CATARIDE Eligibility Guidelines for Paratransit Service
Eligibility Guidelines for Paratransit Service Under the ADA
The ADA requires that CATARIDE complementary paratransit service be provided to individuals with disabilities who are unable to use the fixed-route bus system without assistance (except for assistance of the bus driver to operate the lift/ramp and/or secure a mobility device). Those under the age 65 applying for paratransit service based on a disability should please review the following eligibility information carefully before submitting an application.
Categories of Eligibility
There are three categories of eligibility for the CATARIDE program; please review the eligibility requirements below to assist in completing your application for paratransit service on the basis of disability. In each case, eligibility may apply to some trips and not others, based on your ability to ride fixed-route bus service under certain conditions. Note that the specific conditions for eligibility, and not simply the existence of a disability in and of itself, must be met.
Mobility Device Policy
There are many styles and types of mobility devices. They vary in shape, weight, and how they benefit the user. Mobility devices can be taken on a CATA bus if it can be safely loaded and secured. Mobility devices fitting the following U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Regulation description are permitted on a CATA bus and must be secured in the securement area:
“Wheelchair means a mobility aid belonging to any class of three or more wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered.”
Wheelchair Size Specifications
Size: CATA can accommodate all wheelchairs that fit within the size regulation of 30” wide by 48” long. Wheelchairs and attached items exceeding these dimensions will be judged on a case-by-case basis, and may be excluded if accommodating the wheelchair is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.
CATA operates some buses with ramps and lifts that can carry a combined weight that exceeds the required 600 lbs. Each of CATA’s buses displays lift specifications near the door where the lift or ramp is housed. In addition, passengers may obtain a detailed list of weight limits by bus number by calling CATA’s Customer Service Center at (814) 238-CATA(2282) or visiting CATA’s website at www.catabus.com.
Securing Mobility Devices
The bus is equipped with lap belts and shoulder harnesses, and while not required, passengers are strongly encouraged to use them. These restraints help prevent injuries. The driver will ask the passenger if they would like to use the lap belt and shoulder harness and assist the passenger in using these restraints if requested.
Non-traditional mobility aids must be secured or stowed under or between the passenger seats.
Walkers and other mobility devices on which the passenger does not sit should be folded up and stored so as not to block the aisle. The device can be secured in the mobility device securement area if it cannot be stowed safely; however, these devices cannot be used to sit on during the bus ride.
Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
Paratransit service will be provided to a personal care attendant (PCA) traveling with an eligible rider and to one companion in addition to the PCA. Additional companions will only be accommodated if space is available. PCAs and companions must be picked up and dropped off at the same locations as the eligible rider. Companions must pay the same fare as the eligible rider, while PCAs pay no fare.
A PCA is someone designated or employed specifically to help the eligible individual meet his or her personal needs and may always ride with that individual. The need for a PCA is not necessarily related to travel on paratransit service, but a companion is only considered a PCA if the eligible individual regularly makes use of and requires the use of a PCA to assist with daily life activities and the companion actually acts in that capacity. The need for a PCA must be detailed on the application.
The CATARIDE service operates only at the times and on the days that CATA’s regular, fixed-route system operates (in CATA’s member municipalities - State College Borough and College, Ferguson, Harris and Patton Townships - seven days a week; in Bellefonte Borough and Spring and Benner Townships Monday through Saturday, and in Halfmoon Township Monday through Friday) and all trip origins and destinations must be located within 3/4 mile of those routes. If you are able to use the regular bus system, but wish to apply because they do not run when or where you wish to go, you will not be eligible for paratransit service.