Do you have questions about using CAT’s “Shared Ride” service (sometimes called “Paratransit” service)? Maybe you’ve been wondering: When should I be ready? Where do I stand? Will the driver help me carry my groceries? The answers to these questions and more are detailed below. The more you know, the more comfortable you or a loved one will be riding CAT.
When to be Ready
For both your and CAT’s benefit, there is a 30-minute pick-up window. The pick-up window begins 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time and ends 15 minutes after your scheduled time. (Example: if your pick-up time is 9:00AM; your window is 8:45AM to 9:15AM). We ask that you please be ready and watch for your vehicle at the agreed pick-up location during this transportation window.
As our service area continues to grow, there is increased congestion, traffic and construction. There are also passengers that require more time to board. This window of time allows us to shift schedules accordingly.
To assist all passengers to get to their appointments in a timely fashion, we ask that passengers be ready to board the vehicle when CAT arrives. CAT will not assist passengers up/down steps to any extent beyond boarding and exiting bus.
Once vehicles arrive within the pick-up window at the scheduled location, drivers will only wait five (5) minutes until they depart.
Where to Stand
Paratransit service is considered curb-to-curb service, in which passengers are picked up at the curb of their boarding location and dropped off at the curb of their destination.
For Paratransit service, passengers must be at the proper pick-up point during their transportation window and must be able to get to that point without the assistance of the CAT driver. CAT does not employ personal care attendants. If a rider needs help getting to and from a pick-up point, the rider must make the necessary arrangements for assistance.
Passengers must arrange for pick-up at a location that is paved and cleared of any material that may impede movement of a passenger or vehicle. CAT buses will stop as close as possible to the pick-up point. Passengers must have paved walkways and/or ramp systems to enable them to access a bus if they are utilizing the Paratransit service. The Paratransit system is wheelchair accessible.
Drivers are not responsible for a passenger if no one is at home or at the end destination to receive them.
Passengers will only be picked up and dropped off at their scheduled locations.
Paratransit or Shared Ride Service is not “taxi” or non-stop service for one individual. Passengers share the vehicles with others taking trips at similar times in similar directions. Utilizing Paratransit Service, a passenger’s ride time will be approximately two (2) and ½ times as long as it would take to drive the trip in a personal vehicle. For instance, if it takes you one (1) hour to reach a doctor’s office traveling directly there in a personal vehicle, it would take you two (2) and ½ hours to reach the same doctor’s office when utilizing Paratransit Service.
Given the reality of long ride times, passengers should plan for their individual needs accordingly. This may include packing snacks or other supplies. Please note that CAT is not able to make additional stops at restroom facilities and the vehicles are not equipped with this amenity.
If a passenger has oxygen or another medical aid, it must be in a pack or be able to be properly secured. At times, our vehicles are delayed due to traffic, auto accidents, and unusual circumstances. Passengers must have enough oxygen to last the duration of their trip.
Passengers or a caregiver must be responsible for and be able to handle any such items as groceries, back packs, baggage, etc., that are brought onto the bus.
CAT drivers are not responsible for handling individual items, however, if you use a personal shopping cart, the driver will assist to load the cart using the bus lift. Customers can have as many bags as they can carry in their arms OR personal shopping carts can be used. Personal shopping carts are permitted onboard. All items must be kept out of the aisles.
Drivers Cannot Enter Homes
CAT drivers must be able to keep their bus in their view at all times, and cannot leave their passengers unattended. CAT drivers are not permitted to enter homes to assist customers.