Getting started

After you receive your letter describing the approved service, bring the letter and a photo ID card to Customer Service on the first floor of RTA's Main Office, 1240 West Sixth St., to receive your ADA identification card.

You can begin using RTA's call-ahead system to request Paratransit service 48 hours after receiving your ID card.

Arranging your travel

Once you are certified for Paratransit service and have your ID card:

  • Call 216-621-9500. Select either English or Spanish.
  • Press "3" for Paratransit trips and services.
  • Select "2" for the scheduling office.

RTA schedulers handle trip requests seven days a week, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.

If you have a computer, consider using RTA's flexible on-line scheduling service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can schedule new trips, review trips you have already scheduled, and cancel trips. This frees up staff to help those who must use the telephone to schedule trips.

The first time you visit the on-line scheduling system, you will be asked for your user name and password. Just type your Paratransit pass number into both areas. After you log in, you can reset both your user name and password.

Another option for scheduling trips 24/7 is to use RTA's interactive voice response, or IVR. To use the IVR:

  • Call the RTAnswerline, 216-621-9500. Select either English or Spanish.
  • Press "3" for Paratransit trips and services.
  • Follow the prompts to schedule a new trip, review trips you have already made, or cancel a trip.
  • You will need the same user ID and password that you have for on-line scheduling.

Calling to schedule a trip? Please remember:

  • Schedulers are busiest at 8:30 a.m., when the call center opens. If you call later in the day, you will find a shorter wait time.
  • Have your identification number on your ADA card ready.
  • Know the address of both your pickup and drop-off points. Tell the scheduler what entrance you want to be picked up at. When appropriate, name buildings or landmarks.
  • Have the month, date and times of pickup and drop-off ready. Reservations can be made up to a maximum of seven days in advance.
  • Trips may be requested by either pickup time or by drop-off time.
  • When reserving a return trip from a medical appointment, remember that medical appointments are rarely completed on time. Please allow additional time for your requested return pickup time. Paratransit requires a minimum stay of one hour after a drop-off at any destination.
  • Let the scheduler know if someone will be traveling with you. Guests are required to pay a fare, with the exception of a Personal Care Attendant.
  • The scheduler will arrange your trip while you are on the phone, and will give you a window of time for your pickup.

Using e-mail to schedule a Paratransit trip

  • The trip request must be received at least 48 hours in advance, and cannot be made earlier than 7 days in advance.
  • The trip request will not be accepted for the same day or the next day. Example: An e-mail request sent Monday cannot be for a trip on Monday or Tuesday.
  • The e-mail address of Paratransit@gcrta.org may not be used to cancel or modify previously scheduled trips.

Be sure to include this info in your e-mail request.

  • Client ID Number
  • Client's First and Last Name
  • Date of Trip Request
  • Address of origin and destination (name of location and type of location, if applicable)
  • Time(s) (going and return). Is it for a drop-off or pick-up?
  • Notes such as -- pick up in rear of building
  • How many people are riding with client?

Tips for smooth travel

  • Paratransit trips are generally scheduled with a 30-minute pickup window on either side of your requested time, usually 10 minutes before and 20 minutes after. Please be ready at the beginning of your window. For example, if you requested a 1:30 p.m. pickup, the driver may come as early at 1:20 p.m., or as late at 1:50 p.m. However, in order to accommodate all scheduled riders, the time of your window may vary. Your scheduler will give you the correct window of time for your pickup when you make your appointment.
  • If you need to arrive by a definite time, please request your trip be scheduled by drop-off time.
  • When your vehicle arrives, show your ADA ID card and pay your fare.
  • Eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited in all RTA vehicles and facilities.
  • If your vehicle arrives within your pickup window and you are unavailable for more than five minutes, the driver must continue on. If your pickup point is your home, the vehicle will not return for you.
  • Unexpected delays may arise from traffic conditions, inclement weather and stops required for other passengers.
  • To minimize delays, riders are limited to four carry-on packages weighing no more than 50 total pounds. Grocery carts are not permitted.
  • Be aware of the opening and closing times of your destination to avoid waiting outside. If your destination is closed at the time you arrive, the Paratransit driver cannot wait with you until it opens.
  • Wait where you can see the bus arrive, or where the driver can see you. Drivers cannot enter your home.
  • RTA will make every attempt to accommodate standard wheelchairs, scooters and similar devices. If your device exceeds standard regulations, RTA may not be able to provide Paratransit service.
  • Paratransit drivers will secure all mobility devices.
  • Paratransit vehicles are equipped with seat belts for passengers. All riders are asked to use the seat belts.

Paratransit service limits

RTA's goal is to accommodate all Paratransit riders. However, drivers are not allowed to:

  • Lift you in and out of wheelchairs or scooters. You must provide your own Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or escort for assistance. A PCA can ride free. If you use a wheelchair, you must have a safe ramp or be at ground level to board RTA vehicles.
  • Assist you on unsafe mobility ramps.
  • Clear snow, ice or other objects from your steps, driveway or walkway.
  • Lock or unlock house doors.
  • Load or unload personal items.

How to cancel a trip

  1. As soon as you realize that a trip needs to be canceled, go on-line or call RTA at 216-356-3702.
  2. Or, call Dispatch at 216-566-5244.
  3. Trips may be cancelled at any time while speaking to a dispatcher, reservation operator or manager.

There are 13,000 disabled persons registered to use Paratransit service. Be considerate of your fellow Paratransit customers.Whenever possible, call to cancel 24 hours before your scheduled trip, so RTA can schedule other passengers.

If a 24-hour notice is not possible, RTA requires that you give at least 60 minutes notice for cancellations.

Plan a Trip

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Affordable fares

With your valid ID card, Paratransit "door-to-door" service costs $2.75 each way. Fares will increase to $3.00 in 2018 and $3.25 in 2019. There are four Paratransit fare media categories – All-Day $7.50, 7-Day $30, Monthly $110, and a 5-trip farecard for $13.75.

Using fixed-route service

All buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps, and most key rail stations are ADA-compliant. ADA customers pay the Senior/Disabled cash fare of $1.25 when using fixed-route service. Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) ride free on Paratransit, but pay the regular fare for fixed-route service.

Which fare do I pay?

After Dec. 31, 2017, only these farecards will be accepted for Paratransit service.

  • 1-Ride, 2-Trip and 5-Trip Cards
  • Paratransit All-Day Passes
  • Paratransit 7-Day Passes
  • Paratransit Monthly Passes
  • U-Passes

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, most Paratransit fare media can be purchased with mobile ticketing.

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