SHUTTLE

Pierce Transit’s ADA Paratransit SHUTTLE is a shared-ride service for people who, because of their disability, are unable to ride a regular Pierce Transit bus.

SHUTTLE provides door- to-door service, or in some instances, transportation to transit centers or bus stops to connect with regular bus service. The SHUTTLE vehicle may make several stops along the way before it arrives at your destination.

SHUTTLE will take you where you want to go, within our regular service area and hours of operation, based on fixed route service.

Getting Started

Eligibility Application

Eligibility

ADA Paratransit service is provided to those who are prevented from independently using Fixed Route, due to a disability or health related condition some or all of the time.

Click HERE to Learn more

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Approval Process

Any individual who is found not eligible, conditionally eligible, or temporarily eligible may appeal the decision within 60 days of the eligibility notice.

Click HERE to Learn more

WHEN AND WHERE CAN YOU TRAVEL ON SHUTTLE

SHUTTLE Travel

SHUTTLE operates every day of the year. SHUTTLE can pick you up from and take you to any location within 3/4 of a mile of any local Pierce Transit bus route, during the hours the fixed route bus operates in the area.

Click HERE to Learn more

Travel Training

Travel Training

PTravel Training is a free service of Pierce Transit that provides self-paced instruction for passengers, who can use regular bus service, become familiar with public transportation options.

Click HERE to Learn more

DID YOU KNOW:

  • All Pierce Transit buses are accessible for mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.
  • Pierce Transit Operators are always ready and available to assist you with your travel experience.
  • Safety is one of our top priorities!
  • Pierce Transit has a free Travel Training program that can teach seniors and individuals with disabilities how to independently use the fixed-route bus system. Click here to learn more about our Travel Training Program.

ELIGIBILITY AND HOW TO APPLY

  • WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RIDE SHUTTLE:

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    ADA Paratransit service is provided to those who are prevented from independently using Fixed Route, due to a disability or health related condition some or all of the time.

    Pierce Transit follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 eligibility standards for paratransit services.

    The ADA guidelines for establishing eligibility are as follows:

    Inability to board, ride or disembark (including system navigation) from any regularly accessible vehicle, even with the assistance of the lift and other commonly available help, or

    Inability to travel on a route at the time of needed travel because the system lacks required accommodations, or

    The individual has a condition (physical or cognitive disability) which prevents her/him from getting to or from bus boarding locations when traveling within an area served by bus.

    Please note that having a medical condition or a disability does not automatically qualify you for ADA paratransit eligibility.

    Individuals who are interested in using the SHUTTLE service must apply and be found eligible according to the ADA guidelines listed above.


    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    The Department of Transportation has published detailed regulations interpreting the ADA in 49 C.F.R. Part 37. Pierce Transit adheres to these ADA policies and procedures for making individual eligibility determinations for SHUTTLE (paratransit) service. The process must strictly limit ADA paratransit eligibility to those individuals who meet the eligibility criteria (49 C.F.R. §37.125 (a)). This criteria requires Pierce Transit to determine eligibility based on the individual’s functional capability, not the presence of a disability (49 C.F.R. §37.123).

  • SHUTTLE ELIGIBILITY IS NOT BASED ON:

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    Having a disability, even when certified by SSI, SSA, or the VA.
    Age
    Personal convenience, such as the bus system does not meet your personal schedule, takes too long, may require transfers, or does not serve destinations you travel to.
    Inability to drive or lack of access to a vehicle
    Lack of familiarity or experience using the bus system.
    The fact that using the bus system may be more difficult or less comfortable.
    Fear of crime.
    Illiteracy or inability to understand directions due to limited English comprehension.
    Personal Finances
  • HOW DO I APPLY FOR SHUTTLE?

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    To apply for SHUTTLE eligibility, you must:

    Complete an application.
    Explain how your disability prevents you from using the fixed route bus system.
    List medical professionals that can verify your claimed conditions
    Be sure to include relevant specialists, vision, mental health providers, Developmental Disabilitiy Administration (DDA) Case Managers, & Special Education Instructors.

    *If applicable, attaching a copy of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Neuro-Psychological Evaluation helps to expedite processing
    Participate in an in-person assessment, if requested
    Return your complete SHUTTLE Paratransit application to Pierce Transit by:

    Mail: Pierce Transit SHUTTLE, 3701 96th St SW, Lakewood WA 98496
    Fax: 253.984.8154 or 253.984.8227
    E-Mail: adaquestions@piercetransit.org
    Online Application (you must have a valid email address to complete, sign and submit an online application)


    CLICK HERE to download and print the SHUTTLE Paratransit Application

    CLICK HERE to complete and submit your SHUTTLE Paratransit Application online

    Call 253.581.8000, Option 1,2,3,4, to have a SHUTTLE Paratransit Application mailed to you.

    Applications are considered complete when all questions, signatures and contact information of professional sources are provided. Incomplete applications will be returned.

    For questions or assistance in completing your application, please call Pierce Transit at 253.581.8000 or TDD 711 and follow the prompts to the ADA Eligibility Department.

    *Applications are available in an alternate format upon request.

  • WHAT IS THE SHUTTLE CERTIFICATION PROCESS?

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    Pierce Transit determines eligibility based on the information provided in the SHUTTLE application and any information gathered through the eligibility process

    You must submit an application.
    The Eligibility department may fax questions to the applicant's treatment provider to further clarify the functional capabilities (the application includes a release of information) and/or-
    The applicant may be required to come in person for a functional assessment.
    Assessments can be physical or cognitive, or both, depending upon the application.
    Once the decision is made, a decision letter is mailed to the applicant.
    For individuals found not eligible, temporarily eligible, or conditionally eligible (3B), they have 60 days to request an appeal.
  • HOW LONG WILL THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS TAKE?

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    Once Pierce Transit has a completed application with all the needed information, and required assessments have been completed, we will make a decision within 21 days.
    If the decision-making process takes more than 21 days once all of the required information is received, the applicant will receive presumptive eligibility until the decision is made.
    You will be notified by mail whether or not you are eligible for SHUTTLE paratransit services.
  • WHO CONDUCTS THE TESTS?

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    Physical assessments are conducted by contracted licensed Physical/Occupational Therapists. Vital signs such as heart rate, oxygenation levels and blood pressure are monitored during the test to ensure safety.

    Power device mobility assessments are conducted by specially trained Pierce Transit staff. In all tests, variables in the environment as well as the applicant’s ability to perform tasks required for using the fixed route bus are considered.

  • WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ASSESSMENTS?:

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    Power Mobility Device Assessment: During this assessment, the applicant will take part in a brief interview and will be assessed on their ability to maneuver their power device safely, travel on an accessible pathway, control their device in tight spaces and to see if they have the ability to independently board and de-board the bus.

    Physical/Functional Assessments: Physical assessments involve a brief interview as well as functional testing of applicant ability to independently travel to and from bus stops in the community. The applicant will have the opportunity to board/deboard the bus and walk or self-propel on a course, accompanied by assessment staff. Skills evaluated include balance, strength, coordination and range of motion.

    The Mini-Mental Status Evaluation (MMSE) is a standardized cognitive function test. This test assesses orientation, memory, communication skills, and concentration to determine if the applicant is capable of independent travel. Taking this test will involve answering some common questions and following a few basic instructions.

    Functional Assessment of Community Travel Skills (FACTS) is a standardized cognitive test developed exclusively for the task of assessing the ability to travel independently by bus, for individuals with developmental delay. Skills evaluated include bus travel skills, community safety skills and general orientation.

    Community Assessment of Travel Skills (CATS) involves an actual bus trip with an evaluator. This type of test is commonly used to assess individuals with a developmental delay.

    *Variables in the environment as well as the applicant’s ability to perform tasks required in using the fixed route bus is considered.

  • BE PREPARED FOR YOUR ASSESSMENT:

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    If you are scheduled for an in-person assessment:
    Be sure to reserve your ride 1 to 5 days in advance by calling SHUTTLE 253.581.8000
    Please dress for the weather. You will be taking part in an indoor interview and your functional ability to board and travel will be assessed outdoors.
    Be advised that there may be a wait before you are seen. You may want to bring a book
    Plan to be present for 1 hour unless your appointment letter states otherwise.
    If you have dietary concerns, bring a snack or something to drink.
    If you have identified balance issues on your application, it’s imperative that you bring your mobility aid that best addresses this.
    If you use supplemental oxygen, be sure to bring enough for the appointment.
    No shows or non-participation for a scheduled assessment will result in an incomplete eligibility process.
    You may bring a care attendant with you to the appointment for free.
  • TRANSPORTATION TO YOUR APPOINTMENT:

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    SHUTTLE transportation is free to your appointment.
    Be sure to reserve your ride 1 to 5 days in advance by calling SHUTTLE 253.581.8000, option 1, then option 2, between the hours of 8am and 5pm. You will not have to pay the fare for this trip.
    If you live outside of the service area, you will need to make your own arrangements to access service. SHUTTLE staff will work with you to determine the best pick-up and drop-off points.
  • WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE ASSESSMENT:

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    Once the mobility assessment is complete, Pierce Transit reviews the results along with all application information to determine eligibility for SHUTTLE service. Once the decision is made, you’ll be notified by mail. Individuals determined less than fully eligible are able to appeal.

  • WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ELIGIBILITY?

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    ADA guidelines have specified three types of eligibility:

    Full, Unconditional – the passenger may use SHUTTLE paratransit service for all trips
    Conditional – the passenger may use SHUTTLE paratransit service under certain condition for some trips
    Temporary – the passenger may have conditional or unconditional eligibility for a defined period of time because limitations are expected to change

    ADA / Pierce Transit Eligibility Categories:

    ADA 1 – Full Eligibility: For people with disabilities that prevent use of accessible buses under any circumstances; includes conditions that prevent boarding, deboarding, riding the bus, and navigating the system.
    ADA 2 – Transitional Eligibility: For people who could use accessible regular bus service, but the type of accommodation needed is not commonly available. SHUTTLE service is provided when an accessible bus, bus stop, or bus route is not available. As we add accommodations to the regular bus system, eligibility for service will be re-evaluated.
    ADA 3A – Conditional Eligibility: For people with disabilities which sometimes prevent them from boarding, deboarding, or riding a bus. SHUTTLE service is provided when use of local bus service is not possible. Individuals determine when to use the bus or when to use SHUTTLE.
    ADA 3B – Conditional Eligibility: For people with disabilities that prevent them from traveling to or from some bus stops. Pierce Transit provides SHUTTLE service to and from the nearest transit center or major bus stop when conditions prevent travel. Pierce Transit staff determine what combination of SHUTTLE and regular bus service is required on a trip-by-trip basis and provide trip planning for each trip.
  • WHAT IS CONDITIONAL ELIGIBILITY (ADA3B)?

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    Thanks to the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public transportation has become more accessible for seniors and citizens with disabilities. Pierce Transit strives to make public transportation more accessible by offering the following:

    Automatic stop announcements for all major street intersections and transfer points.
    Lift equipped busses, kneeling busses or accessible ramps to assist riders using wheelchairs or anyone having difficulty boarding or exiting the bus.
    Driver assistance with boarding and securing wheelchairs.
    Priority seating at the front of each bus for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
    Reduced fares for people with disabilities and people age 65 and older by obtaining a Regional Reduced Fair Permit.

    Customers with "conditional eligibility" will be able to use paratransit services only for specified trips in which they meet ADA paratransit eligibility standards. This means, if you are able to use the regular bus service to complete a trip, you will not be eligible to use the paratransit services for that trip.

    Many individuals with disabilities successfully use the regular fixed-route transit system if they can get to it. There are many reasons a person might be prevented from getting to the bus.

    They may not be able to walk the distance to the bus stop
    There may be terrain barriers, such as hills, curbs, uneven surfaces, or snowy conditions.
    They are cognitively unable to navigate the bus system that involves multiple transfers.

    In this case, SHUTTLE can assist the individual for that portion of the trip by providing transportation to the nearest transit center where the trip can be completed on the regular fixed route bus. When SHUTTLE assists you to a transit center, you don’t pay for the SHUTTLE portion of the trip (and you pay a reduced fare on the bus)

    Pierce Transit will determine on a trip-by-trip basis if the individual will use the bus, SHUTTLE or a combination of the two when traveling to or from a specific address.

  • HOW DOES USING THE FIXED-ROUTE BUS BENEFIT YOU?

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    Promotes Independence – Freedom to travel on your own time

    Self Sufficiency – No need to make reservations

    Timely - Schedules are repeated throughout the day. You can minimize your wait time knowing exactly when the bus will come. If you miss your bus, you know when the next one is coming.

    Social Outlet – Meet people and make new connections

    Less Expensive – Pay a reduced fare and transfer to another bus within 2 hours for free*

    Real-Time Updates – Get updates on exactly where your bus is and when it will arrive

    *must have a valid RRFP-Regional Reduced Fare Permit

APPROVAL PROCESS

  • HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED?

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    You will receive written notification by mail. Please be sure to add your full mailing address on your application.
    If approved, you will receive information on how to utilize the SHUTTLE paratransit service
    If you do not qualify for SHUTTLE or are outside the SHUTTLE service area, you can get information about transportation options by contacting:

    Pierce Transit Travel Training Program – 253.589.6361

    WIN 211 – Washington Information Network:
    2-1-1 or 253.572.4357 | 1.800.572.4357 | win211.org

    Beyond the Borders - 2-1-1 or 253.572.4357 | 1.800.572.4357

  • WHAT IF I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE ELIGIILITY DETERMINATION

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    Any individual who is found not eligible, conditionally eligible, or temporarily eligible may appeal the decision within 60 days of the eligibility notice. All appeals must be in writing.
    If you do not qualify for SHUTTLE or are outside the SHUTTLE service area, you can get information about transportation options by contacting:

    Pierce Transit Travel Training Program – 253.589.6361

    WIN 211 – Washington Information Network:
    2-1-1 or 253.572.4357 | 1.800.572.4357 | win211.org

    Beyond the Borders - 2-1-1 or 253.572.4357 | 1.800.572.4357

    Please note: A conditional determination is not a denial. If it was determined that you are Conditionally Eligibility for SHUTTLE service, please click here for more information.
  • APPEAL PROCESS:

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    The appeal process is only necessary if you do not agree with your eligibility determination in the first bullet.

    The appeal process is an informal hearing (brief interview) where the applicant has the ability to present information in person and receive an unbiased review and new decision from decision makers that had nothing to do with the original decision.
    Once the appeal process is complete, the panel will decide within 30 days or paratransit service will be granted until the final decision is made.
    The appeal is decided by a panel, including medical professional(s), rehabilitation professional(s) and a Pierce Transit employee.
    You may bring someone with you to help explain your situation.
    If your appeal is based on new limitations not identified in the original application you will be advised to submit a new application that thoroughly identifies your limiting conditions.
    The applicant may only appeal each application once.
    Click here to download the Pierce Transit, “How to Appeal” information sheet.

WHEN & WHERE CAN YOU TRAVEL ON SHUTTLE

  • SHUTTLE SERVICE AREA

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    SHUTTLE operates every day of the year. SHUTTLE can pick you up from and take you to any location within 3/4 of a mile of any local Pierce Transit bus route, during the hours the fixed route bus operates in the area.

    Pierce Transit does not offer SHUTTLE service outside our regular fixed route bus service area.

    If you live outside the service area, you will need to make arrangements to make your way to a location inside the service area to receive SHUTTLE trips. SHUTTLE staff will work with you to determine the best pickup and drop-off points. They can also help you make travel arrangements with adjoining transit agencies.

    To determine whether a specific address is within our service area, please click here to use our interactive (ARC-GIS) map or download a PDF map of the SHUTTLE service area here. For questions, please call SHUTTLE Customer Service at 253.581.8000 (Option 1, then Option 2)

    CLICK HERE to view interactive map
    CLICK HERE to view Service area PDF
  • OPERATION HOURS

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    SHUTTLE paratransit service operates the same days and times as Pierce Transit’s fixed route bus service.
  • REASONABLE MODIFICATION

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    Click here to review the Pierce Transit Reasonable Modification policy ( linke to jotform)

    Please note: We are unable to schedule, change or cancel SHUTTLE reservations through the contact submission form. Please contact SHUTTLE customer service at 253.581.8000.

    Thank you! You will receive a response from our department staff soon.

  • CAN VISITORS USE PIERCE TRANSIT SHUTTLE SERVICE?

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    Yes, ADA Paratransit eligible visitors, who provide Pierce Transit with documentation of their eligibility, are eligible as a visitor for SHUTTLE Paratransit Service.

    If you are re-locating to Pierce County, you will need to submit an application for SHUTTLE Paratransit Service-visitor status will be given while we process your application.

    Visitors will be provided Complimentary SHUTTLE Paratransit service for a period not to exceed twenty (21) days during any three hundred and sixty-five (365) day period beginning with the visitor's first use of SHUTTLE Paratransit Service.

    Visitors, who request the use of SHUTTLE Paratransit Service for more than twenty-one (21) days within the three hundred and sixty-five (356) day period from the first day of service, will be asked to submit an application to determine eligibility.

    If you are a visitor requesting paratransit services, please send verification of your eligibility to Pierce Transit by email or fax. If you do not have documentation, please call:

    Pierce Transit SHUTTLE Eligibility: 253.581.8000, Option 1, 2, 3 and 4 or 253.984.8216

    TTY Relay, Dial: 711

    Fax: 253-984.8154 or 253.984.8227

    Email: adaquestions@piercetransit.org

    Mailing Address: Pierce Transit, 3701 96th St SW, Lakewood, WA 98496

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Trip Planner Help

Trip Planner Tips - Entering Locations

To create a trip plan you need to enter both a starting location (origin) and an ending location (destination). For information about stops, schedules, or service at a specific location, you only need to enter one location.

The Trip Planner recognizes most street intersections and addresses as well as many landmarks in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties. If what you entered is not immediately recognized, the Trip Planner will offer you a list of options. You can choose one of the options, but if your intended location is not there, select the "Revise Original Entries" link to return to the entry page and change the entries you have already made.

Addresses

  • You don't need to type in the city along with the address. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type 110 Jones instead of 110 Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 1000 Main instead of 1000 S Main. But type 1000 West Viewmont for 1000 West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets and addresses are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby location, such as an intersection or a landmark.
  • You should not enter the suite number or apartment number.  Just the house number and street name (Example: type in 401 Broadway instead of 401 Broadway Avenue Suite 800).

Intersections

  • The "&" symbol is the only character used between two street names to show an intersection. (Examples: 1st & B, James & Madison)
  • You don't need to type in the city. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type Conifer & Jones instead of Conifer Circle & Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 3rd & Main instead of 3rd S & S Main. But type 34th & West Viewmont for 34th W & West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby intersection or a landmark.

Landmarks

Government Sites: Pierce County Health Dept, Pierce Co Sheriffs Office, Tacoma City Hall

Major Commercial Sites: Tacoma Mall, Sheraton Hotel

Transportation Facilities: Sea-Tac Airport, Greyhound Bus Depot

Schools & Colleges: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Community College

Sports & Leisure: Cheney Stadium, Pt Defiance Zoo

Medical Facilities: Group Health, Tacoma General Hospital


 

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