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Paratransit service is the general term for a "demand-response" service in which a passenger must reserve a ride in advance. Unlike fixed-route service, in which buses travel the same route in a regular pattern and pick up any waiting passengers, paratransit vehicles make only pre-arranged trips for riders who are eligible for the particular service. There are several different types of paratransit service, listed below.
Pace also operates a fixed route system, which is entirely accessible to people with disabilities. For senior citizens and people with disabilities, fixed route is a less expensive way to get around the community and gives people the freedom to travel without arranging a ride in advance. The Regional Transportation Authority offers a training program for those who wish to learn how to ride fixed route.
There are dozens of Pace Dial-a-Ride programs throughout the suburbs. In most cases, Pace has a financial partnership with a city or township to pay for and operate the service. Dial-a-Ride programs have different rules on fares, geographic boundaries and passenger eligibility.
Check the directory for the rules in your area and for the phone number to call for a reservation.
This paratransit service is required by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and is provided for customers whose disability or health condition prevents them from using CTA and/or Pace fixed route services for some or all of their travel. Only persons who are certified by the Regional Transportation Authority are eligible to ride ADA Paratransit. Trips are only provided at the same times and within the same geographic areas as fixed route. Pace operates this service across the entire six-county region, including Chicago.
Check the directory for the phone number to call for a reservation in your area. For further information, please see Pace's ADA paratransit service guidelines. Pace's ADA paratransit service guidelines.
Transferring to/from Paratransit - new for 2014
As of July 1, 2014, the method for transferring between paratransit services (including dial-a-ride) and fixed route buses has changed. Riders will need to use Transfer Vouchers instead of the paper magnetic stripe transfer cards. See this explanation for details on getting and using that voucher.
This service is similar to Dial-a-Ride, except that everyone is eligible to ride and passengers need to call to reserve a trip only one hour in advance.
See the Call-n-Ride page for a more detailed description of this service.
Accessible fixed route
As mentioned above, Pace's fixed route system is entirely accessible to people with disabilities. For senior citizens and people with disabilities, fixed route is less expensive than ADA Paratransit and gives people the freedom to travel without arranging a ride in advance. In fact, for those seniors and people with disabilities who are enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging's Benefit Access Program, fixed route trips are free! Visit the Benefit Access website for instructions in how to enroll in the Benefit Access Program.
The Regional Transportation Authority offers a training program for those who wish to learn how to ride fixed route.
There are two ADA Advisory Committees who advise the Pace Board of Directors on issues relating to service for customers with disabilities. One is comprised of Chicago residents and the other is comprised of suburban residents. Each committee meets monthly.
Check here for information on the Chicago ADA Advisory Committee.
Check here for information on the Suburban ADA Advisory Committee.
To help make paratransit services operate more efficiently for all riders, it is helpful if everyone knows the policies and procedures contained in the Paratransit Riders Handbook.
Even if you miss a paratransit trip, Pace won't strand you away from your home. See the full description of the missed trip policy and instructions on what to do if you miss a trip contained in the Paratransit Riders Handbook.
When you are scheduling your trip, the call taker will ask you if you have an appointment time. Let him/her know so they can schedule appropriately. Be sure to allow enough time to get from the vehicle to the actual appointment.
For example if you have to be at work or have a medical appointment at 9:00, but will need fifteen minutes to get to your desk or get signed in, tell the call taker your appointment is at 8:45.
Pace strives to get all riders to their appointments on-time. However, because of factors beyond our control (i.e. traffic, weather, etc.), we have established an on-time performance standard for appointment arrivals of 90%.
If you believe your trip was excessively long, please let us know by filling in the "Passenger Ride Time Report Form".
For regular updates on paratransit service, see the weekly Chicago Paratransit bulletin or call 847-228-2322 and choose option 3.
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