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CAT’s paratransit service is specifically designed to transport eligible persons with disabilities in Chatham County in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This includes people who are unable, due to a permanent or temporary physical or mental disability, to use the fixed-route public transportation system.
All standard CAT buses, as well as the River Street streecar, contain features and equipment that allow passengers with disabilities to board, ride, and get out of vehicles easily and comfortably, but we understand that sometimes not even that is enough.
Paratransit serves passengers in a safe and effective manner. State-of-the-art wheelchair lifts make boarding the vehicle safe and convenient. Each lift-equipped paratransit van accommodates three wheelchair passengers or up to 10 seated passengers. These vans feature a 6-point tie-down system which holds the passenger and wheelchair securely in place. Our team of trained operators assists passengers on and off the paratransit van. Service is provided from door to door; however, assistance may not be provided beyond the origin or destination door.
Types of Paratransit Eligibility
- Unconditional (all trips) – Screening determines that it is not reasonable to expect the applicant to use fixed route services under any conditions.
- Conditional (some trips) – Screening determines that the applicant can be reasonably expected to used fixed route services under certain circumstances.
- Temporary (transitional) – Screening determines that the applicant’s disability is not permanent or that functional abilities are expected to change in the short-term. Note: Temporary Eligibility can be Unconditional or Conditional.
- Not Eligible – Screening determines that the applicant can be reasonably expected to use fixed route services under all conditions.
Applying for Paratransit Services
Potential paratransit customers and renewing clients must complete an eligibility screening process in order to keep paratransit services at the most efficient level possible for all clients.
- Open and print the application by clicking here, visit the Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center at 610 W. Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401, Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM-8:00 PM to pick up a hard copy, or call (912) 233-5767 to request that an application be mailed to you.
* Alternative formats of the application such as large print and braille are available upon request. Please call (912) 629-3952.
- After completing the application, including medical verification, call (912) 233-5767 to set up your in-person interview. In-person interviews will take place at CAT Central, 900 E. Gwinnett Street, Savannah, GA 31401 and should take approximately 30 minutes. You must bring your completed application to the in-person interview.
- If deemed necessary by the in-person interview, a functional assessment will be conducted. CAT has contracted with St. Joseph’s Candler Hospital for these assessments, and CAT staff will arrange your appointment and transportation to and from the assessment. Functional assessments can take up to an hour, and applicants should bring any mobility aids with them.
Applicants will be notified by mail about their eligibility status within 21 days of completion of the application process. If an applicant does not receive eligibility notification within 21 days, then paratransit service will be provided starting on the 22nd day until a final decision is made. Applicants can appeal an eligibility decision by following the procedure included in the eligibility notification letter.
Making a Paratransit Reservation
Call the Paratransit Line at (912) 354-6900 or the Customer Service Ride Line at (912) 233-5767 at least one (1) day and up to seven (7) days before your intended trip. Reservations can be made 7 days a week from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM.
Schedulers will make every effort to incorporate a requested change in your schedule; however, same-day trip changes cannot be accommodated on this shared-ride service. Cancellations may be made up to two (2) hours before pickup time and are appreciated with as much notice as possible.
Making your reservation is easy. Simply have the following information ready when you call:
Your name, address and telephone number
Number of persons making the trip
Time of appointment (and return, if round-trip)
Destination – street address required (and return, if round-trip)
TIP: Having all of your trip details prepared before you call saves time setting up your reservation and cuts down on everyone’s phone time. Since relying on the scheduler to look up addresses for you slows down the process for everyone, your fellow paratransit customers will appreciate your thoughtfulness of being ready.
* Remember to always inform us if:
- You will have any accompaniment on your trip. This can be a personal care attendant, guest, service animal, etc.
- You need to make a special notification request, such as asking for the operator to beep the horn of the bus upon arrival if your disability affects your vision.
Paratransit Ride Guide
This handbook is provided to paratransit customers for information regarding their passenger rights and responsibilities. Please adhere to the policies outlined in the handbook so that paratransit operations will be more efficient and beneficial for all passengers. Download handbook (PDF) (Right click and “save as” to save file.)
For a quick overview of the differences in the 2013 Paratransit Ride Guide, click on the image/table to the right.
Visitors to Savannah-Chatham County are welcome to use CAT’s paratransit services. All we need is for you to provide us with documentation showing that your hometown transportation provider has determined you to be ADA eligible OR to provide documentation of your place of residence and disability, if not apparent. For more information on riding the CAT paratransit system as an out-of-town guest, call us at 354-6900.
The Chatham County Health Department maintains a Functional and Medical Needs Registry that consists of residents who may require medical assistance during emergency situations. Those on the Registry may need specially trained health care providers, special facilities equipped to meet their needs, and specialized vehicles and equipment for transport. If a hurricane is threatening our area, it is important CEMA and Health Department officials know where the most vulnerable residents are located so that evacuation assistance can be provided to them.
How to Register:
- Call the Functional and Medical Needs Coordinator at the Chatham County Health Department, (912) 691-7443.
- Download the application from the Coastal Health District website.