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Para-Transit Rider’s Guide

Our goal is to provide safe, courteous, and reliable transportation to all our clients with challenges that restrict their ability to use the regular fixed route bus system.

How to Schedule a Ride

All riders will be responsible for the scheduling, cancellation, and payment of their own trips. Even if two individuals are from the same household and are approved for para-transit service on their own merits, each are responsible for their own trips. We ask that you have your fare ready for each leg of your trip. The driver who first transports you will not accept a round-trip fare. Each leg of the trip must be paid for separately. Riders must be waiting at the sidewalk or at another safe waiting area in front or as close as possible to the entrance of a pick up location. Bus operators will wait for a rider for five minutes at the curb of a public street in front or as close as possible to the rider’s house, building or other designated pick up location. Please verify exactly where to wait for the van when scheduling your ride. The scheduler will advise the safest pick up place for you to wait. Para-Transit is an origin to destination shared ride program, which does not advocate unsafe practices, such as backing up into traffic.

We ask that you show your Para-Transit ID card to the driver. Please check to make sure your ID card is current. Cards are issued for periods of 3 years.

 2017 Welcome to Para-Transit  

Definitions

Trip Denial: anything more than two (2) hours outside the original trip request (up to one (1) hour before to one (1) hour after), also any trip more than three-quarter (3/4) miles from any point on fixed route.

On Time Performance: Trips are considered on time if driver arrives within 30 minutes of the persons scheduled pick up. 

Missed Trips: Any trips not scheduled due to office error or trips that are not executed by driver.

Excessive long trips: anything more than two (2) hours long or comparable to a trip across town on the fixed route, transfers are included. 

Service Hours and Days

Booking Hours and Days: Reservations must be made one day in advance to schedule a Para-Transit ride. You may book a reservation by calling 573-874-7290 on Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  You may also call on Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., to book a reservation for Monday. (Para-Transit buses do not run on Sunday.)

Please leave a message: If your call to book a reservation is not answered, please leave a detailed voice message with your reservation request. Staff will respond to all voice messages with a confirmation that your ride has been scheduled or with any follow-up questions. Your reservation is not booked until a staff member has contacted you to confirm it.

Service Hours and Days: Rides must be booked at least one day in advance for the following schedule.

  • Monday through Friday: 6:25 a.m. – 7:25 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:25 p.m.
  • Sunday: No Para-Transit service.

Columbia Transit’s Para-transit is in compliance with the American Disabilities Act and its definitions. This service area is defined as, the area within 3/4 of a mile from any point on all regular City bus routes. Periodic or commuter routes such as the yellow route are specifically excluded from this criteria. The area outside the 3/4 mile span, but within the city limits is serviced on a space available basis. Reservations within the 3/4 mile area may be made up to 14 days in advance. Because the Para-Transit system complements the fixed route system, service is provided only from origin to destination.

Fares

The fare for Para-Transit is $2 per ride. A companion may also travel for $2 per ride. Personal Care Attendants ride free, but must be 18 years of age and fill out an application to be registered as a Personal Care Attendant with the CT Para-Transit system.

Reservations

Reservations are made on a first come, first serve basis. All reservations must be made by Transit Service schedulers, only. Drivers are not allowed to take or cancel reservations. To schedule or cancel a ride:

  • Contact the Para-Transit Scheduler at 573-874-7290 or by sending an email to PTScheduling@como.gov (This internet address will go directly to the Para-Transit scheduling desk for process. Columbia Transit’s internet based scheduling is designed to provide our clients the ability to request rides, and conduct other business with Para-Transit via the internet. However due to Internet Security Systems and other situations out of our control, your email may not get through. If you have requested a ride and a scheduler has not confirmed your request within one hour during our regular business hours, please call 874-7290.)
  • Schedulers are on duty Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Provide scheduler with the street address of both your pick up and the destination.

We provide next day service. We try to get our clients to their destinations within one hour plus or minus of their requested time. Calls after 5:00 p.m. cannot be scheduled for the next day.

Reservations are accepted up to 14 days in advance, except in areas outside the ADA service area. They are space available and must be made the day prior to the request. Trips may be denied due to unanticipated circumstances such as bad weather, traffic problems, and vehicle breakdowns. Messages left on the voice mail on Saturday and Sunday will be reviewed on Monday for Tuesday if space is available. Please call early to reserve your trip, whenever possible.

Note: For next day service, we have expanded the scheduling operating hours to 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the day prior to the requested ride. This is due to the tremendous increase of required service requests.

No Show Policy

Paratransit is an important bu limited resource; the missing of scheduled trips is a major contributor to service costs and system inefficiency. In order to protect the quality of service, Go COMO will comply with ADA guidelines and suspend riders who demonstrate a patter or practice of missed trips.

A no-show happens when a paratransit rider misses a scheduled trip. This includes any one of the following: (a) the van arrives at the agreed upon pick up time and the passenger is absent or declines to travel, (b) the passenger cancels the trip less than two (2) hours prior to scheduled pickup time, or (c) a rider otherwise delays a van.

Go COMO will not penalize a rider for a no show or late cancellation beyond the rider’s control or due to operator error. It is the rider’s responsibility to notify Go COMO as soon as he or she is reasonably able that the missed trip was due to circumstances beyond his or her control.

In an effort to reduce excessive cancellations and no shows, Go COMO staff will review any client who appears to have a patter or practice of cancellations or no-shows. If, in a 90 day period, a rider has 9 or more no shows and these no shows represent 10% or more of the rider’s scheduled trips, then the rider may be subject to a suspension of services.

The individual patron will be notified in writing before any suspension is imposed. All suspensions shall be for a reasonable period of time, as determined by Go COMO on a case-by-case basis. In determining reasonableness, Go COMO shall consider the number and frequency of no-shows during the 90 day period, any prior history with suspensions for no-shows, and any other relevant circumstances.

A rider may appeal the suspension and period of suspension by contacting the ADA Coordinator within 30 days of notification.

 

Cancellations ( Call 874-7290 to cancel a reservation)

Late cancellations for paratransit services are costly to Go COMO and they affect our ability to provide a trip opportunity for other riders. Please cancel trip reservations at least one day in advance whenever possible. If you cancel a trip less than two (2) hours prior to your scheduled pickup time, then you will receive a “No-Show” for that trip. 

When canceling a trip, passengers are responsible to provide the following information:

  1. Name of passenger.
  2. Time and date of scheduled pick-up.
  3. Exact destination address.
  4. Status of any other scheduled trips for that day.

The earlier you cancel a trip reservation, the greater the chance the time will be able to be used by another passenger. 

In no case may reservations, cancellations, or changes in pick up or drop off be made throught he van driver over the radio. The patron must call the Para-Transit scheduler.

 

No Tolerance Policy

Columbia Transit/Paratransit patrons are prohibited from verbally or physically abusing other passengers, bus operators, or transit staff.

  • 1st Occurrence – Transit employee fills out an incident report, Patron receives a verbal warning.
  • 2nd Occurrence – Transit employee fills out an incident report, Patron receives a written warning.
  • 3rd Occurrence – Transit employee fills out an incident report, Patron is suspended for 30 days.

Trip Purpose

For the Columbia Transit Para-Transit Service there are no policies or practices that will restrict the number of trips provided to an individual during any period of time. All trips, no matter what the purpose, are eligible. There are no restrictions on the number of trips per customer in a given time period and no priority is given to any particular trip type. No waiting list or standby list will be maintained.