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FAQs

How do I travel as a visitor on another system’s ADA service in a different city?

If an individual presents documentation to the public transit provider of the city they will be traveling to, a visitor certification will be issued, which allows for 21 days of service in any calendar year.  This assumes the location travelled to also has ADA paratransit service available.

Is there a limit on how many destinations or legs of a trip a paratransit rider may request in a given day?

No. Paratransit providers are required to provide all eligible requested trips, not just trips to and from a single location. A person may take as many individual legs of a trip in a day as their schedule allows (factoring in pickup windows and time to complete their business), just as a fixed route user may take as many trips as he or she desires. To help with scheduling, it is requested that you remain at each destination for a minimum of 1 hour.

Is SMART required to allow a passenger to travel with a comfort animal?

No.  Under the ADA, SMART and other public transit entities are only required to allow service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities. Department of Transportation (DOT) ADA regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 37.3 define a service animal as an animal “individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.”  If an animal’s only function is to provide emotional support or comfort for the rider, that animal would not fall under the regulatory training-based definition of a service animal. Simply providing comfort is something that animal does passively, by its nature or through the perception of the owner. A service animal may not be excluded unless the animal is out of control and the animal's owner does not take effective action to control it or the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

What do I do if I have severe allergies to something I encounter on a SMART ADA paratransit bus, such as service animals and other potential allergens?

Encountering service animals and other potential allergens is a function of going out in public.  Under Department of Transportation (DOT) ADA regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 37.167(d), public transit providers are required to allow trained service animals to accompany riders on vehicles.

May I change my drop-off location on complementary paratransit service the same day?

No. Because paratransit is a shared ride, allowing riders to change their drop-off locations or make intermediate stops could lead to late pickups or drop-offs for other riders.

Can SMART negotiate my pickup time?

Yes, under Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 37.131(b)(2), a complementary paratransit entity may negotiate pickup times with an ADA paratransit eligible individual, up to one hour before or after the individual’s desired departure time. Any deviation from this one-hour window would exceed the bounds of comparability.

May a wheelchair user enter a lift platform and vehicle in the manner they prefer (e.g., entering facing forward or backing on)?

Yes. Under Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 38.23(b)(11), the lift must permit both inboard and outboard facing of wheelchair and mobility aid users. Appendix D to Section 37.165 further specifies that a transportation entity should respect the passenger’s preference for entering a lift platform and vehicle in a particular direction (e.g., entering facing forward or backing on), except where the only way of successfully maneuvering a device onto a vehicle or into its securement area requires a particular orientation or an overriding safety concern (i.e., a direct threat) exists. Given that lifts have been required to accommodate passenger facing either direction since 1991, it is unlikely that successful boarding would require a particular orientation. In any event, the passenger would be in the best position to determine which direction is best suited for boarding under their specific circumstances. A “direct threat” represents a clear and present danger to the health or safety of others; by definition, a direct threat cannot exist on the basis of presumptions about persons with disabilities or their mobility devices. It is difficult to envision circumstances under which the direction that a passenger faces when boarding would constitute a direct threat.

Effective Tuesday, March 31, 2020

  • Effective Tuesday, March 31, 2020 additional service reductions will begin
  • SMART ridership has dropped 80% over the past several weeks
  • Service Reductions include:
    • Frequency is hourly at a minimum for all routes
    • Woodward, Gratiot, and Michigan, FAST and local routes will alternate every 30 minutes.
    • Commuter and Park & Ride Routes will operate only one trip into downtown in the morning and only one trip out of downtown in the afternoon
    • SMART Shuttles and the Farmington/Farmington Hills Dial A Ride service will not operate. Contact SMART Connector for essential trips.SMART Shuttles and the Farmington/Farmington Hills Dial A Ride service will not operate. Contact SMART Connector for essential trips.
    • Hours of operation will be consistent with the length of weekday service hours
  • Updates on SMART service can be found at www.smartbus.org.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, SMART is committed to providing service for those who have no other alternative transportation to make essential trips to work, grocery stores and for necessary, schedule appointments such as dialysis treatments. SMART is identified as ‘critical infrastructure’ and its employees deemed essential workers in the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21 to Stay Home, Stay Safe.

SMART is implementing further service reductions starting Tuesday, March 31, 2020 as a way to better match service on the road with the reduced demand. As ridership is significantly lower at 80% less than a typical weekday, SMART will reduce service an additional 40%.  Since SMART implemented the initial 30% reduction last week, ridership has leveled off and remains steady.

  • Busy corridors like Woodward, Gratiot, and Michigan which includes, FAST and local routes, will run staggered every hour; meaning FAST and local routes will alternate every 30 minutes.
  • Weekday routes will operate hourly (time between buses) service with similar hours of operation as regular weekday service.
  • Commuter and Park & Ride routes will run one trip into downtown in the morning and one trip out of downtown in the afternoon. Ridership on these routes has dramatically fallen on these routes, averaging a 95% decline from typical weekday ridership.
  • Elimination of SMART same day services, including Groesbeck Shuttle, Somerset and Oakland Mall Shuttles as well as the Farmington/Farmington Hills Dial A Ride.  Anyone needing ride in these areas should call SMART Connector to reserve a trip at 866-962-5515 and press #1.

New Schedule Lookup:

Schedule Lookup 

Read the full press release below:

Tuesday, March 31 SMART will cut service as COVID-19 impacts ridership

 

 

What if my transfer expires because the bus runs behind schedule?

Dart passes are valid for the allotted time on the pass regardless of schedule adherence.

Can I use Dart passes on other metro area systems?

Using a Dart pass allows unlimited rides in any direction on SMART and DDOT Fixed Route buses and the QLINE Streetcar for the allotted time on the pass.  No additional fees are needed.

MTA: Accepts SMART transfers only in Auburn Hills for one ride only.
Port Huron: Blue Water: Blue Water accepts SMART transfers for up to two rides.

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