FAQs on RTD’s Paratransit Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We at RTD value the need of our riders experiencing disabilities to continue their daily life and work. We are taking extraordinary steps to communicate these changes and opportunities to all of our customers, across all of RTD’s platforms.
As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will address questions we hear from our customers and employees. Please continue sending us your questions and comments through RTD’s public media channels. We will provide you with information as it becomes available.
Following are questions and answers we have received about RTD’s Access-a-Ride service:
Are any changes being made to Access-a-Ride?
At this point, we have not made reductions to Access-a-Ride, an important paratransit service. However, the number of trips has continually dropped as rehabilitation centers and other facilities that are primary consumers for paratransit services have closed. Some requests are down by nearly two-thirds. Paratransit buses are disinfected in the same manner as other RTD vehicles and facilities. For more information on our paratransit operations and adjustments, visit RTD’s Access-a-Ride webpage.
Here is a more detailed look at the operational changes we’ve been making:
- Effective March 24: following Mayor Hancock's stay at home order, Access-a-Ride eligibility assessments will be canceled until the order is lifted, currently April 10, 2020. Customers expecting to participate in re-certification assessments will have their service extended 90 days from their scheduled assessment dates and at their current eligibility status. New applicants for service will be provided with presumptive eligibility until the time that they are able to come in for an assessment, which will be scheduled as soon as possible once the order is lifted.
- Your trip may take somewhat longer than usual, or be spaced farther apart. All paratransit service provider trip speeds have been slowed to allow for reduced productivity and increased social distancing during trip delivery, and to allow for greater standby driver capacity due to potential driver call-offs, as more employees need to remain home to care for their families.
- Easter Seals continues to provide RTD’s paratransit eligibility screening. We have worked with them to ensure that they are continuing this intake process. Should this change, we will communicate with any customers calling in to book appointments, provide them unconditional presumptive eligibility for 90 days, and allow them to use a government-issued photo I.D. to take paratransit trips until we are able to book their screening.
- We normally allow customers to book appeals to their eligibility determination, should they disagree with the outcome of their functional assessment. Due to the closure of RTD headquarters to the public, we are not able to manage in-person appeals at this time. Until this changes, we are providing these customers with unconditional presumptive eligibility.
Are special services for seniors still operating?
SeniorRide – rides to planned senior events and locations – will not be operating for at least three weeks, as all participating venues have discontinued their events. SeniorShopper service is still operating, providing shopping transportation for seniors who would otherwise have difficulty riding fixed route service or driving. This weekday-only service picks up groups of 10 or more people at senior housing complexes and community centers, but passengers of any age can use the service. More information about these services, including locations and schedules, can be found here.
Are you closing waiting areas?
No, but we do request that passengers take the first bus or train available to them when they arrive at our locations. Please do not arrive early or linger at stations for longer than the 10 minutes recommended by health agencies and national transit experts.