General Rules and Policies for East Bay Paratransit
In a few cases, the Customer Service Representative may be unable to find a vehicle with space for your trip while you are on the phone. In this case you will be asked, “Do you want to be put on standby?” If you say yes, the staff will keep a record of your trip request.
A reservation will be made for you that is within one hour of the time you requested when you were on the phone.
You must call Customer Service at (510) 287-5000 between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm the night before you travel to confirm your pick-up window so you will know when your vehicle will arrive.
Some riders are mentally or cognitively impaired or have severe memory problems such that they cannot be safely left on their own at either the pick-up point or the drop-off point. It is the responsibility of the rider’s caregivers or family to clearly identify these riders to East Bay Paratransit so that East Bay Paratransit can inform the driver and take appropriate precautions.
However, the driver cannot act as an attendant for these riders. Cognitively impaired riders will be allowed to travel without an attendant only as long as they exhibit safe behavior in the vehicle.
An attendant or caregiver must be present at the pick-up point and at the drop-off point for riders who cannot be left alone. If a responsible attendant or caregiver is not present when the driver attempts to pick-up or drop-off these riders, it can seriously disrupt the driver’s schedule. If East Bay Paratransit encounters absences of an attendant or caregiver, service to the rider may be suspended and the situation reported to adult protective services.
Minimal Behaviors required of all East Bay Paratransit riders
In order to successfully ride East Bay Paratransit services, the rider must be able to perform or refrain from doing the following standards which were developed in consultation with East Bay Paratransit’s rider advisory committee:
- Enter and exit the vehicle voluntarily. This means the rider should not require an inordinate amount of coaxing or any force and not require that a specific caregiver or family member be present. The rider must be able to follow the driver’s instructions.
- Stay buckled in their seat or wheelchair while the vehicle is moving. The rider must not attempt to move around the vehicle or require supervision from the driver while the vehicle is in motion.
- Not attempt to exit the vehicle whenever it stops: at stop signs, lights, in traffic, while picking up or dropping of other passengers.
- Be able to refrain from hitting and/or touching other riders, the driver, or the seats of the driver and other riders.
- Refrain from sudden or loud verbal outbursts which could threaten the health of fragile riders or the driver’s safe attention on driving.
- Refrain from threats, and/or racial or sexual remarks
- Not invite sexual attention from the driver or other passengers.
Riders, companions, and personal care attendants must:
- Avoid no-shows and late or repeated cancellation of reservations.
- Get aboard the vehicle promptly, remain seated once on board, wear the seat belt, and keep arms, legs, and head inside the vehicle.
- Always pay any required fares.
Riders, companions, and personal care attendants must not:
- Eat, drink, play radios or CDs aloud, or litter on the vehicles.
- Soil the vehicle with bodily fluids or waste, or fail to maintain acceptable standards of personal hygiene.
- Distract the driver or interfere with the vehicle or equipment.
- Carry fireworks, flammable liquids, or weapons aboard the vehicle.
- Use abusive, threatening, or obscene language to other riders or any East Bay Paratransit staff.
- Commit violent or illegal actions.
- Fraudulently obtain East Bay Paratransit service for themselves or for others.
- Behave in ways that disrupt the service or delay the vehicle.
- Harass other riders or East Bay Paratransit staff, including racial, sexual, gender, or age-related harassment.
The basic penalty for no-shows and late cancels is a 30-day suspension of service after six no-shows or late cancels in a calendar quarter. You will be warned in writing if you have accrued four no-shows or late cancels in a quarter. You are not penalized for no-shows or late cancels that occur because of sudden emergencies which make it impossible for you to cancel more than one hour before your trip.
If you have served a suspension and then continue to show a pattern of no- shows or late cancels after your original suspension has ended, you may subsequently be suspended for longer periods of time.
Suspension is also the penalty for offenses other than no-shows or late cancels. Based on the seriousness and frequency of the offense, penalties generally follow the progressive procedure above. However, immediate indefinite suspension of service may be imposed if that is necessary to preserve the safe operation of East Bay Paratransit. Unless immediate suspension is warranted, a rider will receive a written or verbal warning before being suspended so that they can correct the behavior that is causing the problem.Anyone who commits a physical assault or other illegal act will also be subject to criminal prosecution.
If you are notified that you will be suspended, you have the right to appeal.
Travel on East Bay Paratransit is by advance reservation only. Call (510) 287-5000 to make your reservation. Calls are accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, including weekends. You can make a reservation as early as seven days in advance.
The Customer Service Representative will ask you a number of questions about your desired trip, including pick-up and destination addresses; whether you are traveling with a personal care attendant or a companion; whether you are traveling with a service animal; and whether you will be using a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, walker, or scooter.
You have the option of requesting a reservation based EITHER on the pick-up time you want, OR on the time you want to be dropped off at your destination. If you want to be dropped off at a particular time, the reservation computer will calculate a pick-up time for you. It will take into consideration traffic and the fact that other riders may be picked up and dropped off along the way.
The Customer Service Representative will offer you the best reservation time possible. However, the exact pick-up time you want may not be available. Customer Service Representatives are only allowed to check a limited number of different times for your reservation if you aren’t happy with the times initially offered.
If you don’t take a trip you have reserved on East Bay Paratransit, and if you didn’t call to cancel it ahead of time, it is called a “no-show”. It is a serious violation of East Bay Paratransit’s rules for riders. Canceling a trip less than one hour before the scheduled pick-up carries the same penalties as no-showing. You will penalized if you have a pattern of repeated no-shows or late cancels.
If you no-show a ride, East Bay Paratransit will make every effort to determine whether you will still need other rides that you have also scheduled that day. If we believe you will not be using the return ride on a round trip or other rides scheduled that day, they will be cancelled. Therefore, it is important that if you no-show a trip, you must call East Bay Paratransit at (510) 287-5000 immediately to let us know that you will still be taking other rides you have reserved that day.
Remember, when you make your reservation, the Customer Service Representative will confirm your trip by giving you a 30-minute “pick-up window.” Your vehicle may arrive to pick you up at any time during the window, but you must be ready to leave and go to the vehicle at the beginning of your pick-up window.
It is your responsibility to wait where you will be able to tell that the vehicle has arrived. Drivers are not allowed to leave sight of their vehicle. At most they can announce their arrival at your door or at the lobby of a building, if that can be done without leaving a vehicle unsupervised with passengers aboard.
Be ready! The driver is only allowed to wait 5 minutes for you. It is your responsibility to be ready to take your trip. If you do not meet the vehicle when it arrives, your driver will attempt to find you and East Bay Paratransit will attempt to telephone you. If you cannot be located or choose not to start boarding within five minutes, the driver may leave and continue to their next pick-up.
If you miss your pick-up, there may be a substantial wait for another pick- up from East Bay Paratransit. In addition, you may be penalized for failing to take the trip.
Sometimes your vehicle will arrive before the beginning of the pick-up window because of a cancellation or especially light traffic. If your vehicle arrives before the pick-up window, you may wait to get on the vehicle until the start of your confirmed pick-up window, or you may get into the vehicle and leave right away. It’s your choice.
Sometimes your vehicle may be late picking you up. If your vehicle has not arrived by the end of the pick-up window, you can telephone East Bay Paratransit at (510) 287-5000 to find out the estimated arrival time. If your ride arrives late, you may decline to take the trip and you will not be penalized.
You may only travel with the amount of packages that will fit on your lap or at your feet. Your driver can help you by carrying up to two packages to and from the vehicle that are no larger than grocery bags. You must carry any additional packages either by yourself or with the help of an attendant or companion.
Riders and their attendants and companions are responsible for keeping track of their personal possessions while traveling on East Bay Paratransit. If you discover you have left something on a vehicle, call our Customer Service Center at (510) 287-5000 to report it. If the item is found, you will be contacted and told where the item is being stored. You will have up to 30 calendar days to retrieve it, before it is donated to charity. If you take an East Bay Paratransit ride to pick up your possession, you will be charged the normal fare.
You may bring your guide dog or other service animal that has been trained to help you because of your disability. The service animal must be under your direct physical control and must be well behaved at all times. It must not soil or damage the vehicle, bark, growl, or act in an aggressive or threatening manner. You must tell the customer service representative that you are bringing an animal at the same time you make your reservation.
You may travel with a small pet as long as the animal is fully enclosed in a secure pet carrier that you can manage and which you can hold on your lap or place at your feet.