Paratransit

Purpose


Passengers with disabilities who cannot use the regular buses must be approved for Paratransit service in order to use it. It's a simple process and only takes a few minutes, please call 877-232-7433 or if you have interned access visit the ADA Ride website to fill out the application. If you are approved you will be notified by mail.

What It Is


Paratransit is a complimentary curb-to-curb transit service that requires customers to make a reservation to get service. It is not taxi service but a shared ride public transportation service where you and others are assigned bus service according to where you want to go. Paratransit service is available in every city, community, and township in Merced County.

Hours of Operation


Paratransit is open for service between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday basis and between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Cancellation Policy


If you no longer need your ride please cancel 2 hours prior to your pick-up time

Eligibility


Paratransit service is restricted for the use of persons with disabilities who are unable to navigate the fixed route services of The Bus without special assistance.

Senior citizens age 65 and older have access to the Atwater / Winton Taxi Scrip Program.

No-Show / Cancelation Policy


Purpose:

Sporadic passenger no shows, late cancelations, and cancelations at the door are an expected cost of doing business for a paratransit system. However, at a time when the cost of providing ADA complementary Paratransit service is growing and all eligible demand for paratransit trips must be met; excessive no shows, late cancels, and cancels at door adversely affect the efficiency of service and significantly add to the cost of operating the system.

Definitions:

Advance Cancellation: The Bus defines an advance cancellation as occurring when the customer (or the customer’s advocate) calls and cancels a specific scheduled trip at least 2 hours prior to the Pickup time.

Early morning trips scheduled for pickup before 6:30am are to leave the cancellation message on the voice mail to be retrieved by the Reservation Center as soon as it opens at 5:30 am or call in person no later than 5:30 am. 

Late Cancellation: The Bus defines a late cancellation when a customer (or the customer’s advocate) does not call to cancel a specific schedule trip at least 2 hours prior to the pickup time (excluding the early trips described above)

Cancel at Door: The Bus defines a cancel at door when the vehicle arrives at the location designated for a specific scheduled trip within our 35-min window and customer notifies the operator at the time they no longer need the scheduled trip.

  • The Operator or Dispatch will verify the need for any other trips scheduled for that day.

No-Show:  The Bus Defines a No Show when all of the following criteria have occurred:  There has been no call by the customer (or the customer’s advocate) to cancel the scheduled trip 2 hours prior to pick up time.

And

The vehicle arrives at the scheduled location within 30-minute window.

 And

The Operator notifies or attempts to notify the customer that they have arrived.

And

The Dispatch office is notified by the operator. At that time, dispatch will try to notify the passenger by giving them a courtesy call, and are unsuccessful.

 And

The operator cannot reasonably see the customer approaching the vehicle after waiting the 3 minutes for ambulatory and 5 minutes for non-ambulatory.

And

The dispatch office is notified. At the time, dispatch will verify that the operator is at the correct location and will then be noted as a no-show.

Dispatch does not automatically cancel a return trip before getting confirmation from the rider that it will no longer be needed. Dispatcher will attempt to contact passenger to avoid another no-show but ultimately it is the responsibility of the passenger to cancel the return trip after a No show has occurred.

No-Shows are EXCUSED when the trip is missed for the reasons beyond the customer’s control. Although, no shows will not be issued for reasons beyond the customer’s control; the customer (or the customer Advocate) should ALWAYS make every effort to cancel scheduled trips in a timely manner. It is the customer’s (or the customer’s advocate) responsibility to provide the reasoning for not canceling a trip. Contact should be made with Dispatch as soon as reasonably possible. Lack of any contact will result in a No Show being issued.

“Any patterns or practices of excessive volume of unexcused NO Shows will be reviewed by the operating paratransit manager.

 

Consequences for an established pattern / practice of no shows

Violation

Action

Original occurrence of five no-shows and/or 10 percent of scheduled trips that are deemed no-shows in a calendar month.

Send a warning letter to passenger advising them of no-show record

First Violation - and an additional 10 percent of scheduled trips that are deemed no-shows in a calendar month.

7-Day Suspension

Second Violation - and an additional 10 percent of scheduled trips that are deemed no-shows in a calendar month.

14-Day Suspension

Third Violation - and an additional 10 percent of scheduled trips that are deemed no-shows in a calendar month.

21-Day Suspension

Fourth Violation - and an additional 10 percent of scheduled trips that are deemed no-shows in a calendar month.

28-Day Suspension

* Violation history covers a 12 month rolling period from the day of the first violation.


 
Please do not consider this guideline as a justification for not calling when a trip is not needed.

QUESTIONS:

To just request answers about your no-shows or to clarify some that you believe were out of your control please call the Paratransit Manager Greg Love at (209) 384-3111. If you are unsatisfied with the response or disagree and would like to appeal please follow the process below.

APPEAL PROCESS:

A customer (or a customer’s advocate) may file a verbal or written appeal for an individual no show issued by contacting the Merced The bus admin office:

Written: Merced The Bus   

            369 W. 18th St.

            Merced, CA 95340

Verbal: 209.723.3100

An MCAG designated staff will review information provided by the customer (or the customer’s advocate) and make a decision to either uphold the individual no show or to overturn it within ten business days.
 

Accessibility Troubles


If you are having trouble accessing Paratransit service or have concerns with our service, please call The Bus' administration at 209-723-3100.

Helpful Tips


 

  • The Bus suggests your wheelchair be in good working order.
  • Attendants that assist Paratransit passengers are allowed to ride free only if they assist the passenger on and off The Bus and make the same trip as the passenger they are attending.
  • Advance reservations of 24 hours or even a week before you need a ride are strongly encouraged. This is especially true if you need a regular ride and return on a daily basis.
  • Be clear and direct about where you are and where you want to go when calling for service. Provide the dispatchers with exact street addresses whenever possible. This helps us avoid mistakes on your pick up or your destination.
  • The Bus can arrive 5 minutes before or 30 minutes after your promised pick up time.
  • Have your fare or pass ready as you board.