mobile-link

MTA-Transit-Login   Not a member? Sign up.


AccessRide Information


AccessRide Service Application             Application for Re-Certification             Send Reservation


Van Service Hours             Using the Service            
Visitors             Eligibility Process            
Phone Numbers             Compliments/Complaints            
Appeals Process             Business Office Hours            
Fares             No-Show Policy            


The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority's (MTA) AccessRide program is a publicly funded paratransit service, which operates specialized van services for persons with disabilities who are unable to use regular fixed-route buses. AccessRide provides door-to-door paratransit service within Davidson County, excluding commuter or express service. AccessRide personnel are directly responsible for:


  • Certifying eligible paratransit passengers
  • Managing ridership accounts
  • Scheduling rides
  • Managing AccessRide customer care
  • Reporting service and financial information to the MTA
  • Providing travel training for people who would like to learn how to use fixed-route bus services
  • Ensuring all operators and staff are trained extensively for sensitivity awareness, vehicle operation and passenger assistance
  • Providing reliable van service through preventive maintenance


AccessRide service operates from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays,
4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays and from 4:45 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays.


All information is available in accessible formats upon request
for large print, Braille, audio tape, etc.


Introduction to ADA Paratransit Service


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. As a major piece of civil rights legislation, the ADA protects the rights of all people without regard to their physical and/or cognitive disabilities.


The ADA specifies all individuals have a right to be able to use available public transportation. The ADA requires that individuals not able to independently ride public buses be provided with an equivalent, complementary service for their transportation needs within the established service area.


ADA Paratransit

This complementary service is called ADA Paratransit. ADA Paratransit is provided to persons who, because of their disabilities, are unable to independently ride a bus. ADA Paratransit must be provided within the same geographic service area and during the same service hours as fixed-route bus service. The maximum fare a public transportation provider can charge for standard ADA Paratransit service is twice the adult one-way bus fare.

back to top

Eligibility for ADA Paratransit


Categories for ADA Eligibility

AccessRide provides service to persons whose temporary or permanent disabilities prevent their independent use of public transportation. To determine eligibility for paratransit service, individuals must complete an application for ADA paratransit service and demonstrate, that because of their disability, they are unable to use MTA's fixed-route bus service for one (or more) of the following three reasons:


  • Unable to independently ride a bus. This applies to an individual who cannot independently negotiate the fixed-route system (board, ride or disembark from a bus.)[Code (Section 37.123(e)(1)]
  • Unable to get on or off a bus. This applies to an individual who would have been able to use the fixed-route system if it were accessible (i.e., if a low-floor or lift-equipped bus is not available). [Code (Section 37.123(e)(2)]
  • Unable to get to or from a bus stop. This applies to an individual who, because of his/her disability, cannot access a bus stop to board the fixed-route system and cannot access his/her final destination after disembarking from a fixed-route bus. Eligibility is determined each time the eligible customer calls. Two important qualifiers to this category are included in the regulations. First, environmental conditions and architectural barriers not under the control of the public entity do not, when considered alone, confer eligibility. Inconvenience in using the fixed-route system is not a basis for eligibility. [Code (Section37.123 (e)(3)]



Complete the following ADA eligibility worksheet to see if AccessRide is right for you.



ADA Eligibility Worksheet: Is AccessRide Right for You?


Your name:

This worksheet is for your own use. It will help you understand ADA eligibility and determine if AccessRide is the appropriate service for you. The ADA law states that ADA eligibility is given to persons whose disabilities prevent use of regular accessible fixed-route transit services: an individual's disabilities must be so significant that the individual is not able to use fixed-route transit service.

Read the 5 questions on the left side of the worksheet and then check your answers on the right side. Your answers will help you determine if AccessRide might be appropriate for you.


Question Check your answers below.
Yes Sometimes No, never
1. Are you able to get to and from the bus stop closest to where you live?
2. With help from the bus driver, are you able to get on and off a bus which has a lift or ramp?
3. Are you able to get on and off a bus, which does not have a lift or ramp, by entering by the steps?
4. With help from the bus driver who announces major bus stops and transfer points, are you able to figure out the right bus stop to get off?
5. If your trip on the bus involves transferring to another bus, are you able to make the transfer?



Look at your answers:


  • If you checked "Yes" to all 5 questions, you are probably not ADA eligible. However, there may be specialized services available for you including the reduced MTA fare program. Call (615) 862-5950 for registration information.
  • MTA also offers free travel training to anyone interested in learning how to ride MTA buses. Call 880-3597.
  • If you checked "Sometimes" to one or more questions, you might be determined ADA eligible for certain trips under certain circumstances.
  • If you answered "No, never" to one or more of the questions, you might be ADA eligible. A complete application and in-person assessment at our assessment site are necessary to formally determine ADA eligibility.


back to top


Application Forms for ADA Paratransit Service

Applications are available through MTA AccessRide, or you can download a copy from the MTA Web site. AccessRide's Eligibility Specialist is available to assist with the application process and answer questions regarding eligibility at (615) 880-3596 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday). All application information is confidential.

Applications are also available in accessible formats upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape, etc.).

The application form is available for download in three formats: Acrobat Reader®, text only and Microsoft Word. (Acrobat Reader® is available for download free from Adobe. You can download it here.) Right-click on file links to save them to your computer.


AccessRide Application for ADA Paratransit Services (Acrobat): PDF Version


AccessRide Application for ADA Paratransit Services Text Only text version


AccessRide Application for ADA Paratransit Services Microsoft Word version


The need to travel with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) is established during the application process. A PCA is someone whose services are required by a certified passenger to meet his or her personal needs or to assist with travel.


AccessRide requires up to 21 days to process a completed application. Approved applicants will be notified and will receive a letter certifying eligibility, a paratransit identification (ID) card and a copy of the MTA AccessRide's Riders Guide.



Eligibility Process


1. Call us. Application packet will be sent out for recertification.

      First call MTA AccessRide ADA Paratransit Eligibility Specialist and ask her to mail you an application. If you need any help filling out the form, the interviewer will assist you at the interview.

Please complete the requested Professional Verification Section of the application before scheduling the interview.

2. Interview

      Once the application is complete, including the Professional Certification, call (615) 880-3596 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to set up an in-person interview and functional assessment. Do not mail or fax your application. Bring your completed application with you to the interview. All persons seeking eligibility must set up an in-person interview. During the interview, we will review the application with you and help complete it if necessary. We will also discuss your assessment of your own travel abilities and limitations in more detail. You must bring your primary mobility aid or aids that you would use when traveling in the community. You may be asked to participate in a functional assessment which might involve outdoor travel. Please dress accordingly. Transportation to and from the interview will be provided if necessary at no cost to the applicant. This process will take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Functional Assessment

      The functional assessment is a mechanism to help determine whether the applicant has the ability to use MTA fixed-route service and, if so, under what circumstances. Functional assessments are evaluations used to predict either physical or cognitive ability.

  • The physical functional evaluation consists of a simulated trip to and from the bus. This includes boarding a bus, negotiating a curb and curb cut, and crossing the street. Skills evaluated include balance, strength, coordination and range of motion.
  • The Functional Assessment of Cognitive Transit Skills (FACTS) administered to applicants with cognitive disabilities. FACTS is a validated assessment tool designed to assess the transit skills of a person by using a simulated bus trip. Skills evaluated include bus travel skills, community safety skills and general orientation.
  • Those applicants with Visual Impairments will be given FACTS for Determining Eligibility for Individuals with Visual Disability and Guidelines for Evaluating Environmental Barriers. Variables in the environment as well as the applicant's ability to perform the tasks required to use the bus are considered.

4. A decision will be made within 21 days of a complete application, in-person interview, and functional assessment.

5. Issue Certification letter and Riders Guide.

Temporary Disabilities

If a customer has a temporary disability, he/she may obtain paratransit eligibility for the expected duration of the disability. If the disability continues beyond the certified time, AccessRide will require a revised certification from the customer's Health Care Professional.


Recertification Process

It is required that all AccessRide customers submit an application for recertification every three years or whenever certification expires (i.e., temporary disability status). At the appropriate time, AccessRide will send out a recertification packet to verify continuing eligibility. The packet will provide detailed instructions on the recertification process.


Appeals Process for a Denied Application

If your application is denied, MTA AccessRide has developed an appeal process as required by ADA. Applicants have up to 60 days from the date of the written denial to appeal. (Refer to Appeal Process section.)

Using the Service


Scheduling a Ride Using ADA Paratransit Service

To schedule a ride, call AccessRide Reservations Office at (615) 880-3970 or email us your AccessRide reservation via our reservation form.

AccessRide business hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Paratransit rides must be scheduled by 4:30 p.m., from one to seven days in advance. Customers may schedule multiple rides with one call. AccessRide reservationists may need to negotiate the pickup and return times with customers within a two-hour window — one hour before and one hour after the requested pickup time. In order to book your trip, please have the following information available when you call AccessRide:

  • Your name
  • The date and time of arrival and departure
  • The exact name and address (including name of building if known) of the pickup and drop off locations (including return trip information). Zip code for each trip and telephone number, if known. Remember the service is external door-to-door.
  • Passengers must inform the reservationists when they are planning to take a Personal Care Attendant (PCA), companion or service animal.
  • Passengers must inform the reservationists when planning to travel with a mobility device.
  • Users should be prepared to accept trip times up to l hour earlier or later than the preferred pickup times. When the time of arrival is of primary importance, such as a ride to work or an appointment, inform the reservationists. The pick up time will be adjusted to accommodate the time of arrival. When the time of arrival is flexible, such as a ride to go shopping or visiting, inform the reservationists.
  • Passengers must schedule separate drop off and pickup times even if only at a location for a short period of time. These times must be a minimum of 30 minutes apart. Drivers will not wait for passengers at any location.
  • AccessRide will inform passengers if the pickup or destination is not within MTA's service area.


back to the top


Canceling a Ride/No-Shows


To cancel a previously scheduled ride, contact AccessRide at (615) 880-3970.


If a passenger must cancel a previously scheduled ride, the cancellation must be received by AccessRide the day before the ride is scheduled or a minimum of two hours in advance.


If a trip is not canceled with adequate notice or the vehicle arrives at the pickup location and the ride is subsequently canceled, passengers will be considered a No-Show (failure to cancel a scheduled ride).


A No-Show will be logged on the customer's record for the following reasons:


  • A ride is canceled with less than two hours before the pick-up time.
  • A ride is canceled at the pick-up time (at the door), or not canceled at all.
  • A passenger is not ready to depart when the vehicle arrives for pick-up.
  • A passenger cannot be located at the scheduled pick-up location at the scheduled time.


AccessRide will notify customers if there is a problem with No-Shows.

A suspension of service may result from excessive cancellations with less than a two-hour notice. AccessRide will attempt to contact customers when there appears to be a significant problem with last minute cancellations.


Subscription Service

If a passenger schedules trips on a routine and regular basis, subscription service may be requested. However, subscription service is not required by the MTA. AccessRide has set a limit on the number of subscription trips available. Under the ADA, the total number of subscription trips cannot exceed 50 percent of the space available on the system at any time period during any given day. Passengers may only make changes to subscription reservations one time over a three-month period or subscription service may be canceled, excluding sick days, vacation, etc. Passengers' pickup times may vary with subscription service. Passengers are encouraged to be prepared to leave in advance upon notification from the scheduler.


Same Day Service

AccessRide does not accommodate same day changes unless it is deemed an emergency situation.

back to the top

AccessRide's Holiday Service

All subscription service is cancelled on holidays. If you still need your subscription ride on the holiday, contact AccessRide at (615) 880-3970 by 4:30 p.m. the day prior to the holiday.

Schedule Type and Service Area' are based on the amount of regular fixed-route bus service being operated.

NOTE: Service is subject to change without notice. For specific dates and schedules, please call the AccessRide Office at (615) 880-3970.


Holidays:

New Year's Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving
Christmas


Paratransit Ride Fares

The standard paratransit ride fare is $3.40 per one-way trip.

Passengers may travel with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) at no charge.

The fare for a guest is $3.40 per one-way trip for regular paratransit service.

Passengers may travel with a Service Animal at no additional charge. Inform the reservationist when traveling with a service animal.


NOTE: Drivers cannot make change.

back to the top

Visitor Paratransit Service

Paratransit service may be provided to ADA certified eligible persons who are not currently certified within the Davidson County area. All visitors are required to provide a minimum amount of information to AccessRide to determine eligibility to utilize paratransit service. Visitors must provide the following:


  • An ADA eligibility card or letter from another region.
  • Proof of address and documentation of a transportation disability (if not readily apparent).
  • The complete address of where residing while visiting in Davidson County.


Visitors are requested to complete an ADA Registration Form.


Visitors are eligible for service for any combination of 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor's first use of service. Visitors returning to the region whose visitor eligibility has expired must reapply for visitor eligibility. Those planning to return to the region within a year, frequently visit the region, or stay in the region over 21 days are encouraged to submit an application for AccessRide paratransit service.

back to the top


Compliments

If any staff associated with providing paratransit service has been particularly helpful or has gone out of their way to provide assistance, contact the AccessRide Office at (615) 880-3970 or MTA Customer Care at (615) 862-5950.


Complaints

Passengers should file a complaint any time that the service is not satisfactory, safe or secure. Complaints should be filed with MTA Customer Care at (615) 862-5950. Complaints may be filed in writing or emailed to customercomments@nashville.gov.


To assist with the investigation, file the complaint as soon as possible. When filing a complaint, provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Exact date and time of your trip
  • Description of the incident
  • Address of your destination
  • Vehicle and operator number or name


All complaints are taken seriously and every effort is made to resolve complaints in a timely manner. If a complaint is filed, customers will be notified of a final resolution.


back to the top

ADA Paratransit Appeal Process


The ADA requires that transportation providers to establish a process for persons to appeal decisions if they are denied access to paratransit service. MTA has established an appeals procedure for persons whose applications for paratransit eligibility are denied or for persons who have received suspension notices for other reasons.

An individual may file an appeal when AccessRide denies paratransit service for any of the following reasons:

  • Denial of Eligibility
  • Suspension resulting from excessive No-Shows or Cancellations
  • Suspension for Seriously Disruptive Behavior


AccessRide will inform an applicant or current customer of a decision to deny eligibility status or to suspend service by letter. Individuals have 60 days from the date of the letter informing them of an eligibility denial or service suspension to request an appeal. Requests for an appeal must be sent in writing to the MTA AccessRide Policy Advisory Committee at the following address:

AccessRide Policy Advisory Committee
Metropolitan Transportation Authority – AccessRide
430 Myatt Drive
Nashville, TN 37115


Once the request for an appeal is received, a five-member Appeal Panel will convene. The Appeal Panel consists of two MTA staff persons, two stakeholders of AccessRide and an individual with the Metro ADA Office. The Appeal Panel will issue a final written decision within 30 days of the appeal hearing. AccessRide will not provide service to individuals who are pursuing an eligibility appeal. However, if the Appeal Panel has not made a decision within 30 days after the hearing, temporary service will be provided. This temporary service will continue until a decision on the appeal is reached.


Upon appeal for a No-Show or Cancellation suspension, paratransit service will be provided pending the appeal; suspension of service will not begin until the appeals process is complete. If a decision is not made within 30 days of the completion of the appeal hearing, the individual appealing the suspension shall be granted service until a final decision has been reached.


Persons requesting an appeal will be notified in writing of the time, date and location of the appeal hearing. Individuals are encouraged to attend the appeal hearing although attendance is not mandatory. If individuals requesting appeals cannot attend, they may have another person(s) represent them at the hearing. If the individual or a designated representative is not present at the appeal hearing, the Appeal Panel will base its decision on the documentation submitted by AccessRide.


Passengers who exhibit behavior that AccessRide documents as being seriously disruptive will be suspended from receiving paratransit services until the Appeal Panel reviews the suspension. The ADA does not require a transportation provider to offer an appeal process if a customer is suspended because of seriously disruptive behavior.


Passengers who exhibit behavior that is violent or illegal will be denied paratransit services. An Appeals Panel will review an incident of violent or illegal behavior upon requests, but will only act to verify that such behavior occurred. Verification of violent or illegal behavior will result in denial of paratransit service.


back to the top


AccessRide Contact Information

AccessRide E-mail: accessreservations@nashville.gov


Reservations, New Applications and General Information

(615) 880-3970

Eligibility (appointments for observation interviews and to
check the status of an application)
(615) 880-3596
Appeal Process (615) 880-3970

Fax Number
(Reservations and General Information)
(615) 880-3294


back to top




Contact Information
Nashville MTA
430 Myatt Drive
Nashville, TN 37115
ph: (615) 862-5950
email us
Stay Connected