Shared Ride is bus service that provides consolidated trips between customers’ origins and destinations that are not well served by scheduled route bus service. Often referred to as “Paratransit,” Shared Ride operates during limited hours and specific travel areas. There is a required application and reservation process.
Despite being a door-to-door service, Shared Ride does not provide “taxi” service and is not a non-stop ride for one person. Different riders are grouped together depending upon their travel time and location(s). Shared Ride does not provide emergency medical transportation services.
There are many individual programs within Shared Ride service. Each of these is governed with a different set of regulations, funding sources, reporting standards and service delivery guidelines. No two passengers’ trips or experience are the same.
Return Trip Procedure
Running late? If you are at a medical provider and your appointment time is being delayed, please call us or have a representative from the doctor’s office call the CAT Call Center immediately. It is good practice upon arriving at your medical appointment to check in with staff to alert them that you are riding CAT and inquire if the doctor you are planning to see is currently running on schedule. We want to avoid having the vehicle arrive for your return trip before you are seen by the medical provider.
All passengers who “no show” a trip will be automatically cancelled for all other scheduled trips for the day. It is the responsibility of the passenger to call at least one (1) hour in advance of the scheduled return trip (or subsequent trip) if the passenger still needs a ride. If the passenger contacts CAT less than one hour before the scheduled return trip (or subsequent trip), the passenger may be required to pay full fare. ADA passengers will be required to call in to cancel all trips, failure to do so will result in an additional “No Show.”
Order of Drop-Off
The order of passenger pick up and drop off is not just based on geographical location.
Each funding agency of the various Paratransit programs designates a different and specific set of regulations to which CAT must adhere. These program regulations dictate how the service is provided and affects the order of passenger drop off and pick up. Multiple vehicles may be sent to one location, for example a senior center, to pick up different sets of people as the vehicles travel to different parts of the county.
All passengers must be ready and looking for the Share-A-Ride vehicle at least 15 minutes prior until 15 minutes after the scheduled time for a pick-up, and from the scheduled pick-up time until 15 minutes after for a return. When the van arrives at the pick-up site, the operator can wait no more than five (5) minutes. If the van does not arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled pick-up time, please call CAT Call Center at 1-717-233-5657 to inquire about the whereabouts of the van.
Special Needs Riders
While drivers have had some training for individuals with special needs, please understand that they may not be aware of all the conditions of these individuals, or special arrangements that must be made.
If a passenger cannot be left unattended, it is the responsibility of the caregiver to make the necessary arrangements to have an escort at the drop-off point when the driver gets there. It is the caregiver’s responsibility to be available as soon as the bus arrives.
CAT encourages passengers with special needs to utilize a personal care assistant to ensure success in their transportation.
Seat Belts & Car Seats
All passengers and escorts are required to wear a seat belt if one is available on a paratransit vehicle.
On paratransit vehicles, customers must provide appropriate car seats according to Pennsylvania state law including: car seat for children under age four (4) and a booster seat for children between the ages of four (4) and seven (7). We will not transport passengers on paratransit vehicles if appropriate car seats are not provided. Subcontractors may use school buses, which do not always accommodate car seats or contain seat belts, but these items are not required on school buses.
This information is subject to and contingent upon changes to Pennsylvania state law. CAT requires passengers to follow Pennsylvania state law.
- Remain seated while vehicle is in motion.
- Eating, drinking, and smoking on CAT vehicles is prohibited.
- Please do not disturb or harass other passengers.
- Audio or video devices are allowed as long as headphones are used.
- Conversations on cellular devices should not distract the driver or other passengers.
- Please refrain from using profane language.
CAT may discontinue the service of any customer who endangers the safe operation of the vehicle, endangers another passenger, themselves, or the CAT driver.
CAT reserves the right to require an escort that is arranged for by the customer or designee when necessary.