Eligibility for ADA Paratransit
Eligibility for ADA service is directly related to the inability of a person with a disability to use the existing regularly scheduled fixed route buses. It is not just based on the presence of a disability, but on the effect that the disability has on the person’s ability to use the fixed route system. Requirements for complementary paratransit do not apply to commuter bus service. SMART’s commuter routes include the 1X, 2X (north of Wilsonville), 4, 8X, and 9X. Several factors must be considered in determining ADA paratransit eligibility. These include:
Any individual with a disability who is unable, as the result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
Limited Accessibility of the Fixed Route System
Any individual with a disability who is unable to independently board, ride, or disembark from an accessible vehicle when the system is not fully accessible. Limited accessibility occurs in places the lift cannot be deployed at the boarding or disembarking location the person with a disability wishes to use or where a required mobility device such as a wheelchair cannot be accommodated.
Individuals whose disability PREVENTS them from traveling to a boarding or disembarking location (Example: steep terrain, extreme temperatures, severe air pollution, or inability to negotiate architectural barriers to reach a specific bus stop) this is considered a conditional eligibility and a person may be eligible for only some trips. Architectural barriers not under the control of SMART and environmental barriers (e.g., distance, terrain, weather) do not, standing alone, form a basis for eligibility under this paragraph. The interaction of such barriers with an individual's specific impairment-related condition may form a basis for eligibility under this paragraph, if the effect is to prevent the individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location.
BENEFITS FOR ADA PARATRANSIT ELIGIBLE RIDERS
There are some benefits involved with being an ADA eligible rider. You will be able to make advance reservations, and your ride will be guaranteed within a two hour window of your desired pick-up time. If you have an appointment, SMART is obligated to schedule your ride to get you to the appointment on time. Subscription reservations are allowed for ADA eligible riders only.
PERSONAL CARE ATTENDENT (PCA)
An ADA eligible rider may take one Personal Care Attendant (PCA) with them at no charge. In addition to the PCA, the eligible rider may also take along one companion (additional companions may be added on a space available basis) for the same fare as the ADA eligible rider provided that they have the same origin and destination as the eligible rider.
Please advise the dispatcher when the trip is booked that you will be riding with a companion(s) and/or PCA. A family member or friend is regarded as a companion to the eligible rider, and not as a personal care attendant, unless the family member or friend registered is acting in the capacity of a personal care attendant. SMART reserves the right to refuse service to any individual who does not have a reservation for service.
SERVICE REFUSAL AND SERVICE CONDITIONS POLICY
SMART will refuse service to any individual who engages in violent, seriously disruptive or illegal conduct while on a SMART fixed route or paratransit vehicle, in accordance with CFR 47, Section 37.5(h) of The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This may include a person who assaults a driver or another passenger, who smokes or drinks on a vehicle in violation of established laws, or who engages in conduct that is so severe that the delivery of service is seriously disrupted.
CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH SERVICE CAN BE CONDITIONED
Conditions may be placed on the use of service, in the cases in which SMART would otherwise have authority to suspend or refuse service. For example, a rider with a mental disability may have a tendency to move around the paratransit vehicle and accost other passengers. Because such behavior would be seriously disruptive to the service, SMART could refuse service. SMART could also, therefore, require that the person travel with an attendant.
COMPLEMENTARY ADA PARATRANSIT SERVICE FOR VISITORS
ADA paratransit service is available to visitors with disabilities who do not reside within the service area of Wilsonville and who present documentation that they are ADA paratransit eligible in the jurisdiction in which they reside. With respect to visitors with disabilities who do not present such documentation, SMART requires at minimum, the documentation of the individual's place of residence and, if the individual's disability is not apparent, of his or her disability. All visitors will be required to provide the minimum amount of information.
SMART encourages visitors to complete the application process before they arrive, by mail, email, fax, or the online process so that the application can be processed expeditiously. For more information on filling out the ADA application, please call (503) 682-7790 or go online to www.ridesmart.com/ada. You can also fax a copy to smart at (503) 685-9180.
Once this documentation is presented and is satisfactory, SMART will make service available on the basis of the individual's statement that he or she is unable to use the fixed route transit system. For the period of a visit, the visitor is treated exactly like an eligible local user, without any higher priority being given to either.
A letter will be issued to the visitor which clearly states the terms and limitations of their eligibility. SMART’s service will be made available to the eligible visitor for any combination of 21 days during any 1-year period beginning with the visitor's first use of the service during that period.
SMART is not required to serve someone based on visitor eligibility for more than 21 days. After that, the individual is treated the same as a local person for eligibility purposes. This is true whether the 21 days are consecutive or parceled out over several shorter visits. A person who is visiting longer than 21 days should apply for regular eligibility as soon as they arrive.
Visitor’s returning to Wilsonville whose eligibility has expired must reapply for visitor status paratransit eligibility. Visitor status will be granted only once per year. Those planning on returning to the region within one year or to be a more frequent visitor will be encouraged to apply for standard regional eligibility.
ELIGIBILITY APPEALS PROCESS
An individual that applies for ADA Certification and is denied has the right to an appeal. This must be done in writing within 60 days from the date of the denial. You have the right to have your case heard in person and may bring an advocate or representative to the hearing. Please send a letter stating your reasons for the appeal to: SMART Eligibility Appeals Committee, 28879 Boberg Road, Wilsonville, OR 97070.
Once your letter is received the Eligibility Appeals Committee will assemble to process your appeal. The appeals committee should render a final, written decision within 30 days or you will automatically receive service on the 31st day which will continue until you receive notification of a decision.
The appeals committee consists of at least 3 persons including one member from the Eligibility Committee and two staff members from SMART who were not involved in the original review of your application.
You may re-initiate the paratransit eligibility process, beginning at level one, at any time that there is a change in your functional ability to use the fixed route system.
SMART will provide any necessary aids (interpreter, transportation, an accessible format) for you to participate in the hearing. However, you need to request any necessary aids at least one week before the meeting.