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ACCESS Services


ADA Paratransit Eligibility

The ADA Paratransit is a federally mandated part of the public transit system and shares funding with mainstream public transit, which includes the bus system and trains. ADA Paratransit service in Los Angeles County has an average trip cost of $30.00 versus $2.50 for fixed-route. A functional evaluation to determine ADA Paratransit Eligibility is required for all original certifications and the recertifications are reviewed every three years.

Please be aware that Access Services is strictly interpreting the ADA guidelines. Functional Evaluations are required for all Access Paratransit riders and provide a thorough assessment to determine an individual’s functional ability to use mainstream public transportation (buses and trains). Only individuals with a disability related condition that prevents them from independently getting to a bus stop or that prevents them from being able to independently ride the bus are eligible for ADA Paratransit.

Federal regulations specifically direct that the following does not create eligibility:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Medical diagnosis of disability
  • Inconvenience of using the bus
Eligibility for Access Paratransit is determined after an individual participates in a functional evaluation of their transit skills to determine to what extent, if any, their disability prevents them from using accessible fixed route transit.

An eligibility determination may result in the following:

  • Allow unrestricted use of paratransit
  • Have trip qualifiers restricting the use of paratransit based on the person’s abilities, or
  • Find the person is capable of using accessible fixed route transit.

Functional Evaluations were fully implemented in July 2004. Access Services’ stricter adherence to ADA eligibility criteria and the revised 100% in-person evaluation for recertification has caused a lot of concern and discussion within the disability community. There is the potential for a rider who has been using Access Paratransit for the past 12 years, to be found ineligible or have restricted eligibility, upon recertification. Access Service riders can appeal any denial or restricted eligibility that is granted per the ADA regulations.

It is important that you prepare yourself before undergoing the in house functional assessment at the Access Service Center. Please consult with your assigned Service Coordinator and secure guidance regarding your particular situation and any documentation that would support your case. In addition, provide your Access Services rider number and expiration date. We will use this information to update you regarding upcoming community meetings or events or changes in the future. We will alert you three months in advance regarding your rideship expiration with Access Services.

For additional information, view the ELARC Transportation Fact Sheet (English with Spanish), or click here to view the Transportation Fact Sheet in English/Chinese.

For more information, please visit Access Services, Inc.