IS ACCESS FOR ME?

Using the ACCESS Service

ACCESS is a door-to-door, advance reservation, shared–ride transportation program provided throughout Allegheny County and to destinations in adjoining counties within 1.5 miles of the Allegheny County. There are several special discount programs for individual riders, as well as service provided for groups, human service agencies and other organizations that purchase transportation for their clients. ACCESS service is also open to the general public at full fare rates. Reservations for ACCESS trips are made in advance.  To place trip reservations, riders call the ACCESS service telephone number of the service provider in their neighborhood.

ACCESS service is provided seven days per week, at a minimum from 6:00 a.m. to midnight.* There are no restrictions on the purpose or number of trips that may be taken by ACCESS riders, except that riders are required to share the vehicle with other riders who are traveling at the same time in the same direction. Ride sharing helps to make the best use of available vehicles and keep costs down.

*ACCESS service is available to ADA-eligible people before 6 AM and after midnight if Port Authority fixed route service is in operation at that time at both the origin and destination.

Discount Programs

There are several special discount programs for individual riders, as well as providing service for groups, human service agencies and other organizations that purchase transportation for their clients. The most frequently used programs are outlined in the Programs Options Chart you may view or download by clicking the link below.


ACCESS ADA Program

The ACCESS ADA Program is a service offered by Port Authority of Allegheny County for people with disabilities, regardless of age, who are functionally unable to independently use Port Authority bus service, either all of the time or under certain circumstances. To request an application, please call the ACCESS program office at (412) 562-5353 or TTY 711.


How to Apply

Evaluations are held several times each month in downtown Pittsburgh for the ACCESS ADA Program. Appointments are required and may be made by calling the ACCESS program office. Assistance with transportation to the evaluation is available upon request.

ACCESS 65 Plus Program


The ACCESS 65 Plus Program is a special program which provides an 85% discount on ACCESS fares for anyone aged 65 or over. Funds for the ACCESS 65 Plus Program discount are provided by the Pennsylvania Lottery through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

How to Apply

Applicants for the ACCESS 65 Plus Program must complete a short application and present proof of age either at the ACCESS program office in downtown Pittsburgh, through the mail or at centers conveniently located in many neighborhoods throughout Allegheny County. Call (412) 562-5353  or TTY 711 to find the 65 Plus registration center nearest to you and its schedule. People with a valid government issued photo ID may apply through the mail.

ACCESS Connections Program


Anyone with a disability is eligible for the Connections Program. Use Connections to get to and from Port Authority bus stops if there is no stop within ¾  air mile from the origin or destination. This is called “Feeder Service.” This service will also allow riders to take a direct ACCESS trip if the trip on the bus is less than 5 miles and would take more than 90 minutes or take a direct ACCESS trip if there is bus service within ¾ mile, but not within an hour of the time of travel.


Acceptable forms of proof of age:

Driver’s License, Government Issued Photo ID Card, PACE Card, Birth Certificate, Passport, Immigration/Naturalization Papers, Military Discharge Papers, verification from Social Security Administration. Medicare Cards are not acceptable.

Agency Sponsors

Agencies can choose to sponsor ACCESS rides for their participants and pay all or part of the fare. There are over 140 agencies with ACCESS billing accounts. They use the ACCESS service instead of operating their own vehicles –coordination and ride sharing makes the service more efficient and eliminates duplication!


Person-Centered Service

ACCESS service is provided with a combination of more than 300 lift-equipped vans and sedans operated by six ACCESS service providers. All providers must comply with specific requirements including insurance, maintenance, driver training, vehicle safety and accessibility standards.

Door-to-door transportation means that drivers will provide assistance from the door of the origin to the door of the destination, including boarding the vehicles. Drivers will help passengers up and down as many as four steps and will assist with up to four packages or bags. Drivers are not permitted to go past lobby doors nor enter private homes.

Trip-tracking is available using InTouch Callouts and RealTime information. Callouts are sent to a phone number of your choosing when the vehicle is about 10 minutes away. RealTime information shows the vehicle’s location and an estimated ETA up to an hour before your trip.

In addition to the basic paratransit service offering, hand-to-hand service is provided for individuals who require constant supervision and service modifications. Some ACCESS riders require a higher level of supervision and cannot be left unattended. These riders carry a special code in their file alerting drivers to ensure they are handed off to a responsible person and cannot leave the rider unless there is someone available to receive them both at home and at their destination. An elaborate safety net is in place in the event of a problem. Call (412) 562-5353 or TTY 711 for more information.

Drivers are trained to report incidents which are individually investigated by ACCESS program staff. Although they may not be strictly transportation-related issues, the ACCESS program works with a network of community providers to resolve individual, personal issues including lack of accessibility to the house, a change in condition (onset of confusion), signs of abuse, and problems with personal hygiene or nutrition.

Special Requests / Reasonable Modifications

If there is an ACCESS program rule or policy that, due to your disability, makes it difficult or prevents you from using the service, you may call or write to the ACCESS program office to discuss your situation. When at all possible, requests should be made in advance and will be considered on a case by case basis as long as they are reasonable and do not create a direct threat to others or a fundamental change to basic ACCESS service.

Service amenities tailored to the sponsor or individual:

  • Determining and managing individual and trip eligibility
  • Assistance with fare collection
  • Customized invoicing and reporting
  • Reasonable modification of policies

 

 

 

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