ADA Priority Paratransit


Please read the frequently asked questions below before applying for ADA Eligibility. Click here, for an application.

Please ask for an ADA eligibility packet, or click here, if you wish to be considered for eligibility under this program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Priority Paratransit? Smart Transit’s ADA Priority Paratransit program is for individuals who, due to a health condition or disability, are unable to use Smart Transit’s lift-accessible fixed route bus system for some or all of their trips. (The fixed route system has buses that follow the same route several times a day and stop at designated locations at scheduled times. No appointment is necessary for the fixed route.)

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? The ADA is a civil rights bill that requires fixed route public transportation systems to provide comparable paratransit service to eligible individuals with disabilities. Comparable service includes: 1) origins and destinations within a corridor of ¾ mile on either side of each fixed route, along with any small area not inside any corridor but is surrounded by corridors; 2) providing paratransit service at any requested time (time is negotiable) on a particular day in response to a request for service made the previous day during normal business hours; 3) the fare cannot exceed twice the full fare for a comparable trip on the fixed route system; 4) and ADA paratransit service must be available during the same hours and days of service as the fixed route service (49 CFR §37.131).

Why must I apply for ADA Priority Paratransit? In order to provide the best service, Smart Transit must determine which of its clients are eligible for ADA Priority Paratransit. You must be determined eligible in order to take advantage of ADA Priority Paratransit services. Application does not guarantee eligibility.

How do I apply for ADA Priority Paratransit? You must apply by filling out the Smart Transit ADA Priority Paratransit application in full. Incomplete applications will be returned to you, causing delays in your application process. The process should not take longer than 21 days from the date of submission of your completed application. If the determination cannot be made in 21 days from the date of submission, you will be presumed eligible until the determination is completed. You may have another individual complete the application for you. If you are under the age of 18 or require a legal guardian, a parent or legal guardian must sign the application. It may be necessary for Smart Transit to seek additional information from you, by phone or in person, and to verify your disability with a licensed professional. The more detailed information you can provide, the better you enable Smart Transit to make the most appropriate determination regarding your transportation needs.

What will the eligibility determination mean to me? If you are determined fully eligible, you have the right to the level of service comparable to that which is provided to individuals without disabilities who use the fixed route system. If you are determined conditionally eligible, you have the same right under certain conditions (examples: for certain trips but not others or under certain weather conditions but not others). If you are determined temporarily eligible, you will have the same right for a specified time period. If you are denied eligibility, you cannot use Smart Transit’s ADA Priority Paratransit service. Smart Transit will continue to provide our standard paratransit service, known as Dial-A-Ride, for those determined ineligible for ADA Priority Paratransit and for the general public on a space available basis.

How do I use Smart Transit’s ADA Priority Paratransit? You call us during business hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, at (208) 883-7747 and make a reservation for your trip at least the day prior to your trip. Voicemail is available on Sundays and holidays until 5:00 PM to take reservation information for Monday and day-after-holiday trips. Please leave all the information you can, but especially your name and phone number where you can be reached on the evening prior and morning of your trip. Due to high demand for paratransit services and to accommodate all passengers with the best and most efficient service possible, you are encouraged to schedule your ride as soon as your need for transportation arises. If you need to cancel your trip, please do so at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled pick up time. If you cancel with less than 15 minutes until your scheduled pickup time, or do not cancel your trip, you will be considered a “no-show.” Too many “no-shows” could result in suspension of service.

What if I am denied eligibility or do not agree with the eligibility determination? You have the right to appeal the determination for 60 days following the receipt of the written notification of your eligibility status. Your appeal must be in writing.

What are the criteria for eligibility? ADA Priority Paratransit is for individuals whose health condition or disability prevents them from using the fixed route. Having a health condition or disability in and of itself does not guarantee eligibility. There are three categories of eligibility. The first category of eligible individuals are those with a disability who are unable, as the result of a physical or mental impairment, to independently board, ride, or exit vehicles which are readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities. The second category includes individuals with a disability who are able to board, ride, and exit accessible vehicles, but the particular route or destination required is not serviced by an accessible vehicle or bus stop. The third category includes individuals with a disability who are prevented from traveling to or from a bus stop due to their specific impairment-related condition or in combination with environmental and architectural barriers (49 CFR §37.123).

I’m on Medicaid or Social Security. Don’t I automatically qualify? Qualifying for Medicaid or Social Security benefits does not automatically qualify you for ADA Priority Paratransit service. ADA Priority Paratransit eligibility is based on functional ability to utilize the fixed route system as a result of a health condition or disability, not a medical assessment.

What factors are not considered for eligibility? The following issues are not considerations of eligibility for ADA Priority Paratransit: 1) Age, 2) Distance to a bus stop, 3) Lack of fixed route bus service to an area, 4) Weather conditions, and 5) Inability to speak English.

What if my condition changes? If your condition changes and you would like to be re-evaluated for ADA Priority Paratransit, you may fill out a new application for a new eligibility determination.

Will my information be kept private? Smart Transit keeps all client records confidential. The information used in determining your ADA Priority Paratransit Eligibility will only be used for that purpose. Only information relevant to your required trip needs will be given to those who perform those services. The ADA allows Smart Transit to share your eligibility status to transportation agencies in other areas should you require their services.

What if I have questions or need assistance filling out the application? If you have any questions, need assistance, or require a format that is more accessible to you, call Smart Transit at (208) 883-7747 during office hours between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

If you need a TTY/relay operator, dial one of these toll-free numbers:

IF YOU LIVE IN IDAHO:               
TTY/ASCII: 1-800-377-3529             
Speech-to-Speech: 1-888-791-3004   
Spanish-to-Spanish: 1-866-252-0684

TTY/Hearing Carry-Over: 1-800-833-6388
Voice Carry-Over: 1-800-833-6386
Speech-to-Speech: 1-877-833-6341
Telebraille: 1-800-833-6385