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SMTD Paratransit (Access Springfield) Service Information & Rules
The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) is happy to provide comparable Paratransit services as required by law to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Access Springfield is the Paratransit division of SMTD which provides the curb to curb and door to door (as needed) services.
As a valued customer, we thank you for riding with us and hope that our service will meet your travel needs and exceed your expectations. The staff at SMTD asks that you review the following information to ensure safe and reliable transportation.
Operating Schedule
Access Springfield offers rides 6:00 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday and 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no service on Sunday.

Additionally, there is no service available on the following holidays:
  • New Years Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
Reservations
All rides must be scheduled by the close of business the day before or up to 3 days in advance. To get a ride, call Access Springfield, 522-8594. When making your reservation, give destination, day, date, and time you need to be there.

  • Reservations may be made up to 3 days in advance.

  • ADA eligible persons can schedule a trip with a dispatcher anytime between 6:00 a.m. and midnight Monday through Friday and 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays. When the dispatch office is closed due to no service days or holidays, a message may be left on the voicemail service and will be addressed by a dispatcher the next regular business day.

  • Access Springfield is allowed to negotiate a specific trip time request up to one hour before and/or after your requested time for ADA-eligible persons. ADA-eligible persons will receive requested service as close to the requested time as space permits.

  • It is important to note that rides are scheduled within a thirty (30) minute window. For example, if you request an 8:00 a.m. pickup and the schedule can accommodate that request, the scheduler will quote you a pick up time between 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. It is expected and necessary that passengers be ready at or before the start of the pickup window. The vehicle may show up any time within the thirty (30) minute pickup window and once there, only wait five (5) minutes for passengers to come out and board before moving on. If the vehicle is running ahead of schedule and arrives before the thirty (30) minute pick up window, your five (5) minute wait will not start until the thirty (30) minute window commences.

  • If you are traveling with companions, you need to inform the dispatcher of the number of persons accompanying you. Companion is defined as a person traveling with the eligible rider going to the same destination and who is not serving as a personal assistant. Access Springfield will attempt to provide service for more than one companion as space permits.

Trip Cancellation
All trips that are no longer needed should be cancelled at least one (1) hour in advance of the thirty (30) minute pick up window to prevent a late cancel determination. For trips that occur early in the morning and a one (1) hour advance is not available to avoid the late cancel, cancellation requests can be left on the voicemail system and trips will be cancelled by dispatch upon the open of business that day.

Access Springfield will attempt to contact you if service is running ahead or behind schedule, allowing you appropriate time to be ready.
Fares

Effective February 2, 2012

Access Springfield Pass (10 rides)$25.00
ADA-Eligible Rider (1 ride)$2.50
Personal Assistant for ADA EligibleFree
Companion of ADA Eligible Rider$2.50
NON-ADA Eligible Person$5.00
Children 0-5 years oldFree
Children 6-12 years old$1.25
Children 13 and older$2.50
  • Drivers DO NOT make change or sell passes.
  • Checks are not accepted on any SMTD vehicle at the time of boarding.
Click here for a list of locations that sell paratransit passes.


Riding Tips for Access Springfield Vehicles
  • Be ready for Access Springfield five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled thirty (30) minute pick up window. When vehicle arrives you should promptly get to the bus, for the Access vehicle will only wait five (5) minutes, before proceeding to their next stop location.

  • Access drivers will assist you in boarding and alighting from the vehicle and in securing wheelchairs in the securement areas. Drivers will also assist riders who do not travel with a personal aide, with entry into inaccessible doors. Drivers must NOT enter residences or provide assistance beyond the door.

  • Have your fare or pass ready for driver. Personal assistants riding Access with you do not pay a fare.
Safety
All personal mobility devices MUST be secured on the vehicle. We prefer that persons using wheelchairs, scooters, etc., back onto the lift. If they are unable to do so they may request to board the lift facing forward.

Origin to Destination
Access Springfield provides Origin-to-Destination service. Drivers will assist riders who do not have an aide if they need assistance with inaccessible doors. Riders who require additional assistance must make arrangements for that assistance. If an eligible rider does not need an assistant for every trip, the eligible rider should notify Access Springfield in advance whenever an assistant will be riding.
Ramp / Bus / Door / Access
To facilitate your pick-ups and returns:
  1. Make sure ramp is kept clear of snow/ice/parked cars/trash/other obstructions.
  2. Access Springfield drivers will not help wheelchair users up or down steps to building entrances.
If you need assistance with a ramp that meets the state and federal guidelines and you do not know the standards, an accessibility survey can be completed for you. Also, if you need information on how to get a ramp built, call the Springfield Center for Independent Living (SCIL) 523-2587.
Complaints / Compliments
The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) transports passengers without regard to race, color, or national origin. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, have a complaint or compliment regarding the service you have received or driver conduct (good or bad), please address your comments in writing to:

   Director of Operations
   Springfield Mass Transit District
   928 South 9th Street
   Springfield, IL 62703

Please be assured that all complaints will be thoroughly investigated within three days of receipt with the goal of correcting any problems and ensuring customer satisfaction. All investigations will be conducted in a professional manner and those filing complaints should know that there will never be any type of consequence or retaliation for doing so. We appreciate feedback, both positive and when necessary, negative too. Filing complaints allows SMTD to correct deficiencies and become better at serving our valued customers.
No Show Policy
The Springfield Mass Transit District transportation services include Access, an origin-to-destination service. Access passengers should call in advance to request a trip and each trip is scheduled uniquely for a passenger in response to their request. Passengers are expected to be ready for the Access vehicle within the confirmed pickup window, a 30-minute time period in which the vehicle will arrive.

If a passenger has scheduled a trip with Access and no longer needs the ride, they must cancel by calling Access dispatch at least one (1) hour before their scheduled ride. Passengers who do not call at least one (1) hour before their scheduled ride will be considered a "late cancel". Passengers who are not ready for their ride and/or do not take the scheduled ride if the vehicle arrives within their confirmed pick up window, will be considered a "no show". Trips missed by the individual for reasons beyond his or her control shall not be considered a no show or a late cancel. Passengers who have a no show or late cancel will be notified in writing.

The No Show Policy is intended to encourage riders to call in advance and cancel unneeded trip reservations. Passengers who continually fail to cancel or take the scheduled rides are reserving capacity that could be available to another passenger.

When a letter is received by a passenger, they may call the Superintendent of Access Springfield at (217) 747-1247 with any questions regarding that trip or to appeal the trip's status as a "no show". A passenger will trigger a review of their no show / late cancel record when they have any combination of six (6) no show / late cancels occur in a 30 day period. When a review is conducted, the total number of trips that passenger has completed in the same 30 day period will be taken into consideration and compared to the total number of no shows / late cancels which have occurred. If the percentage of no shows / late cancels are more than 15% of the total trips completed; that passenger will be subject to progressive penalties under the No Show Policy. An appeals process shall be available to passengers who receive a notice of penalty under the No Show Policy. Any suspension of service shall be delayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

Appeals Process:
The passenger will submit an appeal to the Director of Operations at:

   Director of Operations
   928 S 9th St
   Springfield, IL 62703


If the Director upholds the notice of suspension, the Director will forward the appeal to the "No Show Appeals Board," whose members shall be comprised from the ADA Advisory Committee. The Appeals Board decision is final.

Progressive No Show Penalties
This progressive policy will encompass a rolling six (6) month period. Passengers may progress up the steps of this policy until the preceding incidents roll off.

   Step 1 and 2: Written Warning/Counseling
   Step 3: One Week Suspension
   Step 4: Two Week Suspension
   Step 5: Three Week Suspension
Access Springfield Rules
Access Springfield provides transportation services only. It does not provide services that would normally be provided by personal care attendants. For trip information or reservations call 522-8594.
  1. Drivers are not permitted to go into residences, nursing homes, grocery stores, or any pick-up or drop-off destination. They will assist passengers with inaccessible doors, but may not go beyond the entrance. Drivers are not permitted to lose site of their vehicles when unattended.

  2. Drivers are to provide reasonable assistance to passengers when boarding, alighting and securing mobility aides -- if additional assistance is needed by the passenger, the passenger must make arrangements for a personal assistant.

  3. When boarding wheelchairs/scooters, Access Springfield prefers that passengers back onto the lift, however, individuals who are unable to back on may request to board facing forward.

  4. All passengers are required to wear seatbelts and lap belts.

  5. Drivers are not to carry groceries.

  6. Passengers and companions must pay the fare to ride the system at the time they board. Exact fare is required or an Access punch pass may be used. Personal assistants are not charged.

  7. Drivers are to leave five (5) minutes after arriving within the thirty (30) minute pick up window. This means you must be on the vehicle no later than 5 minutes after the bus arrives.

  8. Drivers are not to carry any passenger belongings except for baby seats.

  9. Passengers may bring service animals on the vehicle. Passengers must maintain control of the service animal at all times while on the vehicle. Disruptive animals will not be permitted on the vehicle. Pets will only be allowed on the vehicles if they are in a carrier.

  10. All mobility devices used by passengers must be secured before the bus is in motion. Service will be denied to passengers who refuse to have their mobility devices secured.

  11. Passengers may not use the vehicle to transport large or heavy items. A passenger may carry on only as much weight or volume as he/she or a personal assistant can carry. The passenger or personal assistant must maintain control of personal items while on the vehicle.

  12. Disruptive behavior which may affect the driver or other passengers will not be tolerated. Repeat offenders risk removal from the vehicle and suspension of service.

  13. Access Springfield drivers cannot be responsible for checking/signing persons in or out of any facility.

  14. Access Springfield is not an ambulance service; we cannot transport ill or injured persons. If you need emergency service, dial 911.

  15. Agencies and/or groups which must limit vehicular and/or pedestrian access to their premises must provide a person to open/close gates, barriers, barricades or other access-limiting devices in a timely manner.

  16. If your pick-up point or return point is hard to find, please give us the name of the nearest cross-street or other identifying information which will help the driver to locate you.

  17. Access Springfield may temporarily suspend services due to extreme weather or hazardous conditions.

  18. Employers of persons with disabilities, and providers of group services to persons with disabilities are strongly urged to provide safe, off-street parking for Access Springfield buses in order to reduce risk to passengers, drivers and equipment. Such organizations which are unable to provide off-street parking should consult with SCIL, SMTD, Springfield Police Department, or other agencies as appropriate, in an effort to provide safe, on-street parking in cases where it is necessary to do so.


NOTE:

Access Springfield staff will monitor a passenger's abilities as they ride Access Springfield. If at anytime it is determined through these observations that the rider needs additional assistance to be able to safely use the service, the rider will be notified by Springfield Mass Transit District that they must have an assistant ride with them. An "A" will be added to their eligibility number. The individual also will be instructed as to the type or amount of assistance that is deemed necessary. The rider must make arrangements for the assistance that is necessary. Access Springfield will not transport individuals who cannot be transported safely.

The rider may appeal this decision in writing to the: Managing Director Springfield Mass Transit District 928 South 9th Street Springfield, IL 62703 A written response will be provided within 30 days of the request for appeal and will include the reasons for the decision.

If you need help with any of these problems, please call SCIL at 523-2587 for assistance or referral. This letter is also available from SCIL in large print, Braille, or Cassette tape upon request.

SMTD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THESE RULES AS NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH CITY, STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS OR TO ADJUST TO OTHER CONDITIONS AFFECTING SERVICES.

Reviewed by the SMTD/Access Springfield Disabled Persons Advisory Committee and submitted to the SMTD Board of Directors November 24, 2014.
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