Seniors, who prefer to travel independently and yet feel hesitant to use their own cars, depend on public transportation as the only feasible alternative. While public transport is indeed a cost effective option for daily commute they have their own limitations too. This is why para-transit service has become a preferred alternative for elders suffering from disability or movement restriction. Here we take a look at various facets of para-transit services with special emphasis on elder transportation.
Introduction to Para-transit Service
The Para-transit system is a kind of specialized transport service extended to those who cannot use the fixed route public transportation system. Wheelchair accessible vans or specially designed cars for physically challenged are generally used as Para-transit vehicle. Typically the para-transit system provides curb-to-curb service which means the driver would pick up the elder from doorstep but won’t enter the home to help him get into the vehicle. However in special cases, the service provider may make an exception. Also this complementary service shouldn’t cost more than twice the fare of normal public transports.
Public Vs Para-transit Transportation
Public transportation systems are mandatorily required to provide wheelchair lift, good lighting, working telephones and other necessary facilities that an elder might need while traveling. However in reality this doesn’t happen as some public transports come with very poor level of service. Also senior people with specials needs might not feel comfortable traveling to the bus stop to catch a vehicle. On the other hand, a para-transit service, as already mentioned, is more prompt and efficient in dealing with elders’ travel needs. Their vehicles are impeccably maintained and drivers are trained specially for this purpose. A thorough background check is done on every driver to ensure confidentiality and safety of passengers.
Who can qualify for the Para-transit System?
Qualifying for the Para-transit system is not easy. Just because you belong to a certain age group, it might not entitle you to enjoy this specialized service. If the ridership load is high, some localities might follow very stringent rules. Generally the application process involves completing lots of paperwork followed by a meeting with the rehabilitation specialist at the eligibility determination center. The rule states a turnaround time of 21 days within which a decision should be taken. In practicality most para-transit services face huge backlog of requests that they generally grant temporary eligibility till the time the case is viewed properly.
Why Para-transit is preferred For Elders?
The para-transit system offers many facilities which make the travel hassle-free for seniors. To begin with, you can schedule a ride within 24 hours. The vehicle reaches your doorstep to pick you up. Para-transit service providers try their best to minimize your waiting time. Further, they take care to follow the shortest route to relieve the elder of the discomfort of a long drive. Some service providers have come up with an exclusive type of para-transit service which picks up the elder from home and drops him to the nearest fixed route bus stop. This is a helpful solution for those who can’t afford a full-fledged Para-transit service.
The Para-transit system aims at offering hassle-free journey, lots of flexibility and much more independence to elders. Pick up the one of your choice and enjoy your ride!