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ADA Paratransit/Dial-A-Ride

MCT also offers an ADA Paratransit, demand response service called Dial-A-Ride.  This service operates the same hours as the Fixed-Routes.  ADA Paratransit is a service provided only to individuals with disabilities who are unable to ride accessible fixed-route public bus service because of their disability.  ADA Paratransit service is designed to ensure that the Civil Rights of these individuals are guaranteed as protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  ADA Paratransit is comparable to the fixed route bus service in Michigan City in terms of service area, days and hours of service, fares and response time as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and subsequent rulings of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Eligibility

Persons with disabilities, who are unable to ride accessible fixed-route bus service because their disability prevents it, are eligible for ADA Paratransit certification.  Eligible individuals will fall under one of these below listed three major categories.

  1. Individuals who are unable to “navigate” to the fixed-route system.  For example, someone who is blind and has not learned to ride fixed-route transit, or someone with severe cognitive disabilities who cannot learn to ride fixed-route transit.
  2. Individuals who are unable to get to the bus stop, wait for a bus, or use the accessible buses.  For example, someone who has extreme fatigue and can’t walk the distance to the bus stop.
  3. Individuals who use wheelchairs would not automatically qualify for ADA Paratransit, since the fixed-route buses are accessible.  Exceptions can occur on the days when the wheelchair lift is not functioning, or if the path between the individual’s home and the nearest bus stop has environmental barriers that prevent them from getting to the stop, such as sidewalks without curbs cuts, or sidewalks under construction, or winter weather conditions.

Both temporary and permanent conditions may qualify an individual for ADA Paratransit services.

Passengers must be certified as ADA Paratransit-eligible before ADA Paratransit service can be scheduled, with the exception of visitors who have been certified as ADA Paratransit-eligible with other fixed-route transit systems and can provide proof of certification. These individuals are eligible for temporary visitor status and do not need to be recertified by the Michigan City Transit Department provided they do not intend to use the service for more than 30 days in a calendar year.

How to Apply for ADA Paratransit Certification

To register for ADA Paratransit, an application must be completed and approved by the Transit Department Director. Applications are available at the Michigan City Transit Department, 1801 Kentucky Street Michigan City, Indiana 46360, also by calling 219.873.1502 and one will be mailed, or by going to www.emichigancity.com and clicking onto the MC TRANSIT link.

Application requests information about the nature, extent, functional effect, and duration of the disability. Professional certification is also required. The physician, caseworker or other professional familiar with the disability and functional abilities must complete this part of the application.

Once the completed application is submitted, the Department Director will evaluate the application and make a determination. Written confirmation of the decision will be sent within 21 calendar days.

For those applications not processed within 21 days of receipt. The applicant has presumptive eligibility to schedule and use paratransit service beginning on the 22nd day until such time that a written determination is issued.

If application is granted the passenger will be issued an ADA Paratransit Eligibility Card and will be able to immediately schedule service. If your application is denied, given conditional or temporary eligibility, applicant has the right to appeal.

How to Appeal if the Application for ADA Paratransit is Denied

Applicants who are denied eligibility are given a written notice with specific reasons for the decision and notice of their right to appeal.

Denied applicants have 60 days to file a written appeal with the Superintendent of Michigan City Central Services, 1801 Kentucky Street Michigan City, IN 46360.

The Superintendent of Central Services will have 30 days to review the case and make a determination. All decisions made by the Superintendent of Central Services are final.

If a decision is not made within 30 days of completing the appeal process, transportation is provided until and unless a decision to deny the appeal is issued.

Advance Reservation Policy

Trip reservations, must be received no later than 2 hours prior to schedule requested service. Reservations are accepted as much as 10 days in advance. Your trip may be scheduled up to one hour earlier or later than your requested pick-up time in order to serve as many people as possible and to use our vehicles in the most efficient manner.

What constitutes a “No Show”

If a passenger is unable to make his or her scheduled trip and does not call the Michigan City Transit Office to cancel the trip before 2 hours prior to the scheduled trip, the trip will be considered a “no-show.”  Passengers who are not ready by their scheduled pick-up time may also be considered a “No-show” if they are more than fifteen minutes late; the driver may leave and contact the Dispatcher for documenting and tracking patterns of abuse.  Only “no shows” that are under the passengers control will be counted against the passenger. Family and medical emergency, environmental barrier, and schedule errors will not be counted against the passenger. Michigan City Transit will consider as a rule of measurement the frequency of the rider in determining a pattern of abuse.

Consequences for “No-show”

A “No-show” has the following consequences:

  • First Offense: Written reminder of the “no-show” rules.
  • Second Offense: Warning letter issued by Department Director
  • Third Offense: Written letter illustrating a pattern of abuse and The Transit Department intent to suspend service if pattern continues.
  • Fourth Offense: Suspension of service for 30 days.

An offense will be dropped if a subsequent offense does not occur within 30 days of the preceding offense.

Appeals Process “No-show”

The passenger may appeal any of the above four actions if he or she feels a “no-show” occurred because of unexpected circumstances beyond his or her control.  Written appeals should be addressed to the Michigan City Transit Director within ten (15) days of notification of the offense. Michigan City Transit Director and Central Service Superintendent will review and respond in writing within 5 days.

Passenger Assistance Policy

All Michigan City Transit Operators are trained in passenger assistance techniques and will provide passenger assistance, if requested, in boarding and disembarking the vehicle.  Passenger assistance may include guiding the passenger to the vehicle, lending a steady arm for balance in boarding the vehicle, finding a seat or securing a wheelchair.

However, ADA Paratransit drivers will not provide assistance that involves bearing weight, including lifting and carrying passengers or their possessions. The driver may refuse service if the passenger cannot safely travel to and from the vehicle without the driver lifting or carrying the passenger.  Individuals who need extensive assistance in traveling should arrange for a Personal Care Attendant to accompany and assist them.  ADA Paratransit does not provide Person Care Attendants.  When service is first provided to a new passenger a supervisor may be present to assess assistance needs of the new passenger.

ADA Paratransit operators will not enter passenger’s homes.  For the safety and protection of both drivers and passenger, it is against our policy to provide this type of assistance. ADA Paratransit is not a delivery service.  Passengers are responsible for carrying their own belongings.  Packages must be held in lap or under the seat.  You are only allowed to carry on-board what can be carried on with one trip onto the vehicle. ADA Paratransit operators will not enter passenger’s homes.  For the safety and protection of both drivers and passenger, it is against our policy to provide this type of assistance. ADA Paratransit is not a delivery service.  Passengers are responsible for carrying their own belongings.  Packages must be held in lap or under the seat.  You are only allowed to carry on-board what can be carried on with one trip onto the vehicle.

For the complete policy click here.

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Emergency Trips

Michigan City Transit understands that last minute issues arise that may necessitate an emergency trip.  Should an ADA Paratransit need a trip scheduled outside the normal reservation parameters they should call the office and explain the need.  If there is an available opening in the schedule.

The Transit Director can authorize the trip.  No trips will be authorized with-in three hours of the needed trip.

Fare Policy

The fare for an ADA Paratransit trip is $2.00 each way.

A registered Personal Care Attendant may accompany their client at no additional charge.  One other additional companion may accompany the individual with prior notice to the Michigan City Transit Office for $2.00 each way.

Half Fare:
In order to qualify for Half fare, you must show one of these types of ID’s: Driver’s License, State ID, Medicare Card or an ADA Eligibility Card.

How to Schedule a Trip

Call the Michigan City Transit Department during normal office hours, M-F 7:00am-6:00 pm, S 8:30 am-5:30 pm, at 219.873.1502.  The appointment must be for at least one business day before your appointment.

Hearing impaired customers can use Indiana TDD Relay System by dialing 711 to schedule a trip.

What information the Scheduler will need

  • The fact that an ADA Paratransit trip is being scheduled.
  • The Name
  • The daytime telephone number and a telephone number that can be reached at least 60 minutes prior to travel time.
  • The requested date of travel.
  • The requested time of travel.
  • Where is the pickup location
  • What is the destination and required arrival time, if required?
  • The time needed for a return trip, if required. This must be scheduled.
  • Special assistance needed or other considerations (for example use of a wheelchair, oxygen, PCA etc.).

The scheduler will schedule the trip. If the pick-up or drop-off, the locations or travel times do not fall within the ADA Paratransit service area or days and hours of service, the trip will not be scheduled.

Policy of Portable Breathing Aids

Portable oxygen supplies and respirators are permitted on board ADA Paratransit with proper notification. Oxygen tanks must be secured so they do not move during transport.  Information about the use of this equipment must be provided to the scheduler when scheduling service.

Late Policy

In order to provide service to as many people as possible, it is essential that all passengers be ready at their appointment time.  Passengers who are not ready for the scheduled pick-up time cause the driver to fall behind schedule and inconvenience other passengers.  Therefore, there is a five-minute limit to the amount of time the ADA Paratransit Operator will wait for a late passenger.

It is the passenger’s responsibility to be ready and waiting at their door, or curb, if they are able, by their scheduled pick-up time.  If the passenger is not ready and at the door within five minutes of the scheduled pick-up time, and has not called the Transit Office it will be considered a No-Show.

Service Animals and Pets
Service animals are welcome aboard Michigan City Transit vehicles.  A service animal is any guide dog, or other animal trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  Service animals are not pets.  They are working animals that are specially trained to provide assistance.  To travel on a Michigan City Transit vehicle, a service animal must:

  • Be on a leash.
  • Remain at its person’s feet or on their lap, but may not sit on a vehicle seat
  • Not show aggressive tendencies towards people.
  • Must be restrained and under control at all times.

Paratransit Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.