Rider Information | Información del pasajero » Riders with Disabilities | Pasajeros con discapcidades

Riders with Disabilities | Pasajeros con discapcidades

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Thank you for considering GBT Access, our service for riders with disabilities. This page will take you through the steps to determine if GBT Access transportation services are for you. It also explains how you can become eligible and how you can make the most of this service.

 

Get out and about!

Where and When You Can Travel with Access


Service Area

The service area (the area that the Access buses serve) includes the area ¾ of a mile around all GBT city bus routes. This generally includes all of Bridgeport and portions of Fairfield, Stratford, and Trumbull. There is also limited service to parts of Milford, Monroe, Shelton, Derby, Westport and Norwalk. If you are not sure if your trip is within this area, please call a Customer Service Representative at (203) 579-7777.


The service area is planned this way to ensure that riders with disabilities have access to the same geographic areas as riders on the city buses and is an ADA requirement.


Days and Hours of Service

The days and hours that the service operates are the same as city bus service. In the Bridgeport Region, city bus service is provided 7 days/week, 365, days/ year. Weekday service is generally provided from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. There is reduced service on weekends and holidays. If you are not sure if Access operates when you need to travel, please call a Customer Service Representative at (203) 579-7777.


The days and hours of service are planned this way to ensure that riders with disabilities have access to bus service during the same days and hours as riders on the city buses and is an ADA requirement. Our customer Service Representatives will be able to help you with the schedule when you are planning your trips.

 

Cost
The one-way fare is $3.50 and must be paid in cash or pre-paid ticket at the time of boarding

 

Types of Trips

Some riders will be able to use the service for any trips as long as the requested trip is within the service area and during the hours we are open. Others may be given eligibility under specific conditions. If this happens, our Customer Service Representative will explain it to you.

 

GBT Public City Bus Service

Before reading on, you should know that GBT offers extensive city bus service throughout the Bridgeport region. All GBT city buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps and securement locations for wheelchairs. GBT drivers are trained in the safe use of all accessibility equipment and understand the needs and capabilities of riders with disabilities.


For riders who are able to use GBT bus service, it offers an additional measure of independence (no need to call for a reservation!) and is much less expensive. Click here to see current rates. Below is a table which compares the average annual cost of using the city bus and Access servics:

 

Service Fares Annual Cost Annual Savings
GBT City Bus Service
$30.00/month*
(unlimited rides)
$360.00 $1,467.00
GBT Access
$3.50/one-way trip
$1,827.00

*Based on half fare for eligible riders.


If you do become eligible for Access service, please remember that your Access photo identification card entitles you to public city bus service for half-price. Even if you are entitled to use the Access service, you may find the regular city bus to be more convenient for some or all of your transportation needs.


Travel Training

If you are considering using the public city bus service, and are uncertain about where to begin, we can help. GBT Access offers free travel training through an arrangement with the Kennedy Center, Inc.

 

Travel training is a series of one-on-one sessions offered by a professionally trained staff person with the aim of providing a rider who is a senior or a person with a disability the independence needed to safely and conveniently use GBT's bus service.


If you think travel training would be helpful to you, please call us at (203) 366-7070 extension 131. We'll also provide you with one free 7-day bus pass to get you started. We have successfully travel trained many riders in the Bridgeport area and most still travel on our buses.


Gain greater independence and save lots of money — Free travel training is available for riders who would like to access GBT public city bus service.


Steps to Using GBT Access:

1. Determine if GBT Access is for You

Review the information on this page to determine if GBT Access is for you. Make sure to check if the service areas will work for you.

 

2. Determine if You're Eligible

Riders may be eligible for Access service if they meet one of the following:

  • Any person with a disability who is unable, as a result of a physical or cognitive impairment, and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair) to board, ride or disembark from any public city bus.
  • Any person with a disability who has a specific impairment related condition that prevents them from traveling to or from a bus stop on the public bus system. Architectural and environmental barriers such as distance, terrain or weather, do not, alone, form a basis for eligibility. However, a person may be eligible if the interaction of the disability and barriers prevent the person from traveling to or from the bus stop.
  • Individuals must apply for Access transportation, attend an in-person assessment with a GBT Customer Service Representative and meet the above eligibility criteria before receiving transportation.

3. Fill out an Application

If you think you meet these requirements and would like to apply for GBT Access transportation, please complete the online application.

 

Just fill out the fields on your computer. Explain why your disability prevents you from using GBT city buses. Save the file. Then print it out, sign it and send. There is no fee for processing your application.

 

4. Come in for a visit and meeting with our staff

Our trained staff will conduct an assessment of your ability to use GBT city buses. We will pick you up at your home and bring you (free of charge) to our offices for the assessment. Once we recieve your application, we will call you to schedule a free in-person assessment. You will need to:

  1. Answer all of the questions to the best of your ability
  2. Provide the name of a doctor who can certify that the information regarding the disability is accurate
  3. Sign the application

GBT will determine your eligibility within 21 days. If you are not granted eligibility, the reason(s) will be clearly explained to you along with an appeals process that you may choose to follow.

 

If you have any questions while completing the application, please call (203) 366-7070 extension 131 — we're here to help.

 

5. Receive your Identification Card.

Once it is determined that you are eligible, you will receive an Access Identification Card which you will need to make reservations and board the bus.


6. Call in your reservation and start using GBT Access.

With your card, you may begin to make reservations for trips you need to take by calling our Customer Service Representatives.


Planning Your GBT Access Trip and Traveling with Us

Once you are determined to be eligible, you are ready to take your trip. Here is what you need to know and do:

  • Know your pick up and drop off date and time
  • Know your pick-up and drop off location - you will need addresses when calling for a reservation
  • Have your identification card ready - the Customer Service Representative will ask you for your I.D. number
  • You will need to know the phone numbers at your pick-up and drop-off locations, please share them with the Customer Service Representative
  • Know the number of people traveling with you (if any)
  • Know if you will be traveling with a mobility device (wheel chair, scooter walker, cane)
  • Know if you will be traveling with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA)
  • Have ready any special instruction for the driver

Then, call a GBT Access Customer Service Representative and make your reservation!

Access can accommodate wheelchairs or scooters up to 48 inches long, 30 inches wide and no more than 600 pounds when occupied.

 

If you do not use a mobility device, but cannot board the vehicles using the steps, please ask the Customer Service Representative to provide a wheelchair on the bus to assist you on and off the bus by lift.

 

Before ending the call, please review and confirm the dates, times, and addresses with the Customer Service Representative, ensure it is correct and, if possible, make a note of it.

 

Reservation Hours

Reservations are accepted every day from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Reservations can be made as early as five days in advance of your travel date, but no later than 4:30 p.m., the day prior to your trip. The phone number for reservations along with other important numbers is listed inside the back cover of this booklet

 

Change of Plans?

If you need to change your reservation, please call the reservation number as soon as possible. Changes to a reservation should be made at least one day in advance. Sorry, your driver cannot make changes to your trip at the time of boarding.

 

Time to Go:

When your travel day and time has arrived, here are a few tips to make your trip go smoothly:

  • Be ready and waiting - you will recall your pick-up time from your reservation and will need to be waiting where the driver can easily find you. The driver will provide door-to-door assistance to doors at ground level. The driver cannot enter the home of any rider at any time or lift a rider in or out of a vehicle.
  • The driver will wait up to five minutes for you after he/she arrives. After that, they must move on to their next pick-up.
  • Riders who are not available to board within five minutes after the bus arrives are considered "no-shows" (more about "no-shows" later in the booklet).
  • You will need to have your Access identification card and the exact fare or pre-paid ticket ready to present to the driver when boarding the bus.
  • Your driver will assist you in loading and unloading grocery bags. Drivers cannot carry bags from stores or into homes. You should take only as many bags/packages as you can manage - we recommend no more than three (no large boxes please!). Be sure that your bags do not block the walkways or use any seating needed by other riders.
  • Sometimes traffic conditions or unexpected events may delay the bus. If the bus has not arrived by the end of the pick-up window, you may call the Access dispatch office at 579-7777 to inquire about your ride.

Who Can Travel With Me?

It is sometimes hard to manage alone. Access allows others to travel with you including escorts and personal care attendants.

 

Escorts

If you have informed a Customer Service Representative (while making your reservation), you may take along a friend (escort). All escorts must have the same pick-up time and location as the eligible rider and are required to pay the full fare.

 

Personal Care Attendants (PCA)

A PCA is a person who assists the eligible rider with daily life functions and may provide assistance during the ride or at the destination. The PCA is not required to pay a fare and must have the same pick-up time and location as the eligible rider.

 

Your PCA should be registered with the program. Let your Customer Service Representative know you will be traveling with a personal care attendant otherwise, we may be able to accommodate your PCA.

 

The Rider's Responsibilities

We need your help. The safety of our passengers and bus operators is our most important responsibility. To ensure safe transportation, Access requires the cooperation of riders in the following ways:

 

Riders who use a wheelchair or scooter are asked to:

  • Maintain their wheelchair or scooter in good working order (i.e., brakes, wheels, and controls)
  • Provide an accessible pathway with no steps to the entrance at their residence, and confirm the accessibility of their destinations.

All riders are asked to:

  • Follow all Access policies regarding the service
  • Refrain from behavior or language, which threatens Access operators, passengers, or other individuals
  • Keep food and beverages in closed containers
  • Use headphones when listening to radios or other audio devices
  • Wounds must be covered and ostomy pouching systems secured
  • GBT drivers may decide not to provide service if, in his/her judgment, a particular situation poses an immediate hazard to the passengers, themselves or others. Access may limit, suspend, or deny service to riders who disregard policies, engage in unsafe, threatening, violent or disruptive behavior, or whose residence or destination is not safely accessible.
  • As a courtesy to others, smoking, drinking, eating and loud or boisterous behavior is not permitted on any GBT bus.

Fares

The one-way fare is $3.50 and must be paid in cash or pre-paid ticket at the time of boarding

  • Fares are paid directly to the driver
  • Exact fare is required - drivers cannot make change
  • The fare must be presented with an Access ID card
  • Escorts are required to pay a full fare
  • If you are certified to travel with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA), shown on your ID card, the PCA does not pay a fare
  • Books of 10 one-way trip tickets may be purchased for $35.00. Individual tickets are not available for sale. Checks or money orders may be made payable to "GBTA" and sent to:

Access
Pre-Paid Tickets
One Cross Street
Bridgeport, CT 06610
Attention: Accounting Department

  • When purchasing pre-paid tickets, please enclose a self-addressed-postage-paid envelope, so we can mail you your pre-paid tickets. You may also purchase the pre-paid tickets in person at our address stated above, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. All tickets purchases are non-replaceable and non-refundable.

FYI!

Service Animals

You are welcome to travel with your Service animal on GBT Access buses. Remember to inform the Customer Service Representative when you are making your reservation. All riders are asked to show consideration for these working animals and their owners, who have the right to travel on Access buses.

 

Non-service animals may travel on Access only if the animal is in a properly secured cage or container that does not jeopardize the health or safety of other passengers or the driver. Your driver cannot assist in loading or unloading the cage or container.


Minors Traveling on Access

All riders under the age of 12 must be escorted by an adult. When scheduling a trip, please inform the Customer Service Representative that the young rider will be traveling with an attendant.

 

Passenger Securement

Access operators are required to use the four-point belt securement system and the over the center floor mounted seat belt to secure all wheelchairs and scooters. Your cooperation is required.

 

Passengers who use wheelchairs and scooters are encouraged to use a personal lap belt.

 

No standees! All passengers must be seated when the Access bus is in motion and are required to wear a seat belt.

 

Passengers who use scooters are encouraged to transfer to a seat when possible.

 

Infants and children with disabilities, who are not in a wheelchair, must be secured in one of the following ways, at the discretion of the accompanying adult:

  • Buckled into a car seat provided by the adult
  • Buckled into the seat next to the accompanying adult

Cancellations and No-Shows

There is great demand for this service. As a courtesy to other riders, if you need to cancel your trip, please let us know as soon as possible but no later than two hours before your scheduled pick-up. When a driver arrives at a pick-up location and a rider does not board the bus, he/she may be considered a no-show.

 

Cancellations not made in advance and no-shows waste valuable service. Unfortunately, consistent no-shows and late cancellations (cancellation within the 2 hours prior to the scheduled pick-up time) may lead to the suspension of transportation privileges under this program.

 

Additionally, we ask that you minimize canceling and re-scheduling the same trips within a week. Prior to GBT taking any action regarding excessive or late cancellation or no-shows we will contact you and take the following steps:

 

  1. A rider will receive notification of three or more no-shows, late cancellations or frequent cancellations in any one given month. This will initiate a review of the rider's trip history.
  2. If it is determined that a pattern of no-shows or excessive cancellations exists, the individual will be notified, again, in writing, that they are on a 60 days probationary period and face the potential of service suspension.
  3. If the individual is cited for the same violation one or more times during the probationary period the rider's service suspension will begin 60 days from the date of the second letter and will last for 30 days. This determination may be appealed by the rider.

Keep us in the Loop

Help us stay up-to-date. When you have a change of name, address, phone number, or other information important to our ability to provide timely service to you, please contact a customer service representative. Without up-to-date information about you, we may have trouble meeting your needs.

 

Customer Service

We care and want to ensure that your ride with us is enjoyable. If you are having a problem with our service we would like to know. Please direct all complaints and comments to our Customer Service Department at (203) 366-7070 Ext. 103 or by e-mail at lmonk@gogbt.com.

 

Transfers into the Service Areas of other Transit Agencies

On some trips, traveling outside of the core GBT service area, your Customer Service Representative may ask you to make a transfer to a service provided by a neighboring transit agency (Valley Transit District, Milford Transit District or Norwalk Transit District). Transfers can be arranged by contacting:

 

To Travel Into: Contact: At:
Transfer At:
Shelton
Valley Transit District
203-735-6824

902 Bridgeport Avenue

(Burger King)

Milford
Milford Transit District
203-874-4507 589 Bridgeport Avenue
(K-Mart)
Westport and Norwalk
Norwalk Transit District
203-852-0000 1790 Post Road East
(Super Stop & Shop)

 

GBT Customer Service Representatives will be happy you assist you with making the arrangements.

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GBT Access Phone Numbers and Info

Schedule Your Trip

Call: (203) 579-7777

 

Customer Service
For questions and more info, call: (203) 579-7777

 

Travel Training

To schedule, call: (203) 366-7070 X131

 

ADA Application
In English | En Español

You can fill out most of the form right on your computer. Once you have filled it out, save a copy to your computer then print it out and sign and date it on the last page and mail to us at the address on the form.

 

ADA Booklet
In English | En Español