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CAT Updates Paratransit Eligibility Process
Posted on January 30, 2015
Chatham Area Transit’s Paratransit Service is a demand-response, shared ride program for people with disabilities who are unable to independently use fixed route services, whether temporarily or all the time. CAT’s paratransit service is governed by federal law and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
Beginning February 1, 2015, all persons seeking eligibility for paratransit service and renewing eligibility must set up an in-person interview. If deemed necessary, a functional assessment will also be conducted following the Easter Seals Project Action Model.
The goal of this updated eligibility process is to ensure that only persons who meet the regulatory criteria are regarded as eligible for Paratransit Service, making this vital service more efficient. Eligibility is based on limitations to an individual’s abilities, not just the presence of a disability.
CAT’s fixed route buses are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. “Our Travel Training Program will help immensely in this process by both teaching potential customers and transitioning existing customers to the flexibility and convenience our fixed route service offers,” says Kim Anderson, Mobility Manager.
To determine if a customer is eligible to use CAT’s paratransit service, an application must be completed and certified by a health care professional. Applications are available online or by visiting the Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center, Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Applications are also available in accessible formats upon request.
Once the application has been completed, an in-person interview will be scheduled with a member of the CAT Mobility Staff. The staff member will determine if a functional assessment is needed. The functional assessment determines whether the applicant has the ability to use CAT’s fixed route service and, if so, under what circumstances. CAT has contracted with St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital (SJCH) to perform the functional assessments for paratransit eligibility.
A decision will be made within 21 days of completing the eligibility process. Applicants will be notified by mail whether or not they are eligible, and applicants who wish to appeal the decision may do so by following the process outlined in that notification.
Visit our Paratransit Service page for more information, or call the Customer Service Ride Line at 912-233-5767.