding these standards may be denied service. For passenger safety, Wichita Transit will not transport riders using broken mobility devices. Since DOT ADA regulations’ definition of a common wheelchair does not include a requirement for brakes, working brakes on wheelchairs and similar mobility devices CANNOT be required. However, for safety reasons, Wichita Transit strongly recommends that wheelchairs and similar devices be equipped with working brakes. Please be sure that wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility devices are clean, safe, and in good working condition before using the Paratransit Service. Individuals who cannot board the vehicle using the steps may use the wheelchair lift.
Securing of Wheelchairs and Other Mobility Devices
Wichita Transit will make every attempt to secure standard wheelchairs and scooters. If it is too difficult or impossible to secure the wheelchair or mobility device, the van driver may suggest that the rider transfer to a van seat. It is the rider’s choice to transfer or remain in their mobility device. The Federal Transit Administration has advised that the ADA does not allow transportation to be denied if the mobility device cannot be secured.
Use of Portable Oxygen
The ADA provides that transportation service must be provided to a rider who needs to bring along an oxygen bottle. For safety reasons, it is the policy of Wichita Transit to require the rider to maintain control of the oxygen bottle. If the rider cannot pull an oxygen bottle cart or carry or maintain control of the bottle by himself or herself, then the rider shall provide a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) to perform those functions. When choosing to ride shared public transportation, it is the responsibility of the rider to select a size of oxygen bottle that they can control.
When To Be Ready
A paratransit vehicle may arrive any time within the 30-minute arrival or pick-up window. You must be ready to board the vehicle immediately upon arrival. After waiting 5 minutes, the vehicle will leave. If you did not board the vehicle you will be marked as a No-Show.
When the van arrives, you are required to have exact change or a valid van pass for your fare payment. The van driver cannot take you to your destination without the required fare. Due to tracking issues, customers are not permitted to pay for more than one trip at a time, i.e., pay for all of day’s rides at once. Exceptions to this rule may be established for nursing homes or assisted care facilities.
Wichita Transit vehicles experience the same traffic and weather conditions as the rest of the commuting public. Occasionally, our vans may be late for a pick-up. If the vehicle has not arrived by the end of your 30-minute pick-up window, please call Wichita Transit at 352-4828. Please wait until the 30-minute window expires before calling.
We will advise you of the status of the vehicle and what time to expect its arrival. If the van fails to arrive, within 60 minutes from the beginning of your 30-minute pick-up window, Wichita Transit will provide the ride free of charge.
Personal Care Attendant
A PCA may accompany a rider at no additional charge. However, your application for ADA Paratransit Eligibility must declare the need for a PCA or your file must indicate that you are eligible to have a PCA travel with you. You must reserve space for your PCA when scheduling your trip.
If a person demonstrates that they do not have the skills required for a "curb-to-curb" service and arrangements have not been made with persons at both the pick-up and drop-off location to provide needed assistance, Wichita Transit will require that a PCA travel with the person. If the person elects not to provide a PCA, then Wichita Transit’s paratransit service is not the correct transportation service for them. In this case, the person will need to seek alternative transportation.
Guests are welcome to ride with you for $3.50 per one-way trip. Unless other arrangements have been made, limited space does not allow a rider more than one guest per trip. In addition, you must reserve seating for your guest (including children) when scheduling your trip. Seating for more than one guest is based on the availability of space. This will be determined when you schedule your trips. Children accompanying you are considered guests. Children under the age of six years travel free and must be accompanied by an ADA-eligible adult rider.
Except when transported by way of a shopping cart described below, packages are limited to two grocery bags or similar sized packages. Van drivers may help a rider carry two packages on and off the vehicle from the same sidewalk or waiting area where the rider boards and gets off the vehicle. The van driver cannot carry packages to the door. Any packages handled by the driver shall weigh no more than 20 pounds each. When on the van, it is the responsibility of the passenger to maintain control of packages. If the passenger is unable to control the packages by themselves, then a PCA needs to be provided to perform that function.
Provided there is space available, a shopping cart or similar device may be used by the rider to transport packages or other items if:
- the rider can handle the cart without assistance from the driver,
- the cart will not cause damage to the paratransit vehicle, and
- the size of the cart allows it to be placed next to the rider and not overhang the aisle or otherwise pose a safety hazard.
Out of town visitors, who are ADA-eligible, may access Wichita Transit’s paratransit service. Out-of-town visitors, without proof of ADA eligibility, must certify in writing that a disability precludes their use Wichita Transit’s accessible fixed-route system. If an out-of-town visitor without proof of ADA eligibility rides the paratransit service 21 days within a one-year time period, they must apply for and receive ADA eligibility status in order to continue riding the paratransit service.
Guide dogs and other service animals are allowed to accompany you if this need is indicated on your eligibility application or is stated in your file. Please inform the scheduling office if a service animal will be accompanying you on your trip. All service animals must be leashed or harnessed during the entire trip. Animals must not pose a threat to any passenger or the van operator. Animals shall not block or in any way obstruct aisles or doorways.
In order to ensure the safety and comfort of all riders and the van driver, riders, their personal care attendant and any companion(s) traveling with riders must adhere to the following rules of conduct:
- No eating, drinking, or smoking while on board the vehicle.
- No riding under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs as defined in Kansas Statutes governing operation of motor vehicles.
- No abusive, threatening or obscene language or actions.
- No deliberate fare evasion.
- No physical or verbal abuse of another rider, or the van driver.
- No operating or tampering with any equipment while on the vehicle.
- Unless a headset or earphones are used, radios, cassette tape players, compact disc players or other sound generating equipment shall not be played on the vehicle.
- No petting guide dogs or other service animals without the permission of the owner.
- Baby strollers must be folded and stowed so as not to block the aisle or cause injury to persons on the van.
- Heads, arms and other body parts must be kept inside the van and objects must not be thrown from van windows.
- Except when they are boarding and unboarding, passengers shall remain seated and shall refrain from actions that divert or distract the van driver from operating the vehicle.
- For safety reasons, passengers may not transport on transit vehicles car batteries, fireworks, flammable liquids, or propane bottles
Denial of Service Policy
Riders, their PCAs, or companions traveling with riders who violate rules of conduct are subject to penalties, including suspension of service. Riders, their PCAs, or companions traveling with riders who engage in physical abuse or cause physical injury to another rider or van driver, or who engage in other illegal activities, may be subject to immediate and permanent suspension, and possible criminal prosecution.
Riders or their PCAs, or companions who engage in activity that disrupts the operation of the paratransit service, may also be subject to a suspension of service. If a rider is disruptive to Wichita Transit service, Wichita Transit reserves the right to require that a PCA travel with the rider as an option to service suspension.
In addition, paratransit van service will be denied to any person who poses a potential public health threat.
The existence of excrement on clothes or on hands poses the potential for the spread of diseases like shigellosis. Contact with other body fluids, such as blood or vomit, poses an HIV or hepatitis B and/or C threat.
If the van arrives for a pick-up and the passenger or his or her clothing is soiled with feces, urine, vomit, or blood or the passenger displays a draining sore or an open wound, which is not dressed in a manner that prevents seepage of bodily fluids, the passenger has the choice of:
- "wait listing" the trip until they have cleaned themselves and/or clothes have been changed or the sore or wound is dressed in manner to prevent the seepage of bodily fluids or
- having the incident considered as a "refusal of service".
In the case of "wait listing", a second van will be dispatched when permitted by daily trip load and a No-Show will not be recorded for the initial scheduled pick-up.
In the case of a refusal of service, the van driver shall seek prior approval from an Operations supervisor before refusing service to any individual. If the Operations supervisor determines that a potential threat to public health exists as described above:
- service will be refused,
- a No-Show will not be recorded and
- the van driver or Operations supervisor will present to the person a NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR A GRIEVANCE HEARING. A copy of that notice is attached, and the policy and procedure statements included on that notice are made a part of this policy by reference.
If the passenger files a written request for a grievance hearing within 60 days of the service refusal, the hearing will be scheduled. The hearing shall be conducted on a date within 15 days of the date on which the request for a hearing was received.
Wichita Transit will provide free transportation to and from the hearing. If the person No-Shows for the hearing, the person will be marked as a No-Show and the hearing rescheduled. In the case of rescheduling, the hearing date may be more than 15 days from the date the request for hearing was received.
If the person No-Shows for the second hearing, the person will be marked as a No-Show and will be deemed to have waived their right to a hearing.
An adult must accompany all children under six years of age. They cannot ride unattended. If traveling with an eligible fare-paying adult, children under six years of age ride free.
Children under six years of age will be considered for paratransit eligibility based on the functional ability of both the accompanying adult and child (as a team) to use fixed-route bus service. When an eligible child is traveling with an adult (who is serving as a PCA), a fare must be paid for the child and the adult attendant rides free.
If the child is six years of age or younger, or weighs less than 40 pounds, Wichita Transit strongly recommends that the child be secured in a child safety seat. Wichita Transit does not provide safety seats for children.
An adult accompanying a child on paratransit is responsible for the child. Drivers are not permitted to carry children on or off the vehicle. If you will need assistance with the child, please bring someone else along to help you.
Animals that are not service animals may ride on a paratransit vehicle only if they are properly secured in a cage or kennel. For safety reasons, drivers are not permitted to carry cages or kennels on or off of the paratransit vehicle. If you need assistance with a pet, please arrange to travel with someone who can help you.