Welcome to FAST paratransit service called DART. DART is the ADA Paratransit complement to FAST local fixed routes. This means that DART operates during the same days and hours as the fixed route bus system. This service is an origin-to-destination, shared ride service within the City of Fairfield and limited service in Suisun City. DART travels within a ¾ mile area of the fixed route system.
What is Paratransit?
FAST provides paratransit service in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Paratransit is offered to people with disabilities who have health conditions that prevent them from using the fixed-route transit bus system. This does not include disabilities that only make using accessible fixed route bus service complicated or inconvenient. All FAST and DART vehicles are wheelchair accessible.
ADA Paratransit Eligibility
If you have a disability that prevents you from riding the public bus system and would like to apply for paratransit service, please call the Solano County Paratransit Eligibility Center at (707) 541-7184 for an assessment. The ADA eligibility assessment will ensure that quality ADA paratransit service is reserved for individuals who truly need the service in accordance with the ADA law. Certified ADA riders also qualify for ADA paratransit service with any transit agency throughout the United States.
Schedule a Trip on DART
You may call to schedule your DART Paratransit trip during normal business hours from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Saturday. If you are calling before or after normal business hours, or on a major holiday, you may leave a message to schedule a trip and the scheduler will return your call on the next business day. Trip requests can be made from one (1) to seven (7) days in advance of the trip. If a requested trip time is not available, the DART Paratransit dispatcher may offer a trip time up to one (1) hour before or one (1) hour after the requested trip time to accommodate all ride requests. Same day requests can only be accommodated if space is available. DART operating hours are the same as the FAST local fixed route operating hours.
Be prepared to tell the dispatcher:
- Name and phone number
- ADA number
- Pick up address
- Drop off address
- Desired arrival time
- Desired return time
- Number of people riding (Personal Care Attendant or companion)
- Special needs (traveling with service animal, oxygen, etc.)
Once your trip is scheduled, the DART bus will arrive to pick you up within a 30 minute window of your scheduled pick up time. The 30 minute window includes 15 minutes before your pick up time and 15 minutes after your pick up time. (For example: If your pick up time is 2:00pm, the DART bus will be there anytime between 1:45pm and 2:15pm.) Please be ready to board the vehicle at your pick up start time. Please go to the vehicle as soon as it arrives, as the driver may only wait for five (5) minutes before departing. If the DART bus arrives within your pick up window, and you are not ready, the driver will wait five (5) minutes before leaving and recording your trip as a “No Show.”
Since DART requires trips to be scheduled in advance, riders may sometimes miss scheduled rides or forget to cancel rides they no longer need. DART understands that riders may sometimes miss scheduled trips or be unable to cancel trips in a timely manner for reasons that are beyond their control. However, repeatedly missing scheduled trips or failing to cancel trips in a timely manner can lead to suspension from using the service.
If a scheduled trip is no longer needed, please call dispatch to cancel as early as possible to make sure scheduling is available for other riders. A late cancellation is defined as either a cancellation made less than 2 hours before the scheduled pickup time, a cancellation made at the door, or a refusal to board a vehicle that has arrived within the pickup window. A late cancellation will be considered a no-show.
A no-show occurs when a rider fails to appear to board the vehicle for a scheduled trip. This presumes the vehicle arrives at the scheduled pickup location within the pickup window and the driver waits at least 5 minutes.
Circumstances Beyond the Rider’s Control
No-shows or late cancellations are not counted when there are situations beyond the rider’s control that prevents the rider from notifying DART the trip cannot be taken. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Medical emergency/hospitalization;
- Family emergency;
- Sudden illness or change in condition; or
- Appointment that runs unexpectedly late without sufficient notice
No-shows or late cancellations are not counted when the missed trip is due to our error, such as:
- Drivers arriving and departing before the pickup window time begins;
- Drivers arriving late (after the end of the pickup window); or
- Drivers arriving within the pickup window time, but departing without waiting the required 5 minutes.
Subsequent Trips Following No-Shows or Late Cancellations
When a rider has a no-show or late cancellation for a trip, DART dispatchers will confirm remaining trips for the day to avoid multiple no-shows or late cancellations on the same day. Riders are strongly encouraged to cancel any subsequent trips no longer needed that day.
Suspension Policies for a Pattern or Practice of No-Shows or Late Cancellations
DART reviews all recorded no-shows and late cancellations to ensure accuracy before recording them in a rider’s account.
Riders will be subject to suspension under the following conditions:
- Schedule 20 or more trips within a calendar month and have no-shows or late cancellations totaling 20% of their trips; or
- Schedule 8-19 trips within a calendar month and have no-shows or late cancellations totaling 40% of their trips; or
- Schedule 7 or less trips within a calendar month and have no-shows or late cancellations totaling 50% of their trips.
Initially, two warning letters will be issued to notify the rider of the no-show and ask for cooperation in scheduling the paratransit trip. If the problem continues, a progressive suspension length will be as follows:
- First Suspension will be for 5 days;
- Second Suspension will be for 10 days;
- Third Suspension will be for 15 days; and
- Four and any subsequent Suspensions will be for 30 days.
Policy for Disputing Specific No-Shows or Late Cancellations
Riders wishing to dispute specific no-shows or late cancellations must do so within 30 days of receiving warning or suspension letters. Riders should contact the ADA Coordinator at (707) 434-3809 to explain the circumstance, and request the removal of the no-show or late cancellation.
Policy for Appealing Proposed Suspensions
Riders wishing to appeal suspensions under this policy have the right to file an appeal request, in writing by letter or via email. Riders must submit written appeal requests within 60 days of receiving suspension letters. Riders who miss the appeal deadline will be suspended from DART on the date listed on the suspension notice. All suspension appeals follow DART’s appeal policy letters. Riders should contact the ADA Coordinator at (707) 434-3809 to explain the circumstance, and request the removal of the no-show or late cancellation.
Policy for Appealing Proposed Suspensions
Riders wishing to appeal suspensions under this policy have the right to file an appeal request, in writing by letter or via email. Riders must submit written appeal requests within 60 days of receiving suspension letters. Riders who miss the appeal deadline will be suspended from DART on the date listed on the suspension notice. All suspension appeals follow DART’s appeal policy.
How to Avoid No-Show/Late Cancellation Situations
- Review times and dates with the DART dispatcher so you understand the 30 minute pickup window.
- When you no longer need the ride, call DART dispatch at 707-429-2400 immediately to cancel the trip.
- Remember to cancel all trips scheduled for that day. If all trips are not cancelled, you will be charged a no-show for the remaining trips on the schedule.
- Be prepared to board within 5 minutes of the arrival of the vehicle.
Personal Care Attendants and Companions
DART Paratransit: One Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may ride, free of charge, with an ADA qualified rider on DART. A PCA will be required if assistance is needed getting to and from the DART Paratransit vehicle or assistance transporting oxygen or other carry-on items. A PCA may also be needed if you are having difficulty maneuvering your mobility device. In addition to PCAs, you may also reserve a ride to bring along one companion (family, friend, or individual other than your PCA). Companions pay the same fare as the ADA certified passenger. Please tell the dispatcher if a PCA and/or a companion will be riding with you. Your PCA and/or companion must go to the same location you are going and must board and exit the bus with you.
FAST Fixed Route: An ADA qualified passenger, who acknowledges the need for a Personal Care Attendant (PCA), may have one travel with them free of charge on all FAST buses. Other companions must pay the regular fare.
Fares and Passes
DART Paratransit: If you are paying cash for your trip, you will need exact change. If you prefer not to carry cash, you may purchase a $35.00 Stored Value pass which has a value of 10 local one-way trips. With the Stored Value pass, the cost of each trip will automatically be deducted from the pass and the balance will appear on the back of the pass. Fares on DART are $3.50 (one-way) for travel within the City of Fairfield.
Local Fixed Route: If you ride the FAST local buses, you may ride at half price! The reduced fare for seniors, people with disabilities, and Medicare card holders (SDM) is only $.85 (one-way) for travel within the City of Fairfield. Proof of eligibility is required at the time you board the bus and when purchasing an SDM bus pass. If you travel on the FAST local buses with a designated PCA, they may ride with you at no charge.
If you are a visitor to the area and can provide verification of your ADA eligibility, you may use the DART Paratransit service for up to 21 days within a year before having to register locally. Likewise, if you visit another city and need to use their paratransit service, we will be happy to provide your eligibility information to the paratransit agency in the area you are visiting. You may have visitor’s status set up and utilize the paratransit service of another agency for up to 21 days in a calendar year. Simply contact the ADA Coordinator at (707) 434-3809 for more information on visitor’s status.
Under Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, the definition of a service animal is an animal “individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” Animals meeting this definition are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. If an animal’s only function is to provide emotional support or comfort for the rider, that animal would not fall under the regulatory training-based definition of a service animal. Service animals are working animals and not pets. Service animals must always be under the control of the owner and well-behaved. Any service animal will be removed if it shows signs of aggression or inappropriate behavior, such as uncontrolled barking, growling at other passengers, jumping on other passengers, or running away from the owner.
If you plan to travel with your service animal when riding DART paratransit, please inform the dispatcher at the time you make your reservation.
Passengers are permitted to carry on only the number of bags that they are able to manage independently without the assistance of the driver. Due to space limitations and the time it takes to board the vehicle, the number of shopping bags is restricted to five (5) bags that can be easily handled by the passenger, and carried aboard without delaying the vehicle. The carry-on items must fit either on your lap or on the floor in front of you. If a passenger brings more than they are able to manage independently, it will be the passenger’s choice on whether to board with a manageable amount of items and find alternative transportation to carry the remaining packages, or decline the trip.
Shopping carts or any type of equipment used to assist with transporting packages, groceries, clothing, or other items are allowed on a restricted basis. Carts can be no larger than 28.5″ high by 12″ deep by 15.5″ wide. The trip must be reserved and approved with the cart, or the driver will be unable to transport the customer with his/ her shopping cart.
When space is limited, priority must be given to passengers with mobility devices so your cart may not be allowed. If your cart is declined due to space availability, you may cancel the ride with no cancellation penalty.
Articles, baggage, or packages are not permitted on buses if they are dangerous or restrict free movement of passengers. Articles permitted on the bus must not interfere with the vehicle operation or any other passenger. Carts must be folded or positioned so that they do not block the aisle of the bus. Whatever a passenger brings on the bus must be readily movable. Passengers with strollers must collapse the stroller and place it under the seat in front of them. If you cannot collapse your stroller, reasonable accommodations will be provided.
DART paratransit buses are equipped with seat belts and shoulder harnesses. While it is not mandatory to use these, it is recommended. It is mandatory that all mobility devices be securely tied down.
All DART paratransit buses as well as FAST fixed route buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts/ramps. You may travel with your mobility device (cane, scooter, walker, or wheelchair) as long as the lift can accommodate the size and weight of the device when occupied, and there is space for it on the vehicle.
In order to meet ADA accessibility guidelines, fixed route buses and ADA Paratransit vehicles, are required to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter that measures up to 30-inches wide and 48-inches long and weighs less than 600 pounds when occupied. Mobility devices that fall within these ranges are referred to as “common” wheelchairs under the ADA. Vehicles must also have sufficient maneuvering space to allow a “common” wheelchair to reach the securement area.
If a mobility device is of a size that would block an aisle or is unable to fully enter the vehicle and interfere with the safe evacuation of passengers in an emergency, the operator could deny carriage of the mobility device, if doing so was necessary as a result of a legitimate safety requirement.
Legitimate Safety Requirements (ADA Regulations 49 CFR 37):
- The weight of your mobility device, when occupied, must not exceed the weight indicated in the lift/ramp specifications.
- Your mobility device must not be of a size that would block an aisle or be too large to fully enter the vehicle.
- Your mobility device must not interfere with the safe evacuation of passengers in an emergency.
Mobility devices with leaky or dead batteries will not be allowed onboard the bus.
Tips for DART Riders
Conduct. Service may be refused if an individual engages in violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct, or represents a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
Safety First. Safety is our first priority, so our bus operators must remain with the vehicle at all times. DART passengers are responsible for getting to and from the DART paratransit vehicle. ADA regulations state, “The drivers or other personnel must provide assistance with the use of lifts, ramps, and securement devices.” In the event that a passenger needs driver assistance getting to or from the DART vehicle due to an obstacle such as sidewalk construction or other barrier, that request should be made at the time of scheduling the DART trip. If a passenger needs additional assistance, they may require the use of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA).
Space is Limited. Limit yourself to only having packages that you can carry. Drivers cannot assist with carry-on items. If you need assistance with oxygen or other items, you will need a PCA.
Wound Care. If passengers have open or seeping sores or are leaking bodily fluids, for health and safety reasons DART may refuse service until the situation has been corrected.
Hygiene. Appropriate, reasonable personal hygiene should be observed by everyone riding on DART. In the event that a passenger’s poor hygiene disrupts the provision of service or presents a direct threat to the health or safety of others, that passenger may be refused service on DART until the situation is resolved.
Child Car Seats. Child car seats are not provided by DART. Passengers with children must provide their own child car seats.
FAST offers travel training to Fairfield residents. If you would like to learn how to travel on FAST buses, we will teach you!
Whether you want to travel to work, school, shopping, medical appointment, or to catch the latest movie, FAST will get you there! All FAST buses are accessible to customers with mobility impairments and discounted fares are available for seniors (age 65+) and qualified riders with disabilities.
To learn more about FAST’s Travel Training Program and where FAST can take you, call FAST Administration at (707) 434-3800.