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ADA Rider Guidelines

SMART and the consumer based SMART Advisory Council has developed guidelines to ensure quality service for all passengers with disabilities.  SMART’s desire is to provide independence and mobility to as many passengers as possible.  Your cooperation is appreciated.


Scheduling ADA Trips

Passengers are permitted to reserve a trip up to 14 days in advance of the trip date.  SMART will accept any trip request if made before 4 p.m. the previous day, but the sooner you call, the better time you will receive.  Same day trip requests will not be accepted.  You may reserve your SMART ADA trip by calling 866-962-5515, first press 1, then 2 for ADA, then 1 to schedule.  For our passengers who are deaf or hearing impaired, call the relay service toll free by dialing either 711 or 1-800-649-3777.  You may also email your ride request to us at:


For efficient scheduling purposes, the ADA legislation permits SMART to schedule trips up to 1 hour either side of the desired departure and arrival times.  Passengers must agree to changes beyond 1 hour.  When scheduling trips, SMART takes into consideration your desired appointment (arrival) time at destination, and return (departure) time.  For example, if you need to be at your destination by 9 a.m., SMART may schedule your arrival between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.  If you request a 5 p.m. pick-up time, SMART may schedule the return pick-up between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.


Americans with Disabilities Act Passenger Assistance

SMART provides curb-to-curb ADA complementary paratransit service.  In special circumstances, a driver will provide door–to-door assistance as outlined below.  Origin to destination door-to-door assistance will only be provided if the passenger has a documented ADA certified disability, and any wheelchair ramps at the pick up address meet all ADA specifications.  At your request, an employee of SMART will investigate and confirm ADA ramp compliance.  Please request door-to-door assistance when scheduling the trip.  A request for assistance may also be made at the time of the trip, and shall be provided.  However, if providing such assistance would present a danger or risk of harm to the driver or the passenger, it may not be provided.


Drivers will: assist boarding/deboarding a SMART vehicle or wheelchair lift; offer an arm for guidance, but not physical support; provide verbal assistance; ring doorbells; open exterior doors; push passengers in manual wheelchairs up/down an ADA compliant ramp and/or one step of 6 inches or less.  Drivers will not: assist in locking or unlocking of doors; enter buildings, lose visual contact with the bus, handle personal property, offer weight bearing support, lift or push a wheelchair up an excessively steep ramp, push, pull, or help operate a powered wheelchair or scooter.


ADA Service Area

The SMART Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service area is the corridor located within three-quarters (3/4) of a mile of each side of a fixed route.  SMART provides service to any origin or destination within the service area if the fixed route bus provides that same trip.  This does not mean that you must live within the service area in order to be eligible.  If you live outside the service area and can find a way of getting to a pick-up location within the service area, SMART will pick you up from there.  The same holds true at the destination end of the trip.

Hours and Days of Service

SMART provides ADA service during the same days and hours that the fixed route bus is in operation.  If a person can travel from their point of origin to a destination using a fixed route bus at a certain time of day, an ADA eligible person is also able to travel from the same origin and destination using ADA service.  Likewise, if a person cannot travel to a destination using the fixed route service at a certain time of day, SMART will not provide ADA service.


30 Minute Window

When calling back for your pick up times, the scheduler will give you a 30 minute pick up window, such as 9:15 to 9:45.  You should be ready to leave your home by 9:15.  The driver may arrive anytime within the 30 minute window depending on: Driving conditions, bus breakdowns, promptness of other passengers, or driver absenteeism due to illness.  Upon arrival, the driver will wait for 3 minutes to permit sufficient time for you to get to the bus.  If the driver is early, they must wait 3 minutes into your window.  The driver may assist you on or off the lift.  Please do not make the driver late as it will impact your fellow passengers.  If repeated late arrivals become a problem, passengers may be subject to probationary status or a temporary suspension of service.


Cancellation of Trips, No-Shows, Late Buses

Trips are scheduled for passengers to have the freedom of mobility and independence.  It is the responsibility of the passenger to inform SMART if you will not use the service after it has been scheduled.  If you find you no longer need to make a certain trip, please cancel immediately so SMART can use that space for someone else.  As long as you cancel 2 hours or more before the start of your pick-up window, you will not be charged with a late cancellation.  A trip is considered a “no-show” if the bus arrives within the 30 minute window, waits the prescribed 3 minutes, and departs for their next pick up or drop off without the passenger boarding the bus.  If the bus arrives after the 30 minute window closes, and you do not take the trip, you will not be charged with a late cancellation or a no-show.  Only no-shows that are within your control will be counted against the no-show suspension policy.


To cancel a scheduled ADA trip prior to the day of the trip, please call ADA Reservations.  To cancel after 4 pm on the day before, or anytime on the day of the scheduled trip, or to check on a bus that has not arrived by the end of the 30 minute pick up window, please call Dispatch at: 866-962-5515, press 1, then 3 for “Late Bus/Same Day Cancellation,” then select the appropriate county from the menu.  You may cancel 1 leg of the trip or the entire trip.  If you cancel or no-show the first leg of your trip, SMART will NOT automatically cancel the return trip or second leg of the trip.  You are responsible for all bookings and cancellations.  If more than 10% of booked trips within a 30 day period are cancelled,showing a pattern of practice, cancelled late or are valid no-shows per this policy, including a pattern of practice, with a minimum of 6 late cancels/no shows in that same 30 day period, probationary status and/or a temporary suspension of service may occur.  The suspension timetable is listed later in this document under “Suspension of Service and Appeal.”


Fares and Transfers

The fare for SMART ADA service is always $3.00 each way.  Reduced Fare discounts offered on the Connector or fixed route bus services DO NOT APPLY to ADA services.  Fares may be paid using cash, bus tickets, or 31 Day Bus Passes.


The ADA ensures curb–to-curb service equal to that provided by the SMART fixed route system.  If a passenger using the fixed route service 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.  When possible, SMART will make every effort to provide a transfer free trip.  However, ADA certification does not guarantee a direct trip.


You must be ADA certified with both SMART and DDOT to use both services.  If the trip requires use of SMART or DDOT fixed route buses, or SMART Connector services, the SMART ADA driver will issue a paper transfer at no additional charge.  Passengers making a transfer FROM a SMART or DDOT fixed route bus to the SMART ADA service will pay the SMART ADA driver $2.50 along with a valid paper transfer.  Dual ADA certified passengers who are transferring from one ADA service to another will transfer at no additional charge with a pre-booked non-paper transfer.


Personal Care Attendants (PCA)

A PCA is anyone whose purpose is to help you meet your disability related personal needs.  One (1) Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may accompany you at no additional charge, as long as your ADA certification specifies the need for a PCA.  Please tell the scheduler that a PCA will accompany you.



Guests are welcome to ride with you for $3.00 per one-way trip.  Due to limited space, you are allowed no more than 1 guest per trip.  You must reserve space for your guest when scheduling your trip.  Seating for more than 1 guest must be approved, and is based on space availability.


Failure to Pay Fare

The exact one-way fare must be paid when boarding the bus.  In addition, under no circumstances is the driver permitted to come into physical contact with the passenger to receive the fare – unless the passenger is unable to access the fare box.  It is not “safe” to expect the driver to take the fare from the passenger’s belongings (e.g., purse, wallet, etc.).  This is for the protection of the drivers and the passengers.  Failure to conform to this standard will result in a temporary suspension of service.


Walkers, Canes, Crutches, Strollers

Passengers using walkers, canes or crutches are responsible for their own personal medical equipment. None of these, including strollers occupied by children, shall be stored in the wheelchair securement areas. Drivers are prohibited from using the Q-Straint tie downs to secure anything other than wheelchairs, scooters, companion/transport chairs or adult strollers.


Shopping, laundry and other bags on buses

Passengers are permitted to bring as many bags on the bus as they are able to manage. You may not exit to bring more bags on the bus.  Personal shopping carts, designed to carry standard size grocery bags may be used, but shall not be secured with belts in the wheelchair area on the bus.  You are responsible for managing your own shopping cart.  Grocery store size carts are prohibited on SMART buses as they are too large and block the aisle.


Using the lift on SMART small buses

Any passenger may request to use the lift to enter or exit SMART small buses.  Lifts accommodate wheelchairs and scooters that measure no longer than 48 inches and no wider than 32 inches, and weigh, when occupied, no more than 700 pounds.  Only one person may ride on the lift at a time.  If a passenger is using a mobility device, they may have the device on the lift, but their guest or companion may NOT ride on the lift with the passenger at the same time.  This poses a danger to all and is considered unsafe.


Reasonable Modifications

If a passenger requires additional assistance than what is described in these guidelines, a reasonable modification may be requested, as long as it does not pose a safety risk to the passenger or the operator.  Examples of modifications that can be requested include but are not limited to:  Help with payment of fare, assistance with the loading/unloading of bags, receiving a call when the vehicle has arrived, and a request to be picked up at a specific entrance.  Requests for these modifications may be made by contacting the ADA Program Manager or the Manager of Connector Services at: 1.866.962.5515 or email:  All approved reasonable modifications will be noted on the driver’s manifest.  


Hazardous Conditions

No passenger may act in a threatening, harmful, criminal, or unsafe manner, which may jeopardize the passenger, the driver or other passengers.  Any potentially communicable health condition (open wounds/sores, bodily fluids, lice, bed bugs) is considered hazardous.  Failure to conform to this standard will result in a temporary suspension of service.


Personal Hygiene

To protect the health and well being of SMART personnel and our passengers, SMART requires all passengers maintain an acceptable standard of personal hygiene.  Failure to conform to this policy will result in probationary status and/or a temporary suspension of service.


Physical or Verbal Abuse

If a passenger physically or verbally abuses SMART employees and/or other passengers, that passenger is subject to immediate probation and/or temporary suspension of service.  Profanity or sexual harassment by passengers or drivers will not be tolerated.   The passenger will be subject to a temporary suspension of service.  Drivers may be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in their union contract and SMART employee policies.


Suspension of Service and Appeal

If a passenger is in violation of these guidelines, a warning/suspension letter and, “Notice of Right to Appeal Suspension” form will be mailed to the passenger outlining the potential disciplinary action.  Suspension of service appeals are accepted by mail, fax, email or telephone.  Suspensions generally start on the first Sunday of the month.  During the appeal process, the proposed suspension will be stayed pending the results of the appeal.  Violations result in the following suspensions over the course of a one year rolling calendar.

            First violation:  7 day suspension

Second violation:  14 day suspension

Third violation:  21 day suspension

Fourth and subsequent violations: 28 day suspension


Suspension of service would not occur for at least 30 days from the date of the letter, unless there is irrefutable audio/video evidence recorded on bus cameras. All calls are recorded. All SMART operated buses are equipped with microphones and security cameras.


To appeal a Suspension of Service, mail the “Notice of Right to Appeal Suspension” form within 21 days of the date on the letter, to the address indicated on the Notice of Right to Appeal form.  The form also offers options to appeal by: Email, fax or telephone.  Please follow the instructions on the appeal form.  An appeals board of fellow SMART passengers will hear the appeal and render a decision.  Both SMART and the passenger must comply with the decision of the appeals board.