River Valley Transit Plus is operated by River Valley Transit (RVT) in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The procedures and regulations in this brochure have been established to assure that ADA eligible passengers are afforded accessible, reliable paratransit service.
RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS provides complementary paratransit services for individuals with disabilities that prevent them from using the fixed route buses. Disabled riders are eligible for RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS if their disability makes it impossible to board buses or to navigate through the bus system because of a physical or mental impairment. Additionally, those with a specific disability related condition which interacts with architectural or environmental barriers to prevent travel to and from bus stops may also be eligible. The impairment must make it impossible to use buses, rather than more difficult than for those without the impairment. In order to use this service, individuals must first be certified as “ADA eligible clients” by the certification process.
Use of RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS may be approved only for certain trips, depending on the conditions under which disabled applicants can use buses. If eligibility is approved for certain trips only, applicants will be notified of the limitations on the use of RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS upon approval.
2. Certification Process
Individuals must be certified as ADA eligible before they can utilize RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS paratransit service. Applications are available from RVT and various agencies. It is important to understand that certification of eligibility for this service rests upon a functional evaluation of clients’ impairments which prevent them from using the regular transit system rather than a medical diagnosis of the underlying condition. RVT’s process for determining ADA eligibility will generally rely on self-certification of a person’s functional disabilities, supplemented by additional documentation only as required to effectively evaluate and classify a specific impairment. In some cases, RVT will need to contact the applicant or an appropriate agency or other sources to verify or expand upon the information provided if a particular claim appears to be less than fully supported by the information provided in the application. RVT will make the determination of whether or not the applicant is authorized to utilize the RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS as an ADA eligible client and will notify individuals in writing as to this determination within twenty-one (21) days of the submission of a properly completed application. If a determination on eligibility is not made within twenty-one (21) days from the date of application, the applicant may use RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS until such a determination is completed. If the determination is that the individual is ineligible for RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS paratransit service, RVT will state the reasons for this decision. In such cases, applicants will have the right to appeal this decision.
3. Appeals Process
The appeals process is available to any individual who has been denied eligibility for RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS paratransit service. Eligible clients who have had limitations placed on the trips they can make with RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS or whose eligibility has been suspended for missing more than three (3) reserved trips in a six-month period can also use this appeals process. A written appeal must be received by RVT’s Planning Manager within sixty (60) days of the date of such written notice. RVT’s Appeal Process is available on RVT’s website (www.RideRVT.com)
4. Service Area
The RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS paratransit service will be available for all trip requests with origin and destination within a service area defined around the route network used by the fixed route bus system. Basically, this service area is defined by three-quarters of a mile from any of RVT’s bus routes and within the municipalities participating in RVT’s fixed route system. Specifically, the paratransit service areas consist of the City of Williamsport; Boroughs of Duboistown, Hughesville, Jersey Shore, Montgomery, Montoursville, Muncy and South Williamsport; Townships of Armstrong, Clinton, Fairfield, Loyalsock, Muncy, Muncy Creek, Old Lycoming, Piatt, Porter, Wolf and Woodward which lie within three-quarters of a mile of one of RVT’s routes. Paratransit service will not be extended to origins or destinations beyond this area or to adjacent municipalities which do not participate in the bus system. A map showing the specific service area is available from RVT.
5. Hours and Dates of Service
RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS paratransit service will be available from 5:30 AM until 11:45 PM Monday through Saturday. No service will be provided on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day.
6. Advanced Reservation Requirements
An advance reservation is required for each one-way trip on RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS, including return trips and any stops you intend to make along the way. Advance reservations may be made fourteen (14) days prior to the day of travel, but not later than the day prior to travel. To make a reservation, you must call STEP at 570-323-7575 between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday or between 9:00AM and 2:00 PM on Saturdays. Next day service will be provided if the trip is requested between hours above the day before the trip is to be scheduled. If you are unable to make a trip at a time previously reserved, you should follow the procedures under CHANGES, CANCELATIONS, AND DELAYS.
RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS service is operated by STEP Inc., under contract with RVT. Trips are grouped into shared rides on STEP vehicles. Thus, your pick-up time may be scheduled within one hour of the requested time, taking your scheduled activity into account when necessary. You will be notified of the scheduled pick-up time when you make your reservation. You will be picked up within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled time. Please be ready to board the vehicle when it arrives. If possible, you should give the dispatcher a telephone number where you can be notified of any unforeseen delays in meeting your scheduled pick-up. Please be prepared for delays in your pick-up time or the need for additional travel time during snow storms or other unusual conditions.
8. Changes, Cancelations, and Delays
Once a reservation is made, your are expected to travel to and from the points and at the times scheduled.
RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS vehicles will only wait five (5) minutes beyond the scheduled pick-up time or the time the vehicle arrives, whichever is later. This regulation is enforced to protect other passengers from unnecessary delays. IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE DELAYED, you must contact STEP at least one (1) hour before the scheduled pick-up time. The dispatcher will arrange a new pick-up at the next available time. Such re-scheduling may delay your pick-up significantly, depending on the number of other trips already scheduled for the day, but you are guaranteed that you will be picked up as soon as possible. IF YOU WANT TO CANCEL a reserved trip, you must notify STEP at least one (1) hour prior to your scheduled pick-up time.
If you do not contact STEP about the delay or cancelation, and the vehicle leaves after the five (5) minute waiting period, you will be considered a “NO-SHOW,” and your ride will be canceled. RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS does not guarantee that “NO-SHOWS” will be rescheduled.
9. “No Show” Policy
Due to a lack of “No-Show” incidents, RVT will not be enforcing its “No-Show” Policy effective June 1, 2018. If “No-Shows” become an issue in the future, RVT will develop a “No-Show” Policy that will be reviewed by our WATS ADA Transit Advisory Committee before being reinstated.
Because of the need to provide transportation to many passengers with a limited number of vehicles, it is not possible to honor requests for specific vehicles, unless you have physical limitations which require it. Please inform the dispatcher of any such requirements such as a lift-equipped van.
Fares are required for each trip on RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS. Each stop that you make is counted as one trip. The fare for eligible ADA clients is twice the RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT base fare (currently $4.00/one-way trip). Clients will pay the fare to the driver of the van at the time the trip is made. Drivers do not make change. On trips made by eligible ADA clients who are authorized to be accompanied by a personal care attendant, no fare will be charged for the personal care attendant.
12. Personal Care Attendants and Traveling Companions
Disabled passengers who require a personal care attendant on each trip to board or ride RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS vehicles must request approval to do so when applying for the program (See Certification Process). If approved, the personal care attendant must accompany the passenger on every trip. No fare will be charged to authorized personal care attendants.
In addition, ADA clients may be accompanied by one traveling companion other than the personal care attendant, as long as the companion has the same origin and destination as the ADA eligible client. In these instances, the companion will be charged the basic ($4.00) fare for each one-way trip. If you plan to have a traveling companion, you must notify the STEP dispatcher when scheduling your trip. If no reservation is made for the companion, service will not be provided. It is important to note that RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS service will provide “curb-to-curb” service. This means that while drivers will be able to help clients board and disembark from the vehicle, they cannot be responsible for escorting passengers to their destination.
Passengers must be physically and medically able to travel. RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS is not designed as an ambulance for paramedical service, or to handle medical emergencies. Drivers are not trained to assist passengers in such cases. RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS reserves the right to refuse to transport a passenger whose overall physical condition makes travel aboard RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS vehicles unsafe.
13. Special Consideration for Those Using Wheelchairs
Safety concerns require that wheelchairs not be altered through the removal of structural equipment such as footrest or armrest, except where authorized in writing by a physician and with the prior approval of RVT. Wheelchairs must be structurally sound and in good working condition. RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS reserves the right to refuse transportation to passengers whose wheelchairs have loose or worn parts or whose wheelchairs have had equipment removed or altered in such a way that wheelchair stability or operation is affected
Visitors showing documentation from another transit authority certifying their eligibility for paratransit under the Americans with Disabilities Act may use RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS by showing such documentation. Visitors without such documentation must notify RVT of their disability and residence to receive service under RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS. Visitors are only eligible for RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS for a period of twenty-one (21) calendar days from the first date of service. After twenty-one (21) days, service will be denied until and unless the visitor completes the application procedure and is determined to be eligible for paratransit. If a visitor plans to use RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS paratransit service in excess of twenty-one (21) days in a one-year period, it will be required that he or she apply for eligibility locally. Persons with disabilities visiting the Lycoming County should contact RVT for information on using RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS during their stay here.
15. Other Programs of Interest to River Valley Transit Plus Patrons
All persons 65 or over are eligible for this transportation at a reduced rate under the State’s shared ride program. Please contact STEP at 570-323-7575 or further information. Persons between 60 – 65 who sign up with the Bi-County Office of the Aging may be eligible for shared ride transportation partially funded by the Area Agency on Aging. Please contact the Bi-County Office of the Agency at 570-323-3096 for further information. Persons of any age may be eligible for the medical assistance transportation program funded by the Department of Public Welfare. Please contact STEP at 570-323-7575 for further information. Persons with a disability who live outside RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS service area ( See Section 4 ) or request trips outside the RIVER VALLEY TRANSIT PLUS hours and dates of service ( See Section 5 ) may be eligible for transportation services through the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Program. Please call STEP at 570-323-7575 for further details.
16. Additional Information
Additional information is available upon request from the River Valley Transit by contacting the General Manager or Special Services Manager who are available to answer questions about service and program policies as well as compliments or complaints.