Paratransit User's Guide

The City of Santa Rosa offers next-day ADA Paratransit transportation service seven days a week to those who are unable (temporarily or permanently) to independently use Santa Rosa CityBus due to a disability or health related condition.  This service is provided within three-quarters (¾) of a mile from existing CityBus routes as part of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The service is shared-ride public transportation that is available for all trip purposes (including shopping, higher education, medical appointments, and work).  The City of Santa Rosa takes pride in providing high quality, safe, reliable and courteous transportation service. Santa Rosa Paratransit is highly subsidized. The one-way fare of $3.00 (which is double the adult fixed-route fare) covers a very small fraction of the overall cost of the trip, which is approximately $30 per one-way trip.

The City of Santa Rosa has hired contractors to perform paratransit services on our behalf.  C.A.R.E. Evaluators is the contractor that the public calls in order to schedule an in-person eligibility interview.  Once you have received your paratransit eligibility card, contact MV Transportation (Santa Rosa’s paratransit service contractor), to request your trips.  The City of Santa Rosa monitors, manages, sells tickets and generally ensures a high quality paratransit service.  For all paratransit related information call.

  • To determine paratransit eligibility
    (707) 541-7180
  • To purchase paratransit tickets or general paratransit questions/concerns
    (707) 543-3333
  • To schedule a paratransit trip
    (707) 546-1999

Eligibility for Santa Rosa Paratransit
There are specific eligibility requirements in order to use Santa Rosa’s ADA Paratransit service. Call the City of Santa Rosa’s evaluation contractor, C.A.R.E Evaluators, an independent assessment organization, at (707) 541-7180 to schedule an in-person interview.  Santa Rosa Paratransit will provide a no-cost ride to and from the in-person interview. Information you provide from your health care provider will be considered, but is not required.  At your interview you will be asked to assess your ability to use Santa Rosa CityBus fixed route service.  If necessary, a functional assessment will be conducted.

A functional assessment is used to determine your physical ability and (or) cognitive ability to use Santa Rosa CityBus fixed route service and under what conditions you would be eligible to use Paratransit services. To be eligible for ADA paratransit, an individual must not be able to use or have limited ability to use regular fixed route public transit because of a physical or cognitive impairment.  Eligibility is determined through an in-person interview and functional assessment.  The assessment may include: a transit walk to assess negotiating a curb, a curb cut, street crossing and ability to follow simple directions. The assessment evaluates balance, strength, coordination, range of motion in order to determine eligibility.

Your eligibility to use Santa Rosa Paratransit service is based on the information you provide; at the time of your interview and if necessary, during your functional assessment.  Variables in the environment and their effect on your ability to use Santa Rosa CityBus will be considered.  Optional, you may provide a list of medications and (or) doctors note from your treating physician who is familiar with your disability or functional ability. Your eligibility to use Santa Rosa Paratransit may be conditional, which means that you may be eligible to use the service only under specific conditions and/or for a limited time frame

A written notice must be sent to you within 21 days of your interview concerning your eligibility. If the determination is that you are ineligible, the determination will state the reasons for the finding. If you have not received a letter within this time frame, please call the City of Santa Rosa Transit office at (707) 543-3333.

Eligibility Appeals Process: If you are not satisfied with your Santa Rosa Paratransit eligibility determination, complete the appeal form included with your determination letter and return within 65 days to:

City of Santa Rosa Transit
100 Santa Rosa Avenue - Room 6
Telephone: (707) 543-3333
email: ykoslen@srcity.org

The City of Santa Rosa will make a decision on the appeal within 30 days.

Passengers are expected to pay the full $3.00 fare for every trip. The fare for a one-way trip within Santa Rosa Paratransit is typically double the current adult fixed-route fare. Individual trips and round trips can be paid directly to the driver with exact cash fare only (keep in mind drivers do not carry change). Paratransit ticket booklets that have ten (10) one-way tickets and can be purchased:

  • online with a credit card
  • by phone at (707) 543-3333 with a credit card (we will then mail you your tickets)
  • by visiting City Hall, Transit Division, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue - Room 6,  with cash, credit card or check

Area and Hours of Service
Santa Rosa Paratransit provides curb to curb transportation services within three quarters (¾) of a miles of existing CityBus routes (see map of service area below). This meets the requirements set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. A passenger doesn’t need to have a home address within the Santa Rosa Paratransit area, but Santa Rosa Paratransit can only schedule a pick-up/drop off within the area. If a passenger can navigate their own trip into the paratransit area Santa Rosa Paratransit will consider eligibility.

Santa Rosa’s ADA Paratransit services operates Monday - Friday starting at 6:00 AM with the last trips departing at 8:00 PM. Saturday trips start at 7:00 AM with the last trips departing at 7:45 PM.  Sunday service starts at 9:00 AM with the last trips departing at 5:00 PM. Service is provided every day except for the following holidays: Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, and Memorial Day.

Scheduling a Trip
Call (707) 546-1999 to schedule a ride or e-mail your reservation request to one of our schedulers:  Mohamed Hag Ali at mhagali@mvtransit.com or Lourae Hart at lourae.lemos@mvtransit.com.  Reservations can be made from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM Monday through Saturday, and from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM on Sunday. 

  • Trips are scheduled on a “first come, first served” basis. An unlimited number of trips can be reserved from one day to seven days in advance.
  • “Same day” trip request will be accommodated if possible, but due to high ridership, this is rarely feasible.
  • Santa Rosa does not use a “waiting list”. All trip requests made at least one day in advance are accommodated within the scheduling parameters of the Federal ADA regulations.
  • The ADA Paratransit service is a shared ride so you may have additional passengers with you. Trips planned during our peak service time, 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM, may be longer trips, due to high demand by all paratransit riders.  If you plan your trip between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, there are fewer people traveling during these times so your trip will likely be shorter.

As the service is a shared service, Santa Rosa Paratransit, especially during peak times will need to negotiate your pickup times in order to most efficiently schedule your trip.

  • The federal regulations allows for the “negotiation window” to be one (1) hour before plus one (1) hour after the individual’s desired departure time (total of two hours).
  • Discretionary Trips:  Santa Rosa negotiates discretionary trips (eg. errands, visiting friends) within this 2 hour negotiation window.
  • Non-discretionary trips: For trips where the paratransit riders has a set appointment (eg. class, work, or appointments), Santa Rosa Paratransit will schedule your trip so that you can arrive no more than 1 hour before your appointment.  Conversely, on a return trip (i.e. end of work day) the pickup may be scheduled no more than 1 hour after your appointment ends.
Helpful Hints for Scheduling a Trip
1. Before calling Santa Rosa Paratransit, write down the:
  • Date and time of your trip
  • Name of person you are going to see
  • Complete street address, including apartment or suite
  • Phone number at your destination
  • Time you will be ready to return, if you want a round trip
2. If your request is for a busy time of the day (7:00 AM to 9:00 AM or 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM), call to make your reservation as far in advance as possible.
3. Remember, a trip request may be made up to seven days in advance and all trips are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
4. If you have time flexibility in your trip, please let the Santa Rosa Paratransit schedulers know this at the beginning of your call.

Demand for Paratransit service is very high and Santa Rosa Paratransit is always trying to maximize the number of trips provided each service day. If you are requesting a ride on a day that isn’t busy, it will only take a few minutes to schedule your trip. However, if you need to travel on a busy day or at a busy time of day, it will take the scheduler a few minutes longer to include your trip in that day’s schedule.

Subscription Service
Subscription service is a method of efficient reservations and scheduling for trips with a repeated pattern—same origin and destination, same pickup or drop-off time, and same day(s). Riders subscribe to the service once and then Santa Rosa Paratransit provides the repeated service. Typical uses for subscription service include:
• Traveling to work or school
• Traveling to medical appointments

After riders and transit agencies set up the subscription service, there is no need to make further arrangements until a rider’s travel needs change.

Santa Rosa ADA Paratransit implemented a moratorium in 2013 on new subscription bookings during weekday peak hours from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM and from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, to reserve capacity for non-subscription bookings.  A “wait list” is maintained for these peak hour subscription requests so that if a trip become available you will be contacted.  All subscription trip requests that cannot be accommodated, will be processed on an individual trip basis.

Trips with Transfers
When you are planning a trip that requires a transfer to a neighboring paratransit service, contact Santa Rosa Paratransit trip booking line to arrange regional trips requiring a transfer.  The transfer location in Santa Rosa is at the YMCA at 111 College Avenue, Santa Rosa,CA.  Regional Paratransit providers are:

Sonoma County Transit Volunteer Wheels 800-992-1006
Golden Gate Transit Whistlestop Wheels
for trips to Marin County, San Francisco, or the East Bay

Escorts, Aides and Guests
Paratransit clients are permitted to bring along one escort/aide to assist them during their trip. Clients may also bring along friends and family members on a space available basis. Children four years and younger ride free, limit to three children with each paratransit eligible rider.  Escorts/aides are the equivalent of a personal care attendant (PCA) and expected to provide any necessary assistance beyond the driver assistance defined in Santa Rosa Paratransit service policy.  PCA’s are not required to pay the fare.   All others traveling with the registrant must pay the full fare.

Santa Rosa Paratransit schedulers must be informed of the total number of people taking the trip when the trip is scheduled. Everyone traveling with the Paratransit client is required to travel with the registrant from the same trip origin to the same trip destination.  An ADA eligible individual may not schedule a trip then send an escort or aide on a trip alone. Santa Rosa Paratransit vehicles are required to transport ADA eligible individuals.

Child Safety Seats
Children must be placed in an approved safety seat in accordance with state and federal laws. No child may ride on a passenger’s lap.  The client is responsible for bringing and setting up the child safety seat.

Driver Assistance
Drivers are required to assist registrants on and off the bus and to safely secure mobility aids.  If the registrant requests, drivers will escort registrants to and from the front door of the primary building upon arrival at both origin and destination with the following limitations:
• Paratransit drivers cannot enter any interior area of a home or apartment.
• Paratransit drivers can never lose sight of a Paratransit vehicle or leave a vehicle unsupervised with passengers aboard.
• Drivers cannot assist passengers in wheelchairs or other mobility devices up more than one step.

The ADA does not recognize a difference between door-to-door service and curb-to-curb service. The ADA recognizes origination to destination service only. Drivers are prohibited from doing any lifting, pushing or pulling to accommodate barriers. Any barriers that might risk the health or safety of the passenger, or Santa Rosa Paratransit staff or volunteers must be removed.  If safe access is not available, Santa Rosa Paratransit will provide curb service ONLY.

Late Cancellations/No-Shows
Call Santa Rosa Paratransit as soon as possible if you need to cancel your reservation. By cancelling well in advance, you help Santa Rosa Paratransit improve service to all customers. Cancellations made less than two hours in advance of a scheduled pickup time are considered a no-show.

A no-show happens when riders do not cancel a scheduled trip at least two hours in advance or are not available to board within five minutes of the vehicle’s arrival within the pickup window. Santa Rosa Paratransit will attempt to contact the passenger when an no-show occurs. Riders can avoid no-show situations when they:
• Review times and dates with the schedulers to be sure the information is correct.
• Call Santa Rosa Paratransit and cancel rides as soon as the ride is no longer needed.
• Cancel at least 2 hours in advance of the scheduled pickup time.
• Are prepared to board at the starting time of the pickup window and within 5 minutes after the bus arrives.

No-Show Policy
Santa Rosa Paratransit’s late cancellations/no-show policy is modeled in accordance with the industry standard. Its purpose is to ensure quality paratransit service.  Abuse of the paratransit system affects the ability to provide paratransit services to other eligible clients.

Every time a late cancellation/no-show occurs it is recorded in the rider’s trip record. If you have two or more late cancellation/no-shows within any 30-day period the rider’s trip record will be reviewed. If a pattern or practice of missed trips, repeated or intentional, is determined, the client will be warned. Continued violations may result in suspension of Santa Rosa Paratransit service.

When there are circumstances outside the rider’s control, it is not considered a no-show. If, for some reason, Santa Rosa Paratransit arrives after your 30-minute pickup window and you have made other arrangements or cancelled your ride, it is not considered a no-show.

Suspension Process
Before suspending service, the City of Santa Rosa will:
•  Notify the individual in writing detailing (start date, length of time, end date) the proposed suspended service and citing with the basis of the proposed suspension.
•  Provide the individual an opportunity to be heard and to present information and arguments;
•  Provide the individual with written notification of the decision and the reasons for it, along with detailing the individual’s opportunity to appeal the decision
The appeals must be filed within 60 days.

Wait Time
Santa Rosa Paratransit will wait no more than five minutes for a passenger upon arriving at a scheduled pickup.

Pick-up Window
All passengers are expected to be ready at their scheduled pickup time to prevent other passengers from facing avoidable delays. To account for traffic irregularities, Santa Rosa Paratransit is considered “on time” when the Paratransit vehicle arrives up to thirty minutes after the agreed upon scheduled pick-up time. Please plan your trip with this 30 minute flexibility in mind. If the Paratransit vehicle arrives more than 30 minutes late, there will be no charge for that trip if you choose to take the trip.

Mobility Aids and/or Devices<
Mobility aids and devices that cannot be safely secured with Santa Rosa Paratransit tie downs, or that are not safe to carry on the lift, will not be allowed on Santa Rosa Paratransit vehicles. If using a scooter, it is strongly encouraged that you transfer to a seat if possible. If a rider needs assistance with transferring from a scooter or wheelchair to a seat, it is strongly encouraged that he/she bring along an aide/escort to perform this service. Passengers using mobility devices are required to use the provided lap belts. It is strongly recommended that the shoulder belts be used as well.

How Big Can My Wheelchair or Scooter Be?
When purchasing a new wheelchair or scooter, clients should be sure if it will fit on Santa Rosa Paratransit vehicles. 
• Maximum Size:  48 inches long and 30 inches wide
• Maximum Weight:  600 pounds (including passenger)
Any wheelchair larger than this is considered oversized.  Under ADA guidelines, Paratransit vehicles and equipment are designed to carry common wheelchairs which fit within these dimensions.  A common wheelchair is defined as any three or four wheeled mobility device up to 48 inches long by 30 inches wide and weighing no more than 600 pounds (including passenger). 

Seat Belts
All passengers must properly secure their seat belts.

Service Animals
A service animal is defined by the ADA as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

When scheduling a trip, please advise the scheduler that a service animal will be riding. The service animal must stay on the floor of the vehicle and be under control and well behaved at all times. Any service animal will be removed if it shows signs of aggression or any other inappropriate behavior such as urinating or defecating on the Paratransit vehicle.

Visitors Eligibility
The federal government requires paratransit providers around the country to honor paratransit eligibility for visitors.  Before traveling to a new area, contact the areas provider and Santa Rosa Paratransit to ensure paratransit services are available to you in the new areas.

Paratransit service is available to anyone visiting the City of Santa Rosa. Eligibility will require identification showing that the individual resides outside of the Bay Area and documentation of paratransit service eligibility from the fixed route transit system providing service to the area in which you principally reside.  Santa Rosa will give full faith and credit in honoring the identification card or eligibility documentation from another entity.   If the visitor cannot present documentation from their home entity, but the visitors has an apparent disabilities, Santa Rosa Paratransit will provided the visitor temporary eligibly to ride Santa Rosa Paratransit.  A visitor without an apparent disabilities (e.g. cardiac or cognitive conditions) will be asked for documentation of disability, such as a letter from a medical professional or eligibility for other services based on a determination of disability. Once this basic documentation is provided, services will be available on the basis of the individual’s statement that he or she is unable to use the fixed route transit system. Once a visitor has presented satisfactory documentation as described above, the visitor will be eligible for twenty-one (21) days of service within a 365-day period.

All paratransit riders will need to renew their eligibility at least every three years.  The City of Santa Rosa will contact you to renew your paratransit eligibility if you currently have “permanent” status.  If you have not been contacted, please feel free to call us at: (707) 543-3333 or email: ykoslen@srcity.org

All Santa Rosa Paratransit riders will need to complete at least one in-person interview.  If a paratransit rider had become eligible for paratransit services before in-person interviews were conducted in Santa Rosa or is transferred from a jurisdiction that doesn’t conduct interviews, then the rider will be scheduled for an in-person interview before renewal.

Permanent Registrants:  The City of Santa Rosa will send out a renewal letter to all persons with “permanent” status that have completed an in-person interview in the past, whether their eligibility is for conditional, trip by trip or full/unrestricted trips.  Permanent registrants can have their eligibility extended without a further in-person interview.

Temporary Registrants:  All temporarily eligible paratransit users will need to attend an additional in-person interview to extend their paratransit eligibility.  Temporarily eligible paratransit users will not be automatically contacted by the City of Santa Rosa to renew their eligibility.

Passenger Responsibilities
The City of Santa Rosa requires that all contractors, and specifically the paratransit contractor, complies with Part 37 – Transportation Service for Individual with Disabilities Regulations provided by the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation.  This regulation guides the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) that prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity and access for persons with disabilities.

It is the policy of the City of Santa Rosa to ensure safe and effective transportation for all passengers and staff along with the proper operation of all vehicles. The following list of Passenger Responsibilities has been established to ensure this policy; however, they are not meant to be all inclusive. Violation of any Passenger Responsibility can result in the passenger receiving a warning letter to temporary suspension from Santa Rosa Paratransit services.

1.  Inappropriate Social Behavior
a. All passengers, including paratransit staff, have the right to participate without any threat or fear of physical or verbal abuse and with personal comfort. Passengers are therefore expected to exhibit appropriate social behavior while interacting with other passengers and with paratransit staff.

2.  Disruptive Behavior
a. Sudden or loud verbal outbursts which could threaten the health of fragile riders or the driver’s safe attention while driving.
b. Soiling the vehicle with bodily fluids or waste, or thereby creating a hazard to others.
c. Failing to maintain reasonable personal hygiene, resulting in excessive body odor.

3.  Dangerous Behavior and Physical Abuse
a. Dangerous behavior and physical abuse are defined as any threat or action that could cause any physical harm to the driver, other passengers, the individual or Santa Rosa Paratransit staff or equipment, including the vehicle.
b. The penalty for a proven incident of dangerous or unsafe behavior or physical abuse will be determined by Santa Rosa Paratransit. Penalty can range from a warning letter to permanent suspension from Santa Rosa Paratransit service.

4.  Verbal Abuse
a. Verbal abuse is defined as any oral presentation that is offensive to a passenger, driver, or Santa Rosa Paratransit staff.  The penalty for a proven incident of verbal abuse will be determined by Santa Rosa Paratransit. Penalties can range from a warning letter to temporary suspension from Santa Rosa Paratransit service.

5.  Causes for Refusal of Service
a. Dangerous behavior or physical or verbal abuse towards drivers or other passengers on the vehicle, are grounds for immediate refusal of Santa Rosa Paratransit service.

Let us know how we are doing! Complaints regarding a vehicle operator’s performance should be reported promptly to the Santa Rosa Paratransit Program Director for investigation and appropriate actions. Santa Rosa Paratransit can be reached at:
Santa Rosa Paratransit Contractor
Telephone: (707) 546-1999

Feedback from our riders is a valuable source of information. Please let us know if you have experienced any of the following:
1. If you did not receive your eligibility letter 21 days after your interview.
2. If you were denied a trip within the negotiation 1-2 hour window.
3. If you had a scheduled trip that the driver never showed up to pick you up within the 30 minute pick-up window.
4. If you had an excessively long trip or an untimely drop-off/pick-up.
Comments and suggestions can be delivered to us by mail, fax, in person or by telephone. Contact information is on the next page. If you would like a response to your comment or suggestion, include your complete name and mailing address and a written response will be provided within 14 days. If you are unhappy with the service you received, please be specific and include the time, date, vehicle number, driver name or identification number, and nature of your concern.

City of Santa Rosa Transit
100 Santa Rosa Avenue - Room 6
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Telephone: (707) 543-3333

Title IV Nondiscrimination
Santa Rosa CityBus operates its transit service subject to the nondiscrimination requirements under Section 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) and applicable regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Justice and other applicable Federal laws and regulations.

Pursuant to its Title VI Program, Santa Rosa CityBus ensures that no person in its service area shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under its services and programs. For more information on our nondiscrimination obligations call (707) 543-3333 or visit our web page for a copy of our current Title VI Plan.

You may file a signed, written complaint within 180 days from the date of alleged discrimination.  A Title VI Complaint Form is available online, or you may call Customer Service at (707) 543-3333 to request that a form to be mailed to you.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
The City of Santa Rosa does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admissions or access to, or treatment of, or employment, in its programs or activities. The City has adopted and published a formal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  For more information please visit the City's Risk Managment webpage.  Complaints of alleged noncompliance and grievances should be directed to:

City of Santa Rosa
100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Room 1
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
707-543-3063 TTY


 User's Guide