WestCAT is pleased to offer a Dial-A-Ride system that offers more service than most of the other systems in the Bay Area. Many systems are only available to those individuals certified under the Americans with Disabilities Act and few Dial-A-Ride systems carry senior citizens unless they have a mobility disability.
All seniors (age 65+) and people with disabilities throughout the WestCAT service area may use Dial-A-Ride between any two points within WestCAT’s service boundaries, and will not be required to transfer. This page describes the WestCAT Dial-A-Ride service for seniors and those with disabilities and explains how to use it. To the right, you can find more information on Paratransit service available to ADA-eligible riders, how riders can become certified and how the system differs for this category of riders.
Section 223 of the ADA requires WestCAT provide complementary paratransit service to all ADA eligible riders, who because of a disability are not able to use WestCAT’s regularly scheduled fixed route buses. More information about paratransit service is available on our paratransit page.
Eligibility, Registration and Scheduling
Fares and Transfers
Receiving a Reduced Fare
Boarding with a Mobility Device
Passenger and Driver Seatbelt Policy
Driver Assistance Policy
Transporting Animals, Luggage, and Other Items
Cancellation and No-Show Policy
Services Not Provided by WestCAT
Title VI and Customer Service
Eligibility, Registration and Scheduling
All seniors (age 65+) and people with disabilities throughout the WestCAT service area may use Dial-A-Ride between any two points within WestCAT’s service boundaries, and will not be required to transfer. Dial-A-Ride serves the cities of Pinole and Hercules, and the unincorporated communities of Montalvin Manor, Tara Hills, Bayview, Rodeo, Crockett, and Port Costa.
The general public in Port Costa, Crockett, and Rodeo may also use this service because of the steep terrain in these communities. Dial-A-Ride will transport general public passengers as far as the Hercules Transit Center to transfer to fixed route buses to complete their trip. On weekdays, WestCAT Route 11 serves Crockett and Rodeo every 40 minutes. General public passengers in these communities are encouraged to make use of this route, as they may find it more convenient and cost effective than using Dial-A-Ride. Please note, seniors (age 65+) and people with disabilities are given priority on the Dial-A-Ride system. Therefore, wait times may be longer for the general public.
Days and Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday – 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.*
Saturdays – 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sundays – No service available
*Subject to ride availability
Reservations for this service are available during normal business hours on a “next day” basis, Sunday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Based on limted availability, “same day” reservations may also be requested Monday through Saturday durning normal business hours, as detailed above. On days that WestCAT is not operating, customers may call and leave a recorded message for a reservation for the next operating day. A dispatcher will call and confirm the reservation during normal business hours.
For ADA paratransit service days and hours of operation please see the ADA Paratransit page.
Special Transportation Outside the WestCAT Service Area
Monday through Friday, WestCAT offers special curb-to-curb transportation for senior and disabled passengers traveling into the Richmond and San Pablo areas for medical appointments or other special needs. This transportation is limited to the hours of 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and trips are provided on a space-available basis. One-way fare for this service is $3.00. Discounted tickets are available for this service. On Saturdays only, Dial-A-Ride is also available to the general public for trips anywhere within the WestCAT service area.
How to Reserve a Ride on Dial-A-Ride
When you call to reserve a ride, the dispatcher will give you a 15-minute period of time, or “pick-up window” — for example: “We will pick you up between 1:00 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.”. In this case, you would need to be ready and prepared to board the bus at 1:00 p.m.. It is your responsibility to be ready and waiting to board the bus when it arrives. If you require additional boarding time, please notify the scheduler at the time that you reserve your ride.
It is advisable to call at least one day prior. However, we suggest that all passengers scheduling a trip call as early as possible so that we can be sure to accommodate you at your requested time. You may reserve a trip up to (3) three days in advance. Priority is given to ADA paratransit passengers. You may negotiate your trip with the scheduler, but there is no guarantee that the specific time you want will be available. Therefore, please call as soon as possible, and we will do our very best to accommodate your request.
On occasion, the bus may arrive earlier than the 15-minute window. In these cases, you have the option of boarding early, or you may wait until the beginning of your pick-up window. It is not the dispatcher or driver’s responsibility to call you on the telephone to remind you that your pick-up has arrived.
Dial-A-Ride operates as a shared ride system. This means that other passengers may be on-board during any part of a ride and that scheduled pick-up times or routes of travel may be altered so another passenger can be accommodated. It is likely that the vehicle will stop and pick-up other passengers as it proceeds. Shared rides help lower the cost of Dial-A-Ride. For basic Dial-A-Ride service, we ask that you wait for the bus at the curb. For origin to destination service, we ask that you notify us when reserving your trip, so that extra time can be scheduled for your pick-up and/or drop-off.
If more than one person is traveling from your address, you will need to advise dispatch when making your reservation so that they can schedule properly. Although the bus may not be full when it arrives at your pick-up there are other passengers along the way that have scheduled trips and so we cannot guarantee that there will be available space for additional riders from your address unless already prearranged.
If you need an immediate ride, dispatch will arrange it if possible. If they fit you in, it is your responsibility to be ready when the bus arrives. If the driver is kept waiting while the rider runs back into the house for keys, books, etc., the bus may have to leave and you will have to re-book a ride. A driver will only wait two minutes after the bus arrives to pick you up. The best time of day to travel on Dial-A-Ride is between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon. This is our least-busy time and rides may be available sooner.
If you require additional assistance to complete your trip (i.e., wheelchair lift, or assistance to/from the vehicle to the first doorway) please let dispatch know, so that extra time can be scheduled for your pick-up and/or drop-off.
Before you use this service for the first time, you must call (510) 724-7993 to register. You will be asked to supply the following information:
- First and last name of the passenger;
- Street address with city;
- Telephone number;
- Date of birth;
- Whether or not the passenger uses a mobility device or has a mobility disability;
- If passenger will be bringing a service animal;
- If passenger will be traveling with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) and/or companion.
Having this information ready before you call will prevent dispatch from having to ask you to hold while they look up an address, and allows them to continue responding to other callers.
You are not required to apply for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) eligibility to ride Dial-A-Ride within the WestCAT service area and during regular operating days and hours. However, it is required for early morning, late night, or Sunday service. Once your information has been entered into the computer, you may schedule your trip by calling (510) 724-RIDE / (510-724-7433).
You will need to book your return trip at the same time you arrange your first trip, thus ensuring you will be able to be picked up when you want to return. The system is busy and if you wait to call when you are ready to return, you may experience long wait times of up to two hours. We also ask that you please be considerate of your fellow passengers, and remember that if you keep dispatch on the line, they cannot help other callers. With this in mind, please make sure you have all of the details of your trip when you place the call. Please have a pencil and paper ready to write down the pick-up window that dispatch gives you. This will help to avoid misunderstandings.
Subscription passengers have a standing reservation and are picked up routinely without the passenger having to call each time.
Fares and Transfers
Dial-A-Ride and Regional discount tickets are not valid payment on any other WestCAT bus service. Please have the exact fare ready in cash or tickets. Drivers cannot make change. WestCAT drivers are not authorized to purchase your tickets for you, nor will WestCAT be held responsible for lost or stolen ticket orders. You might also check with your local Senior Center to see whether they offer WestCAT Dial-A-Ride tickets for purchase.
Adults/Student (6-64): $4.00
Senior (65+): $1.25
Medicare Cardholders: $1.25
Personal Care Attendant (one PCA free per ADA passenger): FREE
Companion (*ADA passenger may travel with a companion, confirmed during booking): $1.25
*First 2 children under the age of 6: FREE
Each additional child under the age of 6: $1.25
*Up to two children per fare-paying adult. Children under the age of 6 must be accompanied by an adult on the WestCAT System at all times.
Adults/Student (6-64): N.A
Senior (65+): $1.00
Medicare Cardholders: $1.00
Seniors and people with disabilities transfer free between Dial-A-Ride and WestCAT local fixed routes, Martinez Link 30Z or WestCAT Express buses. WestCAT transfers will be honored only on the day of issue at established transfer points, and within one hour of their time of issue. They are not valid for a return trip to the area in which the transfer was originally issued, nor to re-board the same route.
Special Service* – Regular: $3.00
Special Service* – Discount: $2.50
(*This service, which travels outside of the regular WestCAT service area, is not subject to the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act. However, ADA eligible riders may use this service on a space available basis.)
On weekdays, general public passengers may transfer free between Dial-A-Ride and WestCAT fixed routes, Martinez Link 30Z or WestCAT Express buses at the Hercules Transit Center on Willow Avenue only. WestCAT local and Lynx Transbay tickets and monthly passes are not accepted for Dial-A-Ride or ADA paratransit service.
As with regular WestCAT bus service, Dial-A-Ride service hours will differ on holidays. There is no Dial-A-Ride service on Sundays or on the following holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Dial-A-Ride service will be operated on the following holidays on a Saturday schedule:
- Martin Luther King Day
- President’s Day
- Veterans Day
- Friday after Thanksgiving
A modified schedule may be operated on the following days:
- Christmas Eve
- New Year’s Eve
Between the hours of 11:50 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Dial-A-Ride buses make timed connections with the WestCAT Express J route at San Pablo Avenue and Oakridge Avenue to help people get to their destinations. This service is often referred to as the WestCAT “scatter bus”. Please call (510) 724-7993 for details.
Receiving a Reduced Fare
To receive a reduced fare, a passenger may be asked to show one of the following to the driver:
- State ID (Senior Fare, Age 65+)
- Regional Transit Connection discount card (RTC) not available through WestCAT.
- Medicare card (Not Medi-Cal)
- Department of Motor Vehicles disabled ID card
- Disabled Veteran ID card
Possession of any or all of these articles “does not” constitute immediate eligibility for ADA Paratransit or Dial-A-Ride. There is an application process involved in qualifying passengers for ADA Paratransit and there is a registration process for Dial-A-Ride. See our application and registration pages for more information. However, possession of any of these articles does constitute eligibility for payment of a reduced fare.
Boarding with a Mobility Device
WestCAT vehicles are wheelchair lift equipped and WestCAT service is in full compliance with the ADA requirements. WestCAT Dial-A-Ride is accessible to persons with wheelchairs, electric scooters, and other mobility devices. However, due to equipment weight restrictions, devices weighing more than 600 pounds when occupied cannot be accommodated on some vehicle lifts. If you believe that your mobility device might fall into this category, please contact us at (510) 724-7993 prior to scheduling your trip and we will arrange a time to meet with you personally to examine your mobility device and we will do our best to accommodate you. However, please keep in mind that devices exceeding these standards may not be transportable.
ADA regulations allow for wheelchair passengers whose device is operated either manually or powered, to board the bus facing forward or backward. However, if you are in a manual wheelchair, and require the assistance of the driver, they will board you backwards as a safety precaution. As an additional safety measure, we recommend that you make sure that your mobility device is maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications and that your brakes are operable.
As per Section 37.165(c) (3) of the Department of Transportation’s ADA regulations, it is WestCAT’s policy that all wheelchairs and mobility devices are secured to the vehicle. Therefore, WestCAT may decline to provide service to a rider who refuses to allow his or her device to be secured. If you are concerned about being accommodated on any WestCAT vehicle, please call (510) 724-7933 and we will make arrangements to assist you in determining whether you may encounter any difficulty riding WestCAT.
If you require additional assistance in getting to or from the vehicle we recommend that you try and arrange to have someone to assist you ahead of time or plan to travel with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA). However, our drivers may provide limited assistance between the vehicle and the first doorway, but they cannot lose sight of their vehicle and cannot assist you with any heavy lifting of packages or personal items, mobility devices, and/or your person.
People using canes or walkers and other standees with disabilities that do not use wheelchairs, but have difficulty using steps (e.g., an elderly person who can walk without use of a mobility aid but cannot raise his or her legs sufficiently to climb bus steps) will be permitted to use the lift, upon request.
Passenger and Driver Seatbelt Policy
All persons (passengers and driver) being transported in a WestCAT paratransit vehicle equipped with passenger safety belts (seat belts) is required to properly don/wear the seat belts prior to the vehicle’s movement. Traffic conditions may require the driver to make sudden stops, turns, or maneuvers. The wearing of a seat belt ensures a safer ride and minimizes the potential for injuries to passengers and drivers, and the safety of our passengers and drivers is WestCAT’s paramount consideration.
Passengers refusing to wear seat belts or seat belt/shoulder harnesses will not be transported on vehicles where seat belts and/or shoulder harnesses are available to all passengers. However, exception may be made for passengers whose disability prohibits them from wearing seat belts provided the procedures set forth below are followed. Furthermore, if the vehicle does not have seat belts or passenger restraints for all seating locations (e.g., fixed route service), the mobility device user cannot be required to use theirs, although they are strongly encouraged to do so. If they refuse in such a situation, the driver is required to report the refusal to dispatch or a supervisor, and to active the DriveCam device (on-board digital video recorder) where available.
If a passenger refuses a seat belt or requests the belt be worn loosely because of a disability, the operator will call into dispatch and will not move the vehicle until cleared by a supervisor or dispatch. In vehicles equipped with DriveCam devices, the driver is also required to activate the DriveCam device and restate the passenger’s refusal to don the seat belt or to have the seat belt fastened in a loose manner.
This policy only applies to vehicles equipped with seat belts and shoulder harnesses (e.g. WestCAT paratransit vehicles). These devices are to be used by all riders, including those who use wheelchairs as well as those who use vehicle seats, if seat belts and/or shoulder harnesses are provided at seating locations, and subject to the limited exceptions noted above.
Transporting Animals and Other Items
If you have a disability, you may travel with a trained service animal such as a guide dog or canine companion. What is a service animal? The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Service animals are not pets. They are working animals that are specially trained to provide assistance for individuals who have disabilities
We ask that you please inform the dispatcher at the time you book your trip that you will be traveling with a service animal. Service animals must be under the control of his or her handler at all times. That means the animal should be on a leash or in a carrier. Small service animals may ride on a passenger’s lap; however, service animals should never ride on bus or van seats. Service animals are trained to behave well in public. A service animal should not growl, bark or bite other animals or passengers. Supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her handler. If you travel with a service animal or pet, you are responsible for any damage or injury caused by the animal.
Only domesticated pets (non-service animals) may be carried on WestCAT vehicles and only in a properly secured cage or carrier (this does not include pet strollers). If you require clarification as to what ADA regulations have defined as a service animal please call (510) 724-3331.
Transporting Life Support Equipment
You may bring a respirator, portable oxygen, and/or other life support equipment onboard as long as it does not violate the law or rules relating to transportation of hazardous materials. In addition, all equipment must be small enough to fit into WestCAT vans safely and without obstructing the aisle and/or blocking emergency exits.
When you go shopping, there is a three bag limit. More than three bags take up space on the bus that other riders may need to use and are a potential safety hazard. If the passenger needs to take more than three bags, he or she must pay for each additional bag beyond the three bag limit at the regular Dial-A-Ride fare. Bags of any kind must not block the aisle. It is a violation of both federal and state law to block the aisles of a public transit bus. You may request the driver’s assistance loading and unloading groceries, but bags must weigh less than 15 pounds. However, attendant-type services such as carrying personal baggage or suitcases are not required of the driver.
Driver Assistance Policy
Assistance with boarding and disembarking, including pushing a manual wheelchair up a particularly steep ramp is required of the driver. However, please understand that WestCAT’s basic Dial-A-Ride service is curb-to-curb and if you require further assistance, it is your responsibility to advise WestCAT of this before booking your ride.
Drivers are not permitted to:
- Come looking for you
- Lose sight of their vehicle
- Knock on your door
- Lift or carry you
- Carry you or your wheelchair up or down steps
- Bring your ticket order envelope to the WestCAT ticket sales office
- Change your scheduled trip times or addresses.
To cancel your ride, call (510) 724-4466. This number is only for cancellations and is answered promptly. Please do not try to use this line to book trips because you will be referred to the dispatch number. WestCAT requires that you call a minimum of 15-minutes before your scheduled pick-up time. Cancellations must be called in before the bus is dispatched to the address. There are no penalties for cancellation as long as adequate notice is given.
The Cancellation Policy applies to both Dial-A-Ride and ADA Paratransit services.
Policy on No-Shows or Late Cancellations
We understand that because WestCAT requires trips to be scheduled in advance, passengers may sometimes miss scheduled rides or forget to cancel rides they no longer need. We also understand that passengers may sometimes miss scheduled trips or are unable to cancel trips in a timely way for reasons that are beyond their control. However, repeatedly missing scheduled trips (or failing to cancel trips in a timely way) can lead to suspension of service. The following information explains WestCAT’s No-Show and Late Cancellation Policy.
“No-shows” are different from cancellations and service can be suspended for a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips. Allowances will be made for missed trips that are beyond the control of the passenger (including, but not limited to, late pick-ups, family emergencies, trips which are missed due to operator error, and medical emergencies) and shall not be a basis for determining that such a pattern or practice exists.
If you get another ride or change your mind about needing a bus, please call the cancellation line at (510) 724-4466 at least 15-minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive and let us know. You are considered a no-show if you miss a scheduled trip and have not called to cancel at least 15-minutes before the beginning of the pick-up window that was agreed upon. Cancellations must be called in before the bus is dispatched to the address.
No-shows will be monitored and a courtesy letter will be sent and/or a telephone call will be made after each incident notifying the rider of the no-show policy, and cautioning them of the potential consequences of noncompliance. Upon receipt of a courtesy letter or telephone call, the individual will be offered an opportunity to be heard and to present information and arguments.
Definitions: No-Show, Pick-up Window, Late Cancellation
A no-show occurs when a passenger fails to appear to board the vehicle for a scheduled trip. This presumes the vehicle arrives at the scheduled pick-up location within the pick-up window and the driver waits at least (2) minutes.
The pick-up window is defined as: from (15) minutes before the scheduled pick-up time to (15) minutes after the scheduled pick-up time. Passengers must be ready to board a vehicle that arrives within the pick-up window. The driver will wait for a maximum of (2) minutes within the pick-up window for the passenger to appear.
A late cancellation is defined as either: a cancellation made less than (15) minutes before the scheduled pickup time or as a cancellation made at the door or a refusal to board a vehicle that has arrived within the pick-up window.
What if I am a no-show?
When a passenger is a no-show for one trip, all subsequent trips on that day remain on the schedule unless the passenger specifically cancels the trips. To avoid multiple no-shows on the same day, passengers are strongly encouraged to cancel any subsequent trips they no longer need that day.
Penalties for Excessive No-Shows or Late Cancellations
WestCAT reviews all recorded no-shows and late cancellations to ensure accuracy before recording them in a passenger’s account. When a passenger no-shows (3) times and ten percent (10%) or more of their total scheduled trips in a 30-day period, this will be considered “excessive” and WestCAT will send a warning letter within 30-days, reminding the passenger of the policy and potential penalties. With subsequent violations, the following penalties will be implemented when no-shows exceed:
• 10% of total trips scheduled = 5-day suspension
• 20% of total trips scheduled = 10-day suspension
• 30% of total trips scheduled = 15-day suspension
• 40% of total trips scheduled = 20-day suspension
Passengers with fewer than three (3) no-shows in a 30-day period will not receive a penalty, even if their percentage of no-shows exceeds the percent (10%) of total trips scheduled.
All suspension notices include a copy of this policy, information on disputing no-shows or late cancellations, and how to appeal suspensions.
Suspensions begin on Mondays. The first violation in a calendar year triggers a warning letter but no suspension.
The No-Show and Late Cancellation Policy applies to both Dial-A-Ride and ADA Paratransit services.
Policy for Disputing Specific No-Shows or Late Cancellations
Passengers (or the passenger’s representative) wishing to dispute specific no-shows or late cancellations must do so within 15 business days of receiving a written warning notice. Passengers should contact the Dial-A-Ride dispatch center at (510) 724-7993, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to explain the circumstance, and request the removal of the no-show or late cancellation.
Policy for Appealing Proposed Suspensions
The appeal process is available to any individual who has received a no-show or written Notice of Suspension of Services. The passenger (or passenger’s representative) may file a verbal or written appeal with the Authority at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (510) 724-3331. Appeals are also accepted in writing at: WestCAT, 601 Walter Avenue, Pinole, CA 94564. Appeals must be received within 15 business days of the date on the written notice.
Services Not Provided by WestCAT
Passenger requests for a specific driver or vehicle will not be accepted. Passengers will be assigned to vehicles and drivers by the scheduler based on need, availability, and topography of pick-up and/or drop-off area. At the time that these assignments are made, all consideration is made for the individual passenger’s needs as much as is acceptable and required under current Dial-A-Ride and ADA Paratransit guidelines (e.g., the need for the wheelchair lift).In the event that you experience a problem, we have staff to follow up the details of your situation and resolve it.
Title VI and Customer Service
Notice of Rights under Title VI
WestCAT (WCCTA) operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, and national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil rights Act. Any person who believes she or he has been aggrieved by and unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI may file a complaint with WCCTA.
For more information on WCCTA’s civil rights program, and the procedures to file a complaint, contact, (510) 724-3331, email email@example.com or visit our administrative office at 601 Walter Ave, Pinole, CA 94564. For more information visit our Civil Rights page.
A complainant may file a complaint directly with the Federal Transit Administration by filling a complaint with the Office of Civil rights, Attention:
Title VI Program Coordinator
East Building, 5th Floor – TCR
1200 New Jersey Ave SE
Washington, DC 20590
If information is needed in another language, contact (510) 724-3331.
Si se necesita información en otro idioma, llame al (510) 724-3331.
Customer Service and Complaint Resolution Process
WestCAT welcomes your compliments, complaints, and suggestions. We are committed to using customer input as a tool to improve the quality of service.
If you experienced a problem, please contact us as soon as possible. It has been our experience that most problems can be easily resolved. Our entire staff wants to serve you as efficiently and professionally as possible. However, if you do not call and make us aware that you are having a problem, the problem may persist. We are committed to protecting the confidentiality of our riders. However, please keep in mind that anonymous service complaints cannot receive responses.
To lodge a complaint, please provide the following information:
- Your name, address and telephone number
- Date and time of the incident
- Details of the incident
- The bus number, if applicable
All comments may be submitted by mail to:
601 Walter Avenue
Pinole, CA. 94564
Address your concerns to the General Manager. The General Manager will research your concerns and make a determination. You will be notified by mail advising you of the determination.
Once you have received a response from the General Manager, if you are still not satisfied with the response, you may then write a letter to the attention of the WestCAT Board of Directors at the same address. The matter will be placed on a future Board meeting agenda (meetings are generally held on the 2nd Thursday of the month), and the Board will take action and make a determination on your complaint. The Board decision is final.