The Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA), is a federal Civil Rights Law first enacted in 1990 for persons with disabilities. Section 223 of the ADA requires WestCAT to provide paratransit service to all ADA eligible riders, who because of a disability are not able to use WestCAT’s regularly scheduled fixed route buses. In addition, WestCAT works with several representatives from the disabled community who assist with ADA issues and compliance. If you are interested in helping, please contact us for further information.

Eligibility
ADA Certification
Registering for WestCAT Service
Making a Reservation
Hours and Service Area
Fares
No-Shows and Cancellation Policy
Personal Care Attendants
ADA Service for Visitors
Refusal of Service

Information about the ADA Reasonable Modifications regulation can be found at the link below: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Reasonable Modification

Eligibility

Eligibility for ADA service is directly related to the inability of a person with a disability to use the existing regularly scheduled fixed route buses. It is not just based on the presence of a disability, but on the effect that the disability has on the person’s ability to use the fixed route system. Requirements for paratransit do not apply to commuter bus service. Several factors must be considered in determining ADA paratransit eligibility. These include:

1) Individual Disability
Any individual with a disability who is unable, as the result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

2)Limited Accessibility of the Fixed Route System
Any individual with a disability who is unable to independently board, ride, or disembark from an accessible vehicle when the system is not fully accessible*.

*When the lift cannot be deployed at the boarding or disembarking location the person with a disability wishes to use, or a required mobility device such as a wheelchair cannot be accommodated.

3) Environmental & Architectural Barriers
Individuals whose disability PREVENTS them from traveling to a boarding or disembarking location (Example: steep terrain, extreme temperatures, severe air pollution, or inability to negotiate architectural barriers to reach a specific bus stop) this is considered a conditional eligibility and a person may be eligible for only some trips. Architectural barriers not under the control of WestCAT and environmental barriers (e.g., distance, terrain, weather) do not, standing alone, form a basis for eligibility under this paragraph. The interaction of such barriers with an individual’s specific impairment-related condition may form a basis for eligibility under this paragraph, if the effect is to prevent the individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location.

Any complaints regarding eligibility shall be submitted in writing to WestCAT’s General Manager. Response to complaints will be provided within twenty one (21) days of the receipt of the communication. The response will be provided in a written format.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Certification

Once you have been certified ADA eligible you will be entered into a regional database that is available to the nine Bay Area counties. When traveling outside WestCAT’s service area the transit provider in the Bay Area will be able to access your record and provide transportation based on their individual system rules.

ADA Certification Denial and Service Status Appeals Process

An individual that applies for ADA Certification and is denied, or a person who has had the status of their service changed by the Authority has the right to an appeal. This must be done in writing within 60 days from the date of the written appeal. You have the right to have your case heard in person and may bring an advocate or representative to the hearing. Please send a letter stating your reasons for the appeal to:
WestCAT Eligibility Appeals
Western Contra Costa Transit Authority
601 Walter Avenue
Pinole, CA 94564

Once your letter is received an appeals board will assemble to process your appeal. The appeals board should render a final, written decision within 30 days or you will receive service on the 31st day until the decision is made. The appeals process board consists of at least 3 persons including one “peer” to the applicant, one applicable professional expert, and one staff member from WestCAT who was not involved in the original review of your application.

You may re-initiate the paratransit eligibility process, beginning at level one, at any time that there is a change in their functional ability to use the fixed route system. You may apply for restoration of any services that were withdrawn or limited by an Authority action by following the appeals process outlined above, or by submitting documentation of that supports a restoration of services.

WestCAT will provide any necessary aids (e.g. interpreter, transportation, in accessible format) for you to participate in the hearing. However, you need to request any necessary aids at least one week before the meeting.

Registration for ADA Paratransit

To register for WestCAT Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service, contact us at (510) 724-6320 to have application materials sent to you, or you may pick up an application at our Administrative office, located at 601 Walter Avenue, Pinole, CA, 94564. You can also download the application at the link below:

ADA Eligibility Application (pdf)

Help is also available in filling out the certification application if you need it. Just give us a call at (510) 724-6320 or for TTY/TDD 1-800-735-2922 and we will assist you. In addition, all information about the process, materials necessary to apply for eligibility, and notices and determinations concerning eligibility are available in accessible formats, upon request.

Once WestCAT receives your completed application, you will be notified by mail of your eligibility status within 21 days. If, by a date 21 days following the submission of a completed application, WestCAT has not made a determination of eligibility, the applicant shall be treated as eligible and provided service until and unless WestCAT denies the application.

Reservations for ADA Paratransit


Once you are certified through WestCAT, call (510) 724-6320 and our ADA Coordinator will book the entire trip and advise you of times and fares. Reservations for this service are accepted during normal business hours on a “next day” basis, Sunday through Saturday from 8am to 5pm by calling (510) 724-6023. Reservation service is available one day before a service day when the offices are not open. For additional information, you may call (510) 724-7993. When you call, you will need to provide a street address, and phone number for both your pick-up and destination.

Our ADA Coordinator will not contact you until your entire trip has been arranged. If the trip is the first trip you have taken as an ADA rider, the process with other operators may take several days. Once you have used the system, your trip will generally take only one day to book. When our coordinator calls you with times, please write the times down so there will be no misunderstandings.

Important! Regional trips (trips outside the WestCAT area) require transfers to other operators. Call as soon as you are aware you will need a ride outside the WestCAT service area. You may call up to (2) two weeks in advance of your appointment. Some providers require more than a week’s notice for regional trips and this will help us ensure availability of the service at the time you need it.

Benefits for ADA Paratransit Eligible Riders
There are some benefits involved with being an ADA-eligible rider. Your certification will be accepted by all of the public transit operators in the 9 Bay Area counties whose paratransit service operates during the same days and hours as that of their fixed route service, and you will be given priority service on WestCAT. You will be able to make advance reservations, and for the same reduced fare, you may arrange to bring (1) one companion along on each ride (more if there is room).

Days and Hours of Operation

WestCAT Provides ADA Paratransit Service Directly on the Following Days and Hours:

  • Monday-Friday 6am to 8pm
  • Saturdays 9am to 7pm
  • Sundays*

*Service is provided by East Bay Paratransit

WestCAT Coordinates with East Bay Paratransit to Provide Early Morning, Late Night, and Sunday ADA Paratransit Service as Follows:

  • Monday-Friday – Early: 4:34am to 6:00am Late: 8:00pm to 12:32am
  • Saturday – Early: 6:00am to 9:00am Late: 7:00pm to 10:58pm
  • Sunday – 7:20 am to 9:18 pm*

*Service is provided by East Bay Paratransit

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Paratransit transportation is available during the same days and hours that WestCAT’s fixed route bus service operates. You may request a pick-up within ¾ mile of a fixed bus route during the days and hours of service the bus route operates. For Sundays, and for early morning and late night transportation, ADA certified passengers who reside within ¾ of a mile of the WestCAT Route J can call (510) 724-7993 and a WestCAT representative can make advanced reservations for East Bay Paratransit. Reservations are made on a space-available basis. Transportation is available only during the service hours of the WestCAT Route J. Reservations for this service will be accepted only during the hours of 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Sunday-Saturday.

Contact your ADA Coordinator at (510) 724-6320 for information regarding holiday service availability. Based on limited availability, same day reservations may be made between 6am and 5pm weekdays. Same day reservations can also be made on Saturdays between 8am and 5pm. 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 regular business hours.

ADA Paratransit Fares

Regular Fare:
Cash Fare – $1.25
Discount Ticket – $1.00 (Sold in sheets of 10 for $10)

Special service outside WestCAT area*:
Cash Fare – $3.00
Regional Discount Ticket – $2.50 (Sold in sheets of 10 for $25)

(*This service 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.)

Cancellation Policy

WestCAT’s Cancellation Policy applies to both Dial-A-Ride and ADA Paratransit services. See “Dial-A-Ride Cancellation Policy” in this guide for further information.

Policy on Missing Scheduled Trips, or No-Shows

WestCAT’s Policy on Missing Scheduled Trips, or No Shows applies to both Dial-A-Ride and ADA Paratransit services. See “Dial-A-Ride Policy on Missing Scheduled Trips, or No Shows” in this guide for further information.

Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

An ADA eligible rider may take one Personal Care Attendant (PCA) with them at no charge. In addition to the PCA, the eligible rider may also take along one companion (additional companions may be added on a space available basis) for the same fare as the ADA eligible rider provided that they have the same origin and destination as the eligible rider.

Please advise the dispatcher when the trip is booked that you will be riding with a companion(s) and/or PCA. A family member or friend is regarded as a companion to the eligible rider, and not as a personal care attendant, unless the family member or friend registered is acting in the capacity of a personal care attendant. WestCAT reserves the right to refuse service to any individual who does not have a reservation for service.

ADA Paratransit Service for Visitors

ADA paratransit service is available to visitors with disabilities who do not reside within the WestCAT service area and who present documentation that they are ADA paratransit eligible, in the jurisdiction in which they reside. Visitors with disabilities who do not have ADA eligibility documentation will be requested to provide proof of residency and, if the individual’s disability is not apparent, a statement by the visitor certifying that he or she is unable to use fixed route transit.

WestCAT encourages visitors to begin the application process before they arrive, by letter, telephone or fax, so that a complete application can be processed expeditiously. Once the visitor’s application has been approved, a letter will be issued to the visitor which clearly states the terms and limitations of their eligibility.

WestCAT’s service will be made available to the eligible visitor for any combination of 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor’s first use of the service during such 365-day period. The visitor will be treated exactly like an eligible local user, without any higher priority being given to either.

WestCAT is not required to serve someone based on visitor eligibility for more than 21 days. After that, the individual is treated the same as a local person for eligibility purposes. This is true whether the 21 days are consecutive or parceled out over several shorter visits. A visitor who expects to be around longer than 21 days should apply for regular eligibility as soon as they arrive.

Visitors returning to a region whose eligibility has expired must reapply for visitor status paratransit eligibility. Visitor status will be granted only once per year. Those planning on returning to the region within one year or to be a more frequent visitor will be encouraged to apply for standard regional eligibility. Verification of ADA eligibility elsewhere within the nine Bay Area counties will constitute eligibility here.

Service Refusal and Service Conditions Policy


WestCAT will refuse service to any individual who engages in violent, seriously disruptive or illegal conduct while on a WestCAT fixed route or paratransit vehicle, in accordance with CFR 47, Section 37.5(h) of The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This may include a person who assaults a driver or another passenger, who smokes or drinks on a vehicle in violation of established laws, or who engages in conduct that is so severe that the delivery of service is seriously disrupted.

Conduct which is related to a person’s disability and which annoys or offends is not to be considered “seriously disruptive” (For instance someone with Tourettes’s Syndrome who may make involuntary profane statements.) However, a person who refuses to stay seated during transport could distract the driver and seriously disrupt service. In such cases, service may be refused or the person may be disallowed from riding WestCAT unattended.

Conditions may be placed on the use of service, in the cases in which WestCAT would otherwise have authority to suspend or refuse service. For example, a rider with a mental disability may have a tendency to move around the paratransit vehicle and accost other passengers. Because such behavior would be seriously disruptive to the service, WestCAT could refuse service. WestCAT could also, therefore, require that the person travel with an attendant.