VIAtrans Paratransit Service - VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIAtrans Paratransit Service

VIAtrans is a transportation service option for customers who cannot utilize regular bus service because of a disability. It is a shared-ride, curb-to-curb service that offers independence through mobility and expands access to opportunity via transit.

VIAtrans trips are available for any purpose and can be scheduled at least one day in advance, using VIA’s online or call-in scheduling system. VIAtrans uses vans that operate in the same areas and times as VIA bus service. Van operators help passengers on and off vehicles but do not provide medical assistance or emergency service.

Individuals may apply to determine eligibility for VIAtrans. Eligibility is based on an individual’s functional ability to use regular city bus service, in keeping with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) criteria. As part of the VIAtrans eligibility determination process, applicants may be asked to participate in a physical functional assessment performed by a skilled and trained professional therapist.

 

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VIAtrans Paratransit Service

Background

Image: ADA logo

We’re celebrating 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This groundbreaking law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. We’re proud to be early adopters of the ADA that’s designed to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to public services and amenities. Learn more about the ADA’s 30th Anniversary at www.adaanniversary.org.

AT A GLANCE

  • VIA was among the first Transit Systems in the nation to comply with ADA regulation (1990s).
  • ADA-based regulations (“Final Rule”) issued by the U.S.Department of Transportation (USDOT) on September 6, 1991 included a five-year phase-in period for compliance with complementary paratransit (VIAtrans) requirements. U.S. transit systems were directed to prepare a “Paratransit Plan” by January 26, 1992, and thereafter submit annual progress reports.
  • Prior to passage of the ADA in 1990, many transit systems offered limited or no paratransit service for persons with disabilities. The VIAtrans system, however, had begun operations in 1979 and already met several of the ADA-based requirements.
  • VIA’s third-year progress report, submitted January 1995, established that VIAtrans was fully compliant. VIA was informed by USDOT that the agency was among the first – and at that point, the largest – transit system to have reached this milestone.

BY THE NUMBERS

RIDERSHIP

  • 2019 Average On-time performance: 85%
  • 2019 Average weekday Paratransit Boardings: 4,000/day
  • Taxi Will Call/Subsidy Boardings: 4,570/month
  • 2019 Boardings (VIAtrans, Purchased service, Taxi, Taxi Subsidy: 1.1M

VEHICLES

  • VIAtrans Vans: 139
  • Partner Provider Vans (MV): 144
  • Vehicles in service during Peak times: 200

CUSTOMERS

  • More than 16,000 persons with disabilities in the San Antonio area meet ADA-based eligibility and have been approved for VIAtrans service.
  • Approximately 30 percent of VIAtrans customers are non-ambulatory (unable to walk, and require a wheelchair or electric scooter to travel)

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

  • VIA has among the lowest fares in the nation.
  • VIA’s entire bus fleet is equipped with ramps that provide easy access for persons using mobility devices.
  • VIA provides services and amenities that exceed ADA requirements, including:
    • Taxi Subsidy Program
    • Complimentary fares for paratransit customers on VIA’s fixed-route bus service.
    • “Do Not Leave Alone” (DNLA) Service for customers who have severely limited awareness or decision-making skills and cannot travel on their own. DNLA service allows the customer to receive hand-to-hand service (someone must be with the customer at time of pick-up and drop-off.
  • Will-Call Service allows customers flexibility when scheduling in not requiring an exact time for a return trip from a medical appointment or jury duty. Customers who are ready for a trip simply call VIAtrans reservations at (210) 362-5050 to activate the return trip.
  • VIAtrans Online Service, or VOS, allows customers to manage their VIAtrans appointments and scheduling online, 24 hours a day online or on their mobile device. It offers more choices and freedom to access transit information by making information available to passengers anywhere, anytime. This allows accurate planning with real-time updates. VOS is allows caregivers, easy control and access to the paratransit services of loved ones to help them book, organize, and cancel trips remotely for people who require assistance.