VTA ACCESS Paratransit

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VTA ensures a comparable paratransit service is provided to eligible individuals with disabilities who cannot use conventional public transit service due to their physical, visual or cognitive disabilities.

Paratransit is shared ride public transportation, complementary to fixed route transit service. This means Paratransit operates within the same service area and service times as VTA bus and light rail service. Customers can expect multiple pick ups and drop offs along their trips, just like a bus.

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.

VTA operates a diverse paratransit fleet including cutaways, minivans, sedans and taxis. Customers can expect any of these vehicles for their trip unless they require an accessible vehicle.

Read the VTA ACCESS Paratransit Riders Guide for details about paratransit service, eligibility, and how to apply.

Upon request, 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

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.
How to Apply for VTA ACCESS Paratransit Service

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.

HTML application
MS Word application
PDF Eligibility Application
PDF Eligibility Brochure

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.

About the Phone 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.

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.

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.

 

MyACCESS Online

About MyACCESS Online 

This web-based module allows you and your caregivers to book, cancel, and monitor all paratransit trip information from any device. You can access real-time map views, vehicle locations with Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETA’s).

Customers may log into their MyACCESS Online account at myaccess.vta.org at any time.

If you have additional questions after watching the video above, you may email paratransit@vta.org or call 408-321-2380.

Who Can Use MyACCESS Online?

MyACCESS Online gives customers and authorized caregivers the ability to self-manage trips from any device with internet access. It is the customer responsibility to accurately book and self-verify all trips booked online.

Caretakers or authorized care givers may manage your paratransit trips through MyACCESS Online, but it is the customer’s responsibility to manage their MyACCESS Online account and who they share their information with.

Contact the Eligibility Department at 408-321-2381 to add a personal care attendant (PCA).

How to Book Trips with MyACCESS Online

Customers can only book standard trips online, not premium trips, to avoid unauthorized premium service charges. If you have special instructions like an accessible entrance at your destination, you must call and book the trip with a reservationist.
 
Online trips follow the same paratransit standard procedures and are required to be booked one to three days in advance. Trips for the following day must be booked before 5 PM. Please reference the Rider’s Guide for additional trip booking information.

When booking trips during peak hours online there may not be any available pick up windows that meet your needs and you will be prompted to call in. A reservationist will negotiate a pick up window that may meet your needs.

If you select a time when service is unavailable you will see the following message: ‘The requested time is not available. Please select another time.’
 
If you do not have enough funds in your account at the time of booking you will be prompted to call in to add money to your account.
 
Outside Service Area 
Paratransit services mirror fixed route (bus and light rail) service area and times. If there is not an active fixed route running you will not be able to book a paratransit trip, and you will see the following message: ‘We are unable to provide you with booking times for the location you have requested. For assistance please call 408-321-2380.’
 
Can I book multiple trips in one day? 
Yes. However, one (1) hour in-between pick up windows is required to avoid overlapping trips.
 
Can I book my trips with a Personal Care Attendant or Companion? 
Yes. To book a trip with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or Companion, go to the ‘Additional Passenger’ section at the bottom of the book trip screen.
 
Can I book a round trip at the same time?
No. Customers have to book each trip individually. For example if you book a trip from your home to Target, you will have to complete a separate return trip from Target back home. 

How to Cancel Trips with MyACCESS Online

It is the customer’s responsibility to accurately book and self-verify all trips booked online. Please check all trips the day before and make adjustments if needed. If you incorrectly book a future trip, you may cancel and rebook the trip.

We request that customers cancel trips at least two hours before the start of their pick up window. Once your trip is within two hours of the pickup window, customer must call in to cancel their trip.

If you rebook the trip for the same day, a premium service charge will apply.
 
All premium services are $16 dollars. Before booking the premium service trip the reservationist will confirm the amount with you. By confirming the $16 charge you are agreeing to pay the fare. This fare will not be waived or reimbursed.

How to Monitor Trips with MyACCESS Online

You can begin tracking your vehicle 30 minutes before the start of your pick up window.
 
The ETAs are based on the GPS inside the vehicles and refresh every minute. If the vehicle encounters traffic or unexpected delays, the ETA will update.
 
There are a few vehicles that are unable to be tracked since the vehicle’s GPS is not integrated into our database. However, a majority of vehicles are tracked. The site is unable to provide vehicle type or driver information.
 
Once the vehicle arrives and picks you up, the website will no longer provide ETAs or route information.

MyACCESS Account Management

You will need your client ID and your password to log into your account.

Contact the Eligibility Department at 408-321-2381 to update your phone number, address, mobility devices, or to add a personal care attendant (PCA).
 
If your account is locked, please call us at 408-321-2300 or send an email to paratransit@vta.org with your full name and client ID. In the subject of the email, include “MyACCESS Lock Out Request”. You can anticipate a response within 2 business days.
 
In the meantime, you are welcome to manage your paratransit trips by calling 408-321-2380. A reservationist can view all trips booked online.

Online accounts are subject to termination at any time at VTA’s discretion. Accounts can be restricted for the following reasons including, but not limited to, no shows or rider behavior that endangers, threatens, or disrupts services. Please reference our Rider’s Guide for additional information. 

If you wish to deactivate your account, please call us at 408-321-2300 or send an email to paratransit@vta.org with your full name and client ID. In the subject of the email, include “MyACCESS Deactivate Request”. You can anticipate a response within 2 business days.
 
MyACCESS Online works best with Chrome & Safari. It will work on any device with Internet access. This includes smart phones, tablets, desktop & laptops. MyACCESS Online may not be compatible with some earlier smart phone or tablet models. We recommend checking to make sure your device has the most recent software updates.

 

Contact Us

VTA ACCESS Paratransit
3331 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95134

General Administration, Customer Service, Client Accounts & Eligibility

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Weekdays (Closed Major Holidays)
PH: (408) 321-2380 TTY: (408) 321-2330

The paratransit eligibility application process begins with an informational brochure from VTA ACCESS Paratransit: (408) 321-2381 / (408) 321-2330 (TTY).  
 
The paratransit information brochure contains a one-page application to complete and sign. Brochures are available in English,SpanishChinese and Vietnamese.  VTA ACCESS Paratransit provides language assistance to any individual in need of translation services.
 
All information about the process, materials necessary to apply for eligibility, and notices and determinations concerning eligibility are available in accessible formats upon request.  Formats include, but are not limited to: audio, large print, Braille, electronic files emailed or on computer diskette, and sign language.