(707) 422-BUSS (2877)

DART Rider’s Guide

DART ADA PARATRANSIT

WHAT IS PARATRANSIT?

Paratransit service is provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Paratransit functions as a “safety net” for 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. Paratransit is not intended to be a comprehensive system of transportation that meets all of the travel needs of persons with disabilities. All FAST and DART vehicles are wheelchair accessible.

DART is the ADA Paratransit complement to Fairfield and Suisun Transit’s (FAST) local fixed routes. This means that DART operates much the same as the fixed route bus system during the same days and hours.

This service is an origin-to-destination, shared ride service within the Cities of Fairfield and Suisun City. DART travels within a ¾ mile area on either side and at the ends of fixed route corridors, and within ¾ of a mile up to and surrounding the Ulatis Cultural Center and Kaiser in Vacaville.

ADA PARATRANSIT ELIGIBILITY – CALL (707) 541-7184

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 to schedule an in-person assessment. The in-person ADA eligibility assessment will

ensure that quality ADA paratransit service is reserved for individuals who truly need the service in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA paratransit eligibility qualifies you for ADA paratransit service with any transit agency throughout the United States.

SCHEDULING A TRIP ON DART – CALL (707) 429-2400

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. 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:

  • Your ADA number
  • Your name and phone number
  • The address where you would like to be picked up
  • The address where you are going
  • The time you need to arrive at your destination
  • When you would like to return
  • The number of people riding (just yourself, or with a Personal Care Attendant or companion)
  • Any 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 is between 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.) You should be ready to board the vehicle at the beginning of your pick up window.

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 must wait no longer than five (5) minutes before leaving and recording your trip as a “No Show.”

YOU MUST BE READY TO GO DURING YOUR 30 MINUTE PICK UP WINDOW

Example: Your pick up time is 2:00pm. All reservations have a 30 minute pick up window. Therefore, the bus may arrive anytime between 1:45pm and 2:15pm.

Pick Up Window Starts

Scheduled Pick Up Time Pick Up Window Ends
1:45pm 2:00pm

2:15pm

SCHEDULING A TRIP ON DART

DART Paratransit also provides transfer points for riders who are making intercity trips. (These are trips to cities outside of Fairfield and Suisun City.) When you call to schedule an intercity trip, the dispatcher will work with other paratransit providers to make sure your transfer trip is scheduled and that you understand where your transfer point will be. The DART bus will not leave until your transfer bus has arrived. Transfer trips may take two (2)to three (3) days to schedule.

Fares on Intercity Trips: You are required to pay a separate fare on every paratransit bus you board during intercity trips.

PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANTS AND COMPANIONS

One Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may ride with you free of charge when you ride DART.  A PCA will be required if you need help getting to and from the DART Paratransit vehicle, or need help transporting oxygen or other carry on items. You may also need a PCA 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.  Additional companions may be accommodated provided that space is available for them on the paratransit vehicle.

FARES AND PASSES

If you are paying cash for your trip, you will need exact change. If you prefer not to carry cash, you may purchase a DART pass. The single ride local DART pass is $3.50 and the single ride intercity (Vacaville) DART pass is $5.50. DART also offers a $35.00 stored value pass which has a value of ten 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 Fairfield and Suisun City and $5.50 (one-way) for travel to Vacaville.

If you ride the FAST city 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 Fairfield and Suisun City, and $1.35 (one-way) for travel to Vacaville. Proof of eligibility may be required at the time you board the bus and when purchasing an SDM bus pass.  If you travel on the FAST city buses with a PCA, they may ride with you at no charge.

VISITORS

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 to request your visitor’s status.

SERVICE ANIMALS

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 be under control and well-behaved at all times. Any service animal will be removed if it shows signs of aggression or inappropriate behavior.

If you plan to travel with your service animal, please inform the dispatcher at the time you make your reservation on DART Paratransit.

CARRY-ON ITEMS

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.

CARTS

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.

SEAT BELT POLICY

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.

MOBILITY AIDS

All DART Paratransit buses as well as FAST city buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts/ramps. You may travel with your mobility device as long as the lift/ramp and vehicle can physically accommodate the size and weight of your mobility device when occupied, unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.

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 on board the bus.

TIPS FOR DART RIDERS

  • Conduct. Service may be refused if an individual engages in violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct, or repre- sents 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 fromthe 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 will 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.

TRAVEL TRAINING

FAST offers travel training to the citizens of Fairfield and Suisun City. If you would like to become more independent and learn how to travel on the FAST city buses, we will teach you!

Whether you want to go to work, school, shopping, or to catch the latest movie, you can depend on the FAST city bus to get you there! All FAST city buses are accessible to customers with mobility impairments and offer low-cost monthly passes and discounted fares for seniors and qualified riders with disabilities. If you are interested in learning more about travel training, please contact the Solano Mobility Call Center at (800) 535-6883 or the FAST administration office at (707) 434-3800.