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FAQs

What is ADA paratransit service?

ADA Paratransit Service is an advanced reservation, curb-to-curb service that is provided for people who are unable to use the SMART Fixed Route bus service because of a disability. In order to use ADA service, you must be ADA certified. ADA certification requires an application process.

What are the hours and days of ADA service?

SMART provides ADA service during the same days and hours that the fixed route system is in operation. If a person can travel to a destination using fixed route at a certain time of day, an ADA eligible person is also able to travel to the same destination using ADA service. Likewise, if a person cannot travel to a destination using the fixed route at a certain time of day, SMART is unable to provide ADA service.  Refer to individual route schedules for times and days of travel.

What makes an ADA trip legal?

A legal ADA paratransit trip should be comparable in length to an identical trip on the fixed route system, including the time necessary to travel to the bus stop, wait for the bus, actual riding time, transfers, and travel from the final stop to the person’s ultimate destination.

Each ADA trip request will be evaluated to ensure the trip is legal.  Under Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 37.131(a)(1)(i), transit entities must “provide complementary paratransit service to origins and destinations within corridors with a width of three-fourths of a mile on each side of each fixed route.” The measurement to destinations within the three-fourths of a mile corridor on each side of a fixed route is measured “as the crow flies” and does not vary based upon driving distance.

Some riders are given an ADA certification with conditions, meaning they have the ability to use to the fixed route bus sometimes, but are not able to at other times (ex. During winter weather and the bus stop is over 1 block away).  If the ADA certification any conditions, the schedulers will verify that all conditions have been met before scheduling the trip.

Will I have to transfer buses?

The ADA ensures the trip is ‘curb-to-curb service equal’ to that provided by the SMART fixed route system. If a passenger using fixed route must transfer from one bus to another to complete a trip, SMART has the option to transfer the ADA passenger from one bus to another.  ADA certification does not guarantee a direct trip. 

If the comparable fixed route trip requires a SMART bus and a DDOT bus, then the ADA rider will be required to transfer with Detroit Metrolift.

In some cases the comparable fixed route trip can be completed using DDOT buses, in which case Detroit Metrolift would be responsible for the ADA trip. In these cases, the rider is required to make arrangements with Detroit MetroLift.

ADA schedulers will look at the most direct path of travel required for each trip when determining if a transfer is required. 

How are transfer points chosen?

Transfer points are chosen based on written permission of the property owner.  These points are typically open extended hours, well lit, protected from weather elements, highly visible, and wheelchair accessible.

Will SMART send me an ADA card?

No, SMART does not issue ADA certification cards.

If my disability is permanent, is my ADA certification permanent?  Will SMART inform me when my ADA certification is about to expire?

Federal Government guidance does not permit SMART to issue permanent ADA eligibility.  To help keep passenger information up to date, SMART will issue 1 to 4 year ADA certifications, which may be renewed either by calling the ADA Manager or Clerk, or by filing a new ADA application.

SMART is not responsible for renewing or updating the status of an ADA Certification. To make it easier to remember, ADA certifications expire on your birthday of the expiration year. The SMART Customer Service representatives will be able to confirm when the ADA certification will expire.

If my medical condition changes will that impact my ADA Certification?

If your medical condition changes and impacts your ability to access SMART fixed route, a new ADA application will need to be submitted to reflect the updated level of independence.

What are the dates of SMART’s conditional winter ADA certification?

December 1 – March 31.

How is ADA paratransit eligibility determined?

Disability alone does not determine ADA paratransit eligibility; the decision is based on the applicant’s functional ability to use a fixed route bus and is not a medical decision. Therefore, one individual may have a conditional certification and another may have an unconditional certification even though they both have the same disability or medical diagnosis.

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