Who is Eligible for ADA SHUTTLE Service?

Under the ADA transit providers have the responsibility to make their services accessible for, and usable by individuals with disabilities. The expectation of the ADA is that most transit services provided for individuals with disabilities will be provided by regularly accessible bus service. ADA SHUTTLE (paratransit) service is defined as a “safety net” for those individuals with functional limitations that prevent bus system use, not just make it more difficult.

Specific ADA eligibility guidelines define eligibility as appropriate for individuals with disabilities when one or more of the following are prevented;

  • Boarding, disembarking, or riding (including system navigation) on any regularly accessible bus is prevented even with the assistance of the lift and other commonly available help,
  • Travel on a route is prevented because the system lacks required accommodations, or
  • A disabling condition (physical or cognitive disability) prevents getting to or from bus boarding locations when traveling within the service area. 

The ADA also recognized that many individuals with disabilities can use the bus system in some instances, but not all. Therefore ADA regulations address this type of need as appropriate for conditional eligibility.  An example might be a person who uses a wheelchair and can use the bus system when the terrain is accessible, but needs SHUTTLE assistance for travel when the destination is up a hill from the bus stop.

   The following issues do not establish eligibility:

  • Personal convenience, such as the bus system does not meet your personal schedule, takes too long, or does not serve destinations you travel to.
  • Lack of familiarity or experience with the bus system.
  • Having a disability, even when certified by SSI, SSA, or the VA. 
  • Having dialysis treatment.
  • There is no automatic eligibility for seniors.
  • The fact that using the bus system may be more difficult or less comfortable.
  • Having a note from your doctor.
  • Fear of crime.
  • Illiteracy or Inability to understand directions due to limited English comprehension.
  • Living in an area not served by the regular bus system.

 

What is the Eligibility Process?

  • Applicants must submit a complete application.
  • The Eligibility Department may fax questions to the applicant’s treatment provider to further clarify the functional capabilities (the application includes a release of information) if needed, and/or-
  • The applicant may be required to come in person, at no cost, for a functional assessment. 
  • Assessments can be physical or cognitive, or both, depending upon the identified limitations.
  • Once Pierce Transit has all the information needed, decisions will be made within 21 days.
  • Once the eligibility is decided, a decision letter is mailed to the applicant.
  • The decision letter will provide the reasons for ineligible decisions and conditions of eligibility will be identified, when applicable.
  • Individuals found ineligible, conditionally eligible, or temporarily eligible have a 60 day time frame to request an appeal, if they feel their decision is incorrect.
  • Individuals may re-apply at any time if their condition has changed. 

How to Apply:

  • Answer all questions and explain thoroughly how your disabilities prevent you from using the regular bus system. 
  • Identify your most limiting condition(s) and if related to a recent injury or surgery or upcoming surgery.  Include type of injury/surgery, what area(s) are impacted and when.  For persons with developmental disabilities in or recently transitioned from school, please attach a full copy of the most recent IEP.
  • List your medical treatment providers for each stated condition. Depending on your disability, this may include medical specialists, vision providers, mental health prescribers and providers, Special Education Instructors, and DDA Case Managers. 
  • Sign where required on pages 5 and 6.
  • Return your application in the envelope provided or fax to 253.984.8227.

Applications are considered complete when all questions, signatures and contact information of professional sources are provided.  Incomplete applications will be returned.   

For questions or assistance in completing your application, please call Pierce Transit at 253.581.8000 or TDD 711 and follow the prompts to the ADA Eligibility Department.  

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Trip Planner Help

Trip Planner Tips - Entering Locations

To create a trip plan you need to enter both a starting location (origin) and an ending location (destination). For information about stops, schedules, or service at a specific location, you only need to enter one location.

The Trip Planner recognizes most street intersections and addresses as well as many landmarks in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties. If what you entered is not immediately recognized, the Trip Planner will offer you a list of options. You can choose one of the options, but if your intended location is not there, select the "Revise Original Entries" link to return to the entry page and change the entries you have already made.

Addresses

  • You don't need to type in the city along with the address. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type 110 Jones instead of 110 Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 1000 Main instead of 1000 S Main. But type 1000 West Viewmont for 1000 West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets and addresses are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby location, such as an intersection or a landmark.
  • You should not enter the suite number or apartment number.  Just the house number and street name (Example: type in 401 Broadway instead of 401 Broadway Avenue Suite 800).

Intersections

  • The "&" symbol is the only character used between two street names to show an intersection. (Examples: 1st & B, James & Madison)
  • You don't need to type in the city. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type Conifer & Jones instead of Conifer Circle & Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 3rd & Main instead of 3rd S & S Main. But type 34th & West Viewmont for 34th W & West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby intersection or a landmark.

Landmarks

Government Sites: Pierce County Health Dept, Pierce Co Sheriffs Office, Tacoma City Hall

Major Commercial Sites: Tacoma Mall, Sheraton Hotel

Transportation Facilities: Sea-Tac Airport, Greyhound Bus Depot

Schools & Colleges: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Community College

Sports & Leisure: Cheney Stadium, Pt Defiance Zoo

Medical Facilities: Group Health, Tacoma General Hospital


 

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