Pace ADA Paratransit Service Guide

City of Chicago Customer Guide

July 15, 2016

(Updated January 25, 2018)

To request a copy of this guide in an accessible format, please call Pace Customer Relations at 800-606-1282 / Option 4

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City of Chicago Service Reservations

Area #1 South - 71st St. south to Sibley
SCR Transportation 866-926-9631
Area #2 Central - between 71st St. and 
FullertonCDT Transportation 866-926-9632
Area #3 North - Fullerton north to Central
MV Transportation 866-926-9633
City of Chicago Only - Trip Status Calls / Where's My Ride?
800-606-1282 / Option 1

Suburban Service Reservations

North Cook County ADA Service
MV Transportation: 800-554-7599
West Cook County ADA Service
MV Transportation: 800-299-0765
South Cook County ADA Service
MV Transportation 866-248-6868
DuPage County ADA Service
MV Transportation 800-713-7445
Kane County ADA Service
MV Transportation 866-727-6842
North and Central Lake County ADA Service
First Transit 800-201-6446
Southeast Lake County ADA Service
First Transit 800-554-7599
McHenry County ADA Service
First Transit 800-451-4599
Will County ADA Service
First Transit 800-244-4410

Other Important Phone Numbers

Pace Customer Relations (ADA Paratransit)
800-606-1282
Pace Passenger Services (Fixed Route, General Information
847-364-7223
Email:passenger.services@pacebus.com 
Website:www.pacebus.com
RTA Mobility Services Department
312-663-HELP (4357)
ADA Paratransit Visitor Information
312-341-8000
Email:ada.paratransit.visitor@pacebus.com
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) 
888-YOUR-CTA (968-7282)
TTY: 888-282-TTY1 (282-8891)
Illinois Relay Service: 
711 

Welcome to Pace ADA Paratransit

Pace is committed to providing quality public transportation for all of our customers. We recognize that some customers with disabilities are not able to use fixed route bus and rail services for some or all of their trips because of their disability or health condition. Pace's ADA Paratransit Service program provides transportation that is comparable to fixed route service operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace Suburban Bus.

ADA Paratransit Service operates:

  • In compliance with federal ADA regulations;
  • Origin-to-destination service for ADA Paratransit-eligible customers;
  • As a shared-ride program and you may be riding with other customers;
  • Service that is comparable in travel time to the CTA and Pace fixed-route system, including transfers and wait times; and
  • On the same days and during the same hours, and in the same areas, as the fixed route system.

Pace will accommodate customers with mobility devices as long as the lift or ramp can accommodate the size and weight of the customer and his/her mobility device, and the device and customer can fit onto the vehicle. Pace will not be able to accommodate customers and their mobility devices if the combined size and/or weight exceed the capabilities of the vehicle equipment. All securement devices on vehicles in Pace ADA service are installed for passengers to be facing forward.

ADA Paratransit Eligibility

To qualify for ADA Paratransit Service, customers must first apply for eligibility with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). The RTA ADA Paratransit Certification Program determines eligibility for complementary paratransit service operated by Pace throughout the region's six-county ADA service area. The process determines which individuals are eligible to use ADA Paratransit Service for some or all of their trips and which individuals can be served by accessible fixed route bus and rail systems. Individuals who are interested in using ADA Paratransit service must apply and be found eligible according to ADA guidelines.

To apply for ADA Paratransit, call the RTA ADA Paratransit Certification program at 312-663-HELP (4357) between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to request an application.

ADA Paratransit customers must keep their address, telephone numbers, emergency contact information, and mobility aid information current with the RTA since the RTA is the source for passenger information.

The RTA may be reached at 312-663-HELP (4357).

Scheduling a Trip

To request trips, eligible customers should call the carrier listed in the service area where their trip will begin (see "Contact Numbers" for a list of carriers by service area). Customers should schedule their return trip when they call for their initial trip. Riders are responsible for arranging trips that require a transfer between Suburban and City of Chicago areas or between Suburban areas. Please let your carrier know if you are requesting a transfer.

Reservation requests are taken for travel the following day. Reservations are accepted from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. When calling to schedule a trip, customers must have the following information ready:

  • Paratransit ID Number (starting with the letter P)
  • Date of trip
  • Requested pick-up time or appointment time
  • Exact street address of the trip origin and destination (intersections will not be accepted)
  • Number of people traveling with the customer, including any personal care attendant (PCA) and/or companions (see section on Personal Care Attendant (PCA) and Companion Policies) and/or service animal
  • Types of mobility aids used by all members of party
  • Description of any assistance needed
  • Other helpful information (for example, whether a customer will be transferring from a wheelchair to a seat, whether door-to-door assistance is needed, etc.)

Although the exact pick-up time requested may not be available, all customers are guaranteed a pick-up time no more than 1 hour before or after the individual's requested pick-up time. For example, if a rider requests a trip with a 9 a.m. pick-up time, the ADA regulations permit the carrier to offer a pickup time between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

This negotiation window, however, is subject to the rider's practical travel needs. Although some trips have flexibility (e.g., shopping or recreation), other trips have constraints with respect to when they can begin. For example, a rider who ends his or her workday at 5 p.m. may requests a 5:15 p.m. pick-up to return home. Offering a pick-up time between 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. would be appropriate; offering a pick- up time before the requested pick-up time would not be appropriate.

When scheduling a trip, the call-taker will ask the customer if he/she has an appointment time. Passengers should allow enough time to get from the vehicle to the actual appointment. For example, if a passenger has to be at work or has a medical appointment at 9 a.m. and needs 15 minutes to get to their work area or get signed in, the appointment time should be 8:45 a.m. Customers cannot request both a pick-up time and an appointment time; they have to request one or the other.

A customer may call back to change their return trip pick-up time if an appointment runs late. If the appointment is expected to end early, Pace will try to accommodate the change. The return time will be subject to vehicle availability if the trip was not scheduled the previous day. Pace has a no-strand policy and guarantees a ride home to all passengers transported by Pace on the same day of service.

Canceling or Changing a Trip Reservation

Same-day trip changes will only be permitted if proper notice is provided and the carrier's schedule can accommodate the desired change. Destination changes are not permitted while on board the vehicle or at the time of pick up unless authorized by the dispatcher. Drivers are not permitted to make any changes to a trip.

Customers who need to cancel a trip should call their carrier as soon as possible. Customers must cancel their trip at least 2 hours before the scheduled pick-up time to avoid the trip being classified as a late- canceled trip.

Pick-up and Drop-off Procedures

Customers should allow for a 15-minute pick-up window based on their scheduled pick-up time. For example, if a ride is scheduled for a 9 a.m. pick-up, the vehicle may arrive between 9 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. to be considered on-time.

Customers should be within the line-of-sight of the vehicle while awaiting pick up. Passengers are asked to be ready to board the vehicle 5 minutes before their pick-up time. Drivers will wait 5 minutes after arriving or 5 minutes after the pick-up time, whichever is later. After that period the driver will be given authorization to leave. Before leaving, the carrier will attempt to contact the customer. However, if the driver leaves after the appropriate 5-minute waiting period, the customer will be recorded as a no show.

When boarding a vehicle, customers must show either a valid RTA ADA Paratransit certification ID card or another valid photo ID card. All fares must be paid upon boarding the vehicle. Exact fare is required; drivers cannot make change.

Personal Care Attendant (PCA) and Companion Policies

As defined in the ADA regulations, a personal care attendant (PCA) is "someone designated or employed specifically to help the eligible individual meet his or her personal needs." A PCA typically assists with one or more daily life activities such as providing personal care, performing manual tasks or providing assistance with mobility or communication.

Pace permits one PCA to ride with an ADA eligible customer if the customer has been certified by the RTA to ride with a PCA.

A customer also may ride with one companion, such as a friend or family member. Additional companions may ride with the customer only if space is available on the vehicle at the time the reservation is made.

Customers traveling with a PCA and/or companion must reserve space for them when calling to schedule their own ride and all riders traveling together must have the same pick-up and drop-off locations. A PCA will not be charged a fare; however, all companions are required to pay the same cash fare as the ADA Paratransit eligible customer.

Driver Assistance

Customers should request assistance when they make their reservation. However, customers also may also request assistance at the time of pick- up and or drop-off. Drivers will assist customers with boarding and exiting the vehicle, and to/from the ground-level exterior door of the building. Drivers will provide assistance up/down two steps to/from a building if it is safe to do so. Drivers are required to make sure that all wheelchairs and scooters are properly secured per Pace requirements.

Drivers are not allowed to lift or carry customers.

Drivers cannot escort customers past the ground floor of any building and are not allowed to enter residences. They are required to maintain a visual sight line of their vehicle at all times. Customers are expected to carry their own bags and packages. Customers are responsible for ensuring that the path of travel between their exterior door and the vehicle pick-up/drop-off area are clear of snow and other obstacles.

Drivers are not allowed to accept tips from passengers, although passengers may contact Pace Passenger Services to compliment and/or comment on a driver. Customers who require additional assistance beyond what is provided by a driver are encouraged to arrange for a PCA or companion to travel with them.

Visually impaired passengers may request to be identified as visually impaired if they want the driver to announce their name upon arriving. Drivers will go to the ground level exterior door of the building upon request when it is safe to do so. Drivers will identify themselves to visually impaired passengers and announce the name(s) of the passenger(s) being picked up.

Travel Time

ADA Paratransit Service is a shared-ride program. Total travel time includes the time it takes other passengers to board, ride, and alight the vehicle. Paratransit travel time is comparable to trips with the same origin and destination taken on the fixed-route bus system, including transfers and wait times.

Customers who are traveling to a scheduled appointment should tell the call-taker their appointment time when calling to schedule the ride. Be sure to include enough time to travel from the drop-off location to your appointment. The carrier will determine the pick-up time. Customers cannot request both a pick-up time and an appointment time; they have to request one or the other.

ADA Paratransit Fares

Each customer and companion is required to pay a fare upon boarding. The fare is paid in cash or with a Pace ADA One-Ride Ticket. Exact fare is required; drivers cannot make change. A PCA approved to ride with a customer rides for free.

Service Hours

ADA Paratransit service is provided during the hours and days that fixed route service is available in the same area. If a rider is uncertain whether ADA Paratransit service is available at a specific time, he/she should contact the carrier operating in the area where they wish to travel (see section on Contact Numbers).

Holiday Service

Paratransit Service on the following holidays is comparable to fixed route holiday service:

  • New Year's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

All subscription rides are automatically canceled on the above holidays. Customers who wish to ride on these days must book a demand trip the day before with the appropriate area carrier.

Service Area

The Pace ADA Paratransit service area is within three-quarters (3/4) of a mile of a CTA or Pace bus route and within a radius of three-quarter (3/4) mile around CTA rail stations. Service also is provided to the transfer locations listed under "Suburban Trips and Transfer Locations."

Paratransit Transfer Locations

Customers can travel between Suburban and City locations outside their home service area by calling the carrier that provides the first trip and then calling the carrier that will meet the vehicle to continue the trip to the final destination. When reserving rides, be sure to tell both carriers that the trip is a transfer trip. When transferring, please ask for a transfer slip before exiting the vehicle.

Suburban-to-Suburban Transfer Points

North Cook

  • North Cook to West Cook - CTA Rosemont Blue Line L Station - 5800 N. River Rd.

South Cook

  • South Cook to West Cook - MacNeal Hospital - 3249 Oak Park Ave., Berwyn
  • South Cook to Will County - Walgreens - 143rd & Will Cook Rd., Orland Park

West Cook

  • West Cook to North Cook - CTA Rosemont Blue Line L Station - 5800 N. River Rd.
  • West Cook to South Cook - MacNeal Hospital - 3249 Oak Park Ave., Berwyn
  • West Cook to DuPage County - Oakbrook Mall (100 Oakbrook Ct., in front of Macy's, Oakbrook) & Elmhurst Hospital (155 E. Brush Hill Rd, Elmhurst) (Please note that there is a small area of ADA service in Naperville that is not connected to this transfer point and may only be reached using Metra.)

DuPage County

  • DuPage County to West Cook - Oakbrook Mall (100 Oakbrook Ct., in front of Macy's, Oakbrook) & Elmhurst Hospital (155 E. Brush Hill Rd., Elmhurst) (Please note that there is a small area of ADA service in Naperville that is not connected to this transfer point and may only be reached using Metra.)
  • DuPage County to Kane County - Thomas' Barbecue (1955 E. New York St., Aurora) & Charlestowne Mall (3800 E. Main St., St. Charles)
  • DuPage County ADA to Will County ADA - 83rd St. & Janes Ave., Woodridge

Kane County

  • Kane County to DuPage County - Thomas' Barbecue (1955 E. New York St., Aurora) & Charlestowne Mall (3800 E. Main St., St. Charles)

Lake County

  • Lake County to McHenry County - Fox Lake Metra Station (limited hours) - Nippersink Blvd. & Grand Ave.

McHenry County

  • McHenry County to Lake County - Fox Lake Metra Station (limited hours) - Nippersink Blvd. & Grand Ave.

Will County

  • Will County to South Cook - Walgreens - 143rd & Will Cook Rd., Orland Park
  • Will County ADA to DuPage County ADA - 83rd St. & Janes Ave., Woodridge

City Transfer Points

North

  • CTA Linden Purple Line L Station - 349 Linden Ave., Wilmette
  • CTA Rosemont Blue Line L Station - 5800 N. River Rd., Rosemont
  • CTA Howard Red Line Rail Station - 1649 W. Howard, Howard and N. Hermitage, Chicago
  • Park Ridge Metra Station - 100 S. Summit Ave., Park Ridge
  • Golf Mill Shopping Center - Mall entrance #8 (239 Golf Mill Center) between AMC Movie Theatre and Shop N Save, Niles
  • Old Orchard (entrance to the West of Macy's) - 1 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie
  • Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (Main entrance off Luther Lane on West side of facility) - 1775 Dempster St., Park Ridge

West

  • Brookfield Zoo (use North entrance of zoo located on South side of 31st, West of 1st Ave.) - 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield
  • Hines VA Hospital (at Pace Paratransit sign at entrance to Building 200 main entrance off Roosevelt Rd.) - 5000 S. 5th Ave., Maywood
  • Loyola Hospital (behind Niehoff building) - 2160 S. 1st Ave., Maywood
  • MacNeal Hospital - 3249 Oak Park Ave., Berwyn
  • North Riverside Mall (use Food Court entrance) - 7501 W. Cermak Rd., North Riverside
  • West Suburban Hospital - 518 N. Austin Blvd., Oak Park

Southwest

  • Ford City Mall (pick up and drop off must be at Food Court entrance) - 7601 S. Cicero Ave., Chicago

South

  • Chicago Ridge Mall (use entrance on west side of mall look for Pace ADA Paratransit sign) - 281 Commons Drive, Chicago Ridge
  • Ford City Mall (pick up and drop off must be at Food Court entrance) - 7601 S. Cicero Ave., Chicago
  • River Oaks Mall (North side of Sears in parking lot; there is a Pace bus stop sign)- 2 River Oaks Drive, Calumet City
  • CTA Orange Line Rail Station - 5900 S. Kilpatrick Ave., Chicago

Transfers Between ADA Paratransit and Pace Fixed Route

Riders may transfer between ADA Paratransit and Pace fixed route bus service. Upon boarding the ADA Paratransit vehicle, the rider must tell the driver he/she will be transferring to Pace fixed route bus service.

The rider will pay the ADA Paratransit fare and the applicable transfer fare. The Paratransit driver will issue two "Transfer Vouchers." The first Transfer Voucher will be used to board the Pace fixed route bus. The second Transfer Voucher will be used when boarding the ADA Paratransit vehicle on the return trip. Note that the rider also must pay the applicable fare when boarding Pace fixed route bus service for the return trip.

If travel begins on Pace fixed route, the rider will be required to pay the appropriate fare for the fixed route bus and for the ADA Paratransit service. Fixed route drivers cannot provide Transfer Vouchers.

Subscription Service

Subscription Service is not required by the ADA. However, in an effort to best meet our customers' needs, Pace offers limited Subscription Service for customers who require repetitive trips from the same origin and to the same destination over an extended period of time.

Subscription Service is for trips to work, work training, education- specialized medical care or other repetitive travel needs. In order to qualify for a Subscription trip, the same ride must be taken at the same time at least twice a week. Subscription Service customers do not need to call to reserve each of their repeat trips.

Because the availability of Subscription Service is limited, some customers may be placed on a waiting list. Other restrictions also may apply. All subscription rides are automatically canceled on the holidays listed in the section "Holiday Service." Customers who wish to ride on these days must book a demand trip the day before with the appropriate area carrier.

Subscription Service trips requiring changes should be canceled and demand trips should be requested. Customers must call the carrier to cancel a specific trip that is a part of Subscription Service. Customers should take care to only cancel one specific trip and not cancel their Subscription Service entirely. Failure to cancel trips appropriately and/or excessive cancellations may result in dismissal from the Subscription Service Program.

Eligibility or mobility changes should be updated with the Pace Subscription Department. Subscription Service may be placed on hold to accommodate vacations, hospital stays, and other limited periods of time when service will not be needed. Subscription Service is not meant to hold a time slot for trips made only occasionally. Pace may assign Subscription trips to any one of its contract carriers.

Suspension of Service

Customers who abuse their riding privileges may face suspension of ADA Paratransit Service. Before service is suspended, customers will be notified in writing. Conduct that may lead to suspension of service includes refusal to pay the proper fare, disruptive or unsafe conduct, and excessive late cancellations and/or no shows.

Disruptive Conduct

Customers who engage in violent, disruptive or illegal conduct will be refused service. A customer whose behavior threatens or has threatened the safety of Paratransit personnel or other customers may be denied service. Customers who engage in violent, threatening, or illegal behavior may lose the privilege of riding with Pace Paratransit.

No Shows

In order for a passenger no show to be recorded, all of the following conditions must be met:

  1.  The rider must have a scheduled ADA Paratransit trip.
  2.  The driver must arrive at the scheduled pick-up point not later than 20 minutes after the scheduled pick-up time.
  3.  The driver must wait at least 5 full minutes beyond the scheduled pick-up time or 5 full minutes beyond the time the vehicle arrives, whichever is later, and the rider fails to approach the vehicle.

Each leg of a rider's trip will be treated separately. If a rider misses a scheduled pick up, Pace will not cancel that rider's return trip. If the client does not appear for that return trip, that incident will be counted as a second no show. A rider will be counted as a no show for each leg of any trip for which they fail to cancel and do not appear.

Pace will not penalize a rider for a no show or late cancellation beyond the rider's control or due to carrier error. For example, if a medical appointment runs later than anticipated, or a customer is unable to cancel an early morning pick up 2 hours in advance due to a power outage, the rider will not be penalized. If you feel that you have been mistakenly assessed as a no show, please contact Pace Customer Relations at 800-606-1282 / Option 2.

 

Late Cancellations

A late cancellation occurs when a rider cancels a reservation, but fails to do so 2 or more hours prior to the scheduled pick-up time of the ride.

Pick-up locations can be moved within 2 blocks of the pick up if the facility is closing and the person cannot wait there any longer. The carrier must be informed of the new address.

Pace will not penalize a rider for a late cancellation that is beyond the rider's control, such as an appointment canceled by a medical provider without sufficient notice to the rider.

Passenger No Shows and Late Cancellations Penalties

Pace will track scheduled trips, no shows, and late cancellations by rider. Pace will identify riders who, within a 30-day period, have no shows and late cancellations that meet both of the following criteria:

  • No shows/late cancellations represent 10% or more of the rider's scheduled trips and
  • The rider has 3 or more no shows.

Each late cancellation will be counted as one-half (1/2) of 1 no show for the purposes of this policy.

Riders who meet the above criteria will be in violation of the no show/late cancellation policy. Riders will not be penalized for no shows or late cancellations due to circumstances beyond their control or due to carrier error.

When a rider violates the no-show/late cancellation policy, the following progressive action will be taken:

  1. First violation - a warning letter is issued advising the rider that he/she has violated Pace's no-show/late cancellation policy.
  2. Second violation within a 30-day period - a second warning letter is issued.
  3.  Third violation within a 30-day period - rider receives a 7-day suspension.
  4.  Fourth violation within a 30-day period - rider receives a 14-day suspension.
  5.  Additional violations within a 30-day period - rider receives a 30- day suspension.

Riders with questions regarding no show warning letters or riders who feel that a no show/late cancellation was beyond their control or a result of carrier error, are encouraged to call the Pace Quality Assurance Department at 312-341-8000. Customers who contact Pace to challenge no shows/late cancellations will be provided with a form to complete and submit. Pace will investigate the customer's challenge using GPS vehicle tracking technologies to determine if the challenge is valid.

Appealing a Suspension

A rider who receives a suspension notice may file an appeal of Pace's decision to suspend his/her services. Enclosed with the suspension notice will be a copy of the Appeal Procedure for Suspension of Paratransit Services. If an appeal is filed, Pace will continue to provide service to the rider (unless there is a serious public or personal safety- related issue) until the appeal hearing is heard and decided. Appeals will be heard by a person or panel of people uninvolved with the initial decision to suspend service. Prior to passenger hearings, Pace will investigate the rider's appeal using computer and GPS vehicle tracking technologies to assist in determining the validity of challenges to no shows.

Visitors to the City of Chicago and Suburbs

Pace will provide ADA Paratransit Service for visitors with disabilities who reside outside the six-county RTA service area. Out-of-town visitors should request eligibility for Pace ADA Paratransit Service at least 7 days before the first desired day of travel.

  • Visitors who already have ADA paratransit eligibility from another transit agency need to contact Pace and provide proof of eligibility, such as a valid ADA Paratransit ID card or a letter from the transit agency that certified the person's ADA paratransit eligibility.
  • Visitors who do not have ADA paratransit eligibility with another transit agency must provide documentation of place of residence (such as a driver's license or state ID card) and a statement that they have a disability and are unable to use fixed route service.

Additional documentation may be required if the disability is not apparent.

Once registered with Pace, visitors will be able to use the service for any combination of 21 days during a 365-day period beginning with the visitor's first use of the service. Visitors wishing to use ADA Paratransit service more than 21 days during a 365-day period must apply and be found eligible for ADA Paratransit through the RTA's ADA Paratransit Certification Program. For more information about ADA Paratransit visitor eligibility, please contact Pace at: 312-341-8000 or by email at ada.paratransit.visitor@pacebus.com.

Using Fixed Route Bus and Rail Services

The RTA ADA Paratransit ID card enables an ADA-eligible customer and one PCA or companion traveling with them to ride on the CTA, Pace and Metra bus and rail systems at the reduced fare rate. Both riders are required to pay a fare. For more information on using fixed route services, visit rtachicago.org/plan-your-trip or call the RTA Travel Information Center at 312-836-7000.

RTA Travel Training Program

The RTA Travel Training Program teaches individuals with disabilities and older adults how to use CTA, Metra and Pace buses and trains.

Travel Training is free except for the cost of transit fares during training sessions. RTA offers three types of training, depending on the individual's needs:

  1. Trip Training
  2. Individual Transit Orientation
  3. Group Transit Orientation

To sign up for Travel Training or to request a Group Transit Orientation presentation, call the RTA at (312) 663-4357 or by email at: traveltraining@rtachicago.org.

Commendations, Complaints or Questions

Pace is committed to operating high quality service in compliance with ADA Paratransit service requirements. Please contact Pace Customer Relations at 800-606-1282 / Option 2 if you have any commendations, complaints or questions regarding Pace ADA Paratransit Service.

Immediate Assistance

If a passenger believes he/she has been stranded,

Call: 800-606-1282 / Option 3

For life-threatening and medical emergencies Call: 911

Pace Paratransit Operations

547 W. Jackson Blvd.

10th Floor Chicago, IL 60661

 

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