Paratransit service is the general term for a reservation-based or "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.
To apply for ADA Paratransit, visit RTA's ADA Paratransit Certification program or call the RTA at 312-663-HELP (4357) between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, to request an application. Applications are available in regular or large print English, Spanish, in Braille, on CD, or on audiotape.
See this page for more information, how-to guides, and helpful information about ADA Paratransit. Once certified for ADA paratransit, the number you call for a reservation depends on where you are traveling. See the directory of reservation phone numbers.
Paratransit riders will soon be able to pay for rides through Ventra. While you're not required to use that method, this new option benefits you by no longer requiring you to carry exact change or buy paper tickets. Learn how to get your account set up here.
Transferring to/from Paratransit
To transfer between paratransit services (including dial-a-ride) and fixed route buses, riders need to use Transfer Vouchers. See thefor 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. The fare for this service is the same as Pace's fixed route service and riders use the Ventra fare payment system.
See the On Demand 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.