Access-a-Ride User's Guide

Welcome to Access-a-Ride

RTD Paratransit Services, Access-a-Ride, provides public transportation to riders who have a disability that prevents them from utilizing the local fixed route buses or light rail services. Access-a-Ride service must be reserved one to three days in advance. Access-a-Ride service operates in the same areas and during the same days and hours as the local non-commuter fixed route and light rail services. If you have questions after reading this User's Guide, you can call the Access-a-Ride office at 303.299.2960 or 303.299.2980 if you use a TTY. Upon request, copies of this User's Guide can also be provided in large print or on computer disk.

Who is eligible for Paratransit service?

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) [Section 37.123(e) (1) of the ADA regulations], defines the following three categories for eligibility:

Category 1

"Any individual with a disability who is unable, as a result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities."

Category 2

This applies to an individual who would be able to use the local fixed-route system if it were accessible (e.g., if a low-floor or lift-equipped bus is not available). This category is not applicable at RTD as all of our local fixed-route buses are 100% accessible.

Category 3

"Any individual with a disability who has a specific impairment-related condition which prevents such individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on such system." 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 local fixed-route bus system is not a basis for eligibility.

Eligibility for Access-a-Ride cannot be based on financial hardship. A person must be over six (6) years of age to certify for eligibility.

Phone Numbers and Hours

Applications, Passenger Information Changes, Appeals

Access-a-Ride Administration Office

  • 303.299.2960
  • TDD/TTY: 303.299.2980
  • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday

Commendations and Concerns, General Inquiries

Access-a-Ride Customer Service

  • 303.299.6000; listen to menu prompts
  • 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
  • 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Lost and Found

  • 303.299.2880
  • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
  • Note: Access-a-Ride is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Reservations and Future Cancellations

Access-a-Ride Reservations

  • 303.292.6560
  • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week

Same Day Trip Cancellations, Same Day Trip Inquiry

Access-a-Ride Dispatch

  • 303.480.2000
  • 24 hours / 7 days a week

Access-A-Cab Reservations

  • 303.244.1388
  • 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week

Access-a-Ride fares

Payment of fare is expected upon boarding an Access-a-Ride vehicle. Passengers may not pay at the destination. Access-a-Ride fares can be paid in cash or with Five-Ride or Ten-Ride Tickets ONLY. If paid in cash, the EXACT CHANGE must be used, as Access-a-Ride operators do not carry change. Ticket booklets are available at an RTD Sales Outlet, participating King Soopers and Albertsons/Safeway stores, or online.

Fares listed are one-way

local

$4.70

one-way

regional

$8.50

one-way

airport

$17.50

one-way to DIA

local 5-Ride Ticket Book

$21.25

An aide who accompanies a disabled passenger rides free. No tickets that display the word “Discount” will be accepted as Access-a-Ride fare. Passengers with Access‑a‑Ride IDs ride free on all other RTD fixed-route bus and rail service.

Note: Operators are not permitted to accept tips. If you would like to commend a driver for service provided, call RTD's Paratransit Customer Service at 303.299.6000.

Regular fixed route fares

Passengers on the Access-a-Ride service can use regular buses and light rail when they are feeling well enough to do so. For those occasions when you do use local fixed route, you may board at no charge as long as you display your Access-a-Ride identification card to the bus operator. You may be asked to display an additional photo identification card in order for us to reduce possible fraud.

Types of eligibility status

Based on individual needs, passengers may qualify for any of the following types of eligibility:

Temporary

Length of service is determined by the circumstances of your condition. Temporary eligibility is provided to passengers who have a temporary disability that prevents them from using the RTD bus and/or light rail system. Eligibility may be provided for the expected duration of the disability.

Conditional

Any conditions applied to service are done so on an individual basis depending on the needs of the passenger. The various conditions used are as follows:

Temperature Sensitive

If, as part of the eligibility process, it has been determined that a passenger may only use Access-a-Ride services during extreme temperature conditions, then Temperature Sensitive condition shall be applied. The Access-a-Ride call center will use weather reports from www.weather.gov to verify that there will be at least a 30% chance that the temperature will reach the conditional threshold on the day passenger needs a ride. Passengers with "Temperature Sensitive" condition may only request trips one (1) day in advance.

Dawn to Dusk
Service will be available after sunrise and up until sunset. Time of sunrise and sunset are determined by reports from www.weather.gov.
Dusk to Dawn
Service will be available after sunset and up until sunrise of the following day. Time of sunrise and sunset are determined by reports from www.weather.gov.
Snow
We will offer you Access-a-Ride service on the day it snows and for seven days that follow. The Access-a-Ride Call Center will use weather reports from www.weather.gov to verify that there is at least a 30% chance that it will snow on the day you need a ride. Passengers with "Snow" condition must call one (1) day in advance for all trip requests.
Rain
If the possibility of rain causing damage to your power chair is the issue affecting you getting to and from a bus stop, we will offer you Access-a-Ride service during rain. The Access-a-Ride call center will use weather reports from www.weather.gov to verify that there is at least a 30% chance that it will rain on the day you need a ride. Passengers with “Rain” condition may only request trips one (1) day in advance.
Chronic Fatigue
We will offer you Access-a-Ride service when your condition warrants recurring treatment, i.e., dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, etc. Passengers with “Chronic Fatigue” condition may schedule one (1) to three (3) days in advance.
Intermittent Fatigue
These passengers are allowed to use Access-a-Ride services when their fatigue limits their ability to use the fixed route system. Passengers with "Fatigue" condition must call one (1) day in advance for all trip requests.
Episodic
An individual would be conditionally eligible if their disability results in periodic episodes which affect their ability to use fixed-route services for a short period of time.
Architectural/Environmental Barrier
An individual would be conditionally eligible when there is an environmental or architectural barrier that presents difficulty in traveling to or from some, but not all, boarding or disembarking locations.
Unrestricted
Full service for four (4) years.

Service for visitors

Visitors to the RTD area can use Access-a-Ride service for up to 21 calendar days a year by providing documentation that they have a health condition or disability which prevents them from using the RTD system. For information on please call 303.299.2960.

Recertification of eligibility

Eligibility for paratransit service is not permanent. If you need to continue your service, you will be required to re-certify before your expiration date. Your status can change upon recertification.

Paratransit service area and service hours

The Access-a-Ride service area boundary corresponds with local non-commuter fixed-route and light rail station service on weekdays, evenings and weekends. The service area covers locations that are within three-fourths (3/4) of a mile of RTD’s non-commuter bus and light rail stations within the RTD district. There is no service outside of the RTD District.

RTD makes schedule adjustments to the fixed-route service three times per year. Based on those adjustments, your Access-a-Ride service may change.

Personal Care Attendant

A Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may accompany a certified Access-a-Ride passenger at no additional charge. Your passenger profile must indicate that you are eligible to have a PCA to travel with you. You must reserve space for your PCA when scheduling a trip.

If you fail to inform us that you will be bringing a PCA and/or a guest, and there is no room on board the vehicle when it arrives to pick you up, the PCA and/or guest may be denied services. If you did not request a PCA during your initial eligibility interview, you will need to contact the Access-a-Ride administrative office at 303.299.2960 for more information.

Guests

Guests are welcome and will be charged the applicable fare. Any request for more than one guest, including children, is on a “space available” basis. Children under the age of six do travel free of charge and must be accompanied by an adult.

Packages

Carry-on packages are limited to three (3) grocery bags or similar-sized packages, regardless of whether the operator assists in loading the bags on and off the vehicle. Operators may help a passenger carry three (3) packages on and off the vehicle from the same sidewalk or waiting area where the passenger boards and gets off the vehicle. Packages should weigh no more than twenty (20) pounds each.

Passengers may use a personal two-wheel grocery caddy to carry more than three (3) twenty-pound bags. However, the customer is required to maneuver his or her own caddy. Operators will secure the caddy in the vehicle. You are not permitted to bring grocery store carts on board Access-a-Ride vehicles.

Service Animals

Guide dogs and other service animals are allowed to accompany you. The animal must be controlled at all times. Any animal displaying aggressive behavior may be subject to removal from the vehicle or service. When scheduling your trips, please inform Reservations if a service animal will be accompanying you. Personal pets may only board an Access-a-Ride vehicle if carried in an animal carrier. Operators are not permitted to assist in carrying the animal carrier.

Tips for scheduling service

When requesting rides:

  • Be sure to allow plenty of time to finish your appointment in order to meet the vehicle at your scheduled return trip pickup window
  • Be aware of opening and closing times at your destination to avoid waiting outside the building before or after business hours
  • Allow adequate travel time while using public transportation to reach your destination
  • Allow extra time for the pick-up and drop-off of other passengers before reaching your destination
  • Allow for traffic conditions and weather delays

Requesting Access-a-Ride services

To schedule a trip, call Access-a-Ride Reservations at 303.292.6560, between 8 am and 5 pm, 365 days year-round. Reservations may be made from one day to up to three days in advance. When scheduling a trip, please be ready to provide:

  • Your Access-a-Ride Identification Number
  • Your name
  • Your specific pick-up address including building number, phone and suite numbers, business names and specific pick-up information and landmarks. Access-a-Ride cannot schedule trips to bus stops or intersections.
  • Your telephone number
  • The date and time you wish to be picked up or your appointment time if this is appropriate
  • The street address of your destination, including building number, phone and suite numbers, business/building names, doctor's names, and specific pick-up information and landmarks
  • The pick-up time and location of your return trip if different than the drop off location. There must be at least one (1) hour elapsed time between your drop off and pick up times.
  • If a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) will travel with you
  • If a guest other than your PCA will travel with you (including children)
  • If you use a manual wheelchair, power wheelchair, scooter, oxygen, or a service animal

Provide alternative travel times

If Access-a-Ride cannot accommodate your exact request, it may offer a pickup time of up to sixty minutes before or up to sixty minutes after the requested pickup time.

If a passenger’s building is located within a gated community and requires special entry, please notify the security office to arrange entry for the Access-a-Ride vehicle before the pick-up time. If the passenger does not arrange entry, and the vehicle is unable to enter the pick-up area, the passenger will be considered a no-show.

Access-a-Ride will not transport wheelchairs or other mobility aids without the passenger on board the vehicle.

Policies

Cancellation Policies

Access-a-Ride recognizes three categories of cancellations:

If you no longer require a ride, please cancel your trip by 5:00 p.m. the evening before your scheduled pick-up time in order to avoid any penalties.

An advance cancellation is a cancellation which occurs after 5:00 p.m. and up to two (2) hours before the start of your pickup window.

A Late Cancellation is any trip cancelled less than two (2) hours before your scheduled pick up window.

A demonstrated pattern of advanced or late cancellations is a serious disruption of service. Advanced or late cancellations which exceed ten percent (10%) of your scheduled trips within a rolling thirty-day (30) period will be grounds for service suspension.

Pick Up and Drop Off Policies

You must be prepared to board the vehicle at the beginning of your thirty-minute (30) scheduled window.
When scheduling your trip, please provide Access-a-Ride reservationists with the specific pick up and drop off address, include the building name and number within the complex. Operators will pick up the passenger as close as possible to those specific addresses.
Operators will wait six (6) minutes after they arrive within your pick-up time window for you to board the vehicle.

Door-to-door assistance will be provided to assist you to and from the threshold of a residence or main lobby of a building or business. Operators are not permitted to enter beyond the threshold or ground level of any building. If there are stairs leading from the sidewalk to the house or building, operators will assist ambulatory passengers up/down those stairs. If upon reaching the main level entrance and there are stairs to the next floor, operators will not assist up/down those stairs.

Door-to-door assistance DOES NOT include any of the following:

  • Maneuvering a wheelchair up or down more than one (1) step or curb
  • Assisting passengers on non-ADA-compliant or steeply inclined mobility ramps or stairs
  • Operators entering beyond the door threshold of any residence or main lobby of a building
  • Loading and unloading personal items, except as provided for under the Packages section of this guide
  • Does not include “Do not leave alone” or “Hand-to-hand” service
If you experience an event which is beyond your control, you may call Dispatch at 303.480.2000 and request that your return trip be rescheduled to a later time. Every effort will be made to adjust your return trip pick up time; however, since schedules are pre-arranged, expect possible lengthy delays. Changes made to a return trip in the late night or into the early morning hours may not be accommodated until the next day, depending on the availability of the RTD fixed-route service schedules.
The first consideration of Access-a-Ride is the safety of its passengers. To ensure safety for our passengers who must board the vehicle by using the lift, operators will use Access-Arize belts, which are secured in front and behind the passenger while on the lift.

RTD complies with the following:

In some cases, a mobility device may not have proper securement points. Upon request, RTD will provide you with a set of Stokes straps to ensure proper securement of your mobility device. You may obtain these free of charge by calling 303.299.4056. Operators are responsible for making sure that your straps are properly fastened to your mobility device. If the operator feels that they are not, they will ask for your permission to relocate them to a safer location.

  • Rear Facing Child Restraint Systems - The law requires infants to ride in a rear-facing child safety seat until they are at least one (1) year old and weigh less than twenty (20) pounds.
  • Forward Facing Child Restraint Systems - The law provides that children ages one (1) year to four (4) years who weigh twenty (20) pounds up to forty (40) pounds be restrained in a forward or rear-facing child safety seat.
  • Booster Seats - Regardless of weight and height the law requires that children be properly restrained in a child booster seat until eight (8) years of age. After age eight (8), the law allows them to use a vehicle seat belt. However, safety experts recommend that they use a booster seat until they are at least 4’9” tall.

Access-a-Ride does not provide baby or booster seats. For more information relating to the current Child Passenger Safety Regulations please call 877.239.4625 or research www.carseatscolorado.com.

Other Policies

A no show occurs when the vehicle arrives during your scheduled pick up window and you fail to board the vehicle.

If you “no-show” or cancel the first leg of a trip, the corresponding return trip will not automatically be cancelled. You must call dispatch and cancel the trip yourself.

A demonstrated pattern of no-shows is a serious disruption of service. No-shows which exceed ten percent (10%) of your scheduled trips within a rolling thirty-day (30) period will be grounds for service suspension.

All Access-a-Ride/Access-a-Cab passengers must present their Access-a-Ride identification card upon boarding the vehicle.

Failure to present the exact fare when boarding the vehicle is in violation of RTD’s fare policy. Operators do not carry change. A demonstrated pattern of fare non-payment is considered grounds for service suspension. If a passenger refuses to pay for their trip and refuses to disembark the vehicle upon the operator’s request, authorities shall be contacted.

Continued violation of the stated policies above may result in the revocation of your Access-a-Ride and Access-a-Cab services. Suspension periods are as follows:

  • First Offense - 7-day suspension
  • Second Offense - 14-day suspension
  • Third Offense - 21-day suspension
  • Fourth Offense - 28-day suspension
  • Additional Offense - 28-day suspension per incident

All passengers, including PCAs and guests, are expected to follow these rules of conduct to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers and the operator:

  • No smoking on board the vehicle
  • No throwing of items
  • No eating or drinking on board unless required for health reasons
  • No abusive, threatening or obscene language or actions
  • No physical abuse towards another passenger or the operator
  • No operating or tampering with any equipment while on board the vehicle
  • No sound-generating equipment is to be played aboard the vehicles unless utilized with ear/headphones
  • Service animals must be controlled on the vehicle
  • Wear seatbelts

Passengers who violate rules of conduct are subject to penalties, up to termination of service. Continued violation of the stated policies may result in the revocation of your Access-a-Ride and Access-a-Cab services.

Service Suspension: A passenger who disputes the basis for a suspension of service as set forth in this User’s Guide will be afforded an opportunity to appeal prior to their suspension. Requests for an appeal may be made by contacting the Access-a-Ride Customer Service Representative at 303.299.6000.

For the safety of all of our passengers and operators, passengers who cause physical injury to another passenger or the operator will be immediately suspended for a maximum of fourteen (14) calendar days or until the suspension appeal is complete. A second incident involving the injury of another passenger or operator will result in permanent service termination.

Subscription Service is limited to passengers traveling to the same place, at the same time, at least three (3) times a week. RTD offers a subscription service on a space available basis and may prioritize service as needed. If you wish to request subscription service, please call 303.299.2960 or 303.292.6560. RTD will terminate any Subscription Services that are canceled 50% or more of the time during any thirty (30) calendar day period, or if there is a consistent pattern of cancellations of any part of a subscription. If, for whatever reason you request a schedule change to your subscription service, Access-a-Ride may not be able to accommodate your request, which will mean being placed on a waiting list.

Portable oxygen equipment and portable respirators are permitted on Access-a-Ride vehicles. The operator will assist you in securing this equipment on the vehicle. When calculating the amount of oxygen you need when using Access-a-Ride services, plan to include several hours of travel time.

Identification cards

All eligible passengers will be issued a picture identification card; this card must be shown to the vehicle operator each time you board any Access-a-Ride or Access-a-Cab vehicle. Please pay close attention to your expiration date. In the event you lose or damage your identification card, you will be asked to display an alternative identification.

If you lose your identification card, you should purchase a replacement for $5.00 immediately. For more information please contact our Administration Office at 303.299.2960.

Lost or damaged cards may be replaced a maximum of three (3) times a year.

Any passenger abusing their Access-a-Ride or Access-a-Cab services, such as altering or lending their cards to non-passengers, shall be immediately suspended from the service indefinitely.

Rights and Responsibilities

RTD Access-a-Ride passengers have a Right to:

  • Safe transportation
  • Rides that are on time
  • Professional and courteous operators
  • Safe and properly maintained vehicles
  • Properly fastened seat belts and wheelchair securements

RTD Access-a-Ride passengers have a Responsibility to:

  • Treat operators and other passengers with respect
  • Have the correct fare; exact change only
  • Have a current Access-a-Ride Identification Card
  • Provide a Personal Care Attendant if needed
  • Cancel by 5:00 p.m. the evening prior to the scheduled trip or at least two (2) hours before the beginning of the scheduled pick up window
  • Be ready at the beginning of the thirty (30) minute window that was negotiated at the time of scheduling
  • Provide accurate information when requesting a ride

Emergency service

Natural/Man-Made Disaster

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, Access-a-Ride may not be able to continue to provide services. In such cases, it will be the responsibility of the passenger to contact the Access-a-Ride Call Center and inquire as to the status of their service. Every attempt shall be made to transport all of our passengers; however, in extreme emergencies it may be necessary to refer passengers to 911. Please note that RTD is not responsible for 911 charges or emergency transport.

In the event of an emergency or service changes, RTD will make every attempt to notify passengers through radio, television, and website announcements.

Medical Emergencies

In the event that a medical emergency occurs on board a vehicle that requires a call to 911, the call will be made by the Access-a-Ride Call Center. The responding EMT’s will have the final determination of the need to transport the passenger to the hospital. The passenger or provider may refuse medical attention from the EMT professionals and continue to their destination if and when released by the EMT professionals. Please note that in the event the passenger or provider refuses medical attention and chooses to continue to their scheduled destination, RTD or its agents are not responsible.

Access-a-Cab

Access-a-Cab service is available to eligible Access-a-Ride passengers and is offered as a same day alternative service. It is a regular cab service. Access-a-Cab is not meant to replace the Access-a-Ride program, nor is it a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Not all cabs are accessible for wheelchairs or scooters. An accessible vehicle may not be available during the time you request, or it may take an extended length of time to arrive

The passenger pays the first $2.00 of the fare; RTD pays the next $12.00. The passenger is responsible for any amount over $14.00. Five-Ride or Ten-Ride Tickets will not be accepted as fare for Access-a-Cab trips.

Reservations are taken seven (7) days a week from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.

To schedule a ride on Access-a-Cab, please call 303.244.1388. You will be asked for your ID number and the exact pickup and drop off information, as well as choosing a cab company. There are currently three (3) cab companies providing this service: METRO TAXI, YELLOW CAB, and UNION CAB.

You will have to be ready for travel when you make the reservation.

If you are staying at your destination for more than two (2) hours, or are scheduling a trip for after 9:00 pm, you can make the return trip reservation at the same time as your original trip request. Otherwise, you will need to call for your return ride when you are ready to go. There is a limit of four (4) one-way trips per 24-hour period on Access-a-Cab.

In the event that the cab company you selected to provide your trip informs the Call Center that they cannot honor the request, the Call Center staff will contact the other cab companies in an effort to reschedule your trip. If there is nothing available, RTD will provide alternative transportation on a space available basis. RTD assistance will be provided ONLY when the cab company is unable to provide a vehicle to complete your return trip.