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Paratransit Transportation

Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, BRTA’s fleet includes ambulatory van and chair cars for ADA-eligible passenger services.

The vehicles provide point of origin to final destination services (curb to curb). These services are provided with special consideration given to the convenience of the passage at no extra charge. Paratransit transportation services are available to take people where they need to go—to medical appointments, shopping, work, and school.

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Mask Exemption Form- COVID-19

The CDC’s Order requiring the use of masks on transit and at transit hubs includes the following exemption; “a person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the American’s with Disabilities Act.” BRTA requires that anyone requesting an exemption related to disability status must provide documentation of such need from a licensed medical professional. All requests must be submitted on a “DISABILITY RELATED MASK EXEMPTION REQUEST FORM” and concisely explain how their disability prevents them from wearing a mask on public transit.  Requests must include medical verification from a licensed medical professional that clearly explains how their disability prevents the passenger from wearing a mask. The link for the fillable Exemption Request Form or obtain a copy in person at the Information Center. Requests may also be submitted by mail, fax, or in person.

Exemptions will not be granted based solely on a medical diagnosis, the medical professional must certify that the disability prevents wearing a mask. Requests without appropriate documentation will not be reviewed.

Upon approval, BRTA will issue a card to the party requesting the exemption that states they are exempt from the requirement based on disability.  Valid cards will be numbered, dated, and signed by the BRTA.  The Disability Exemption Card must be presented each time the passenger boards

Eligibility

A person’s eligibility for public transportation paratransit services will be determined by their mobility and functional ability to access to navigate the fixed route service. There are two types of eligibility granted:

  1. Unconditional: Granted to a person whose mobility prevents them from using the bus service for any trips.
  2. Conditional: Granted to a person who can use buses under certain circumstances, but who requires paratransit service under certain conditions, perhaps weather conditions or barriers to a particular trip or bus.

Application

To enable the BRTA to accurately determine your eligibility for paratransit services, please fill out the application as completely and thoroughly as possible. Your signature is required on page 6 and 7. The questions help determine the specific limitations you have in using our bus service. They also help determine when and under what circumstances you can use the bus or when paratransit service is required.

The BRTA also provides a large print, fillable form PDF version of the Paratransit Application. You can type your information into the form, save on your computer, print out, and sign the application. Your medical professional will still need to complete and sign their portion of the application before submitting to the BRTA for review.

After downloading, printing, completing, and signing the application, please mail it to BRTA.

Berkshire Regional Transit Authority
1 Columbus Avenue Suite 201
Pittsfield, MA 01201

If any sections are unanswered, the form will be returned to you for completion.

Information that you provide in the application will be kept strictly confidential. The BRTA reserves the right to verify the information reported on the application by contacting persons noted on the form.

If have questions, please contact our office at:

  • (413) 499-2782 option 4
  • (800) 292-2782 Toll free

A determination of your eligibility will be made by the BRTA within 21 days of receipt of your completed application. The BRTA will notify you in writing of the decision about your eligibility for paratransit service.

If it is determined that you are able to use the bus service and consequently are not eligible for paratransit service, the BRTA will explain the reason for the determination. An opportunity to appeal a BRTA decision will be available, per the BRTA ADA plan; the appeal process will be described in detail in the denial letter.

If your application is approved, you will be given information on the process to receive your photo identification card and the appropriate service(s) you are eligible for. If your mobility impairment is considered temporary, you will be granted TEMPORARY eligibility, which may be renewed if necessary. Non-temporary eligibility will be reassessed periodically by the BRTA.

Ticket Information and Rates

To book your ADA or non-ADA rides, please call (413) 499-2782, Option 3.

ADA Tickets

  • Beige ADA ticket: $2.50 each. Used for both the Local in-town $2.50 fare and Systemwide in-town $7.50 fare.
  • Green ADA ticket: $3.50 each. Used for the Local adjoining fare of $3.50.
  • Salmon ADA ticket: $9.00 each. Used for the Systemwide maximum fare of $9.00.

All ADA tickets are used on the paratransit vehicles for origin to destination service within the BRTA fixed route service area and/or hours of service.

Non-ADA Base Ticket

Yellow Non-ADA Base Ticket: $7.50 each.

This ticket can be used on the paratransit vehicles for origin to destination service outside the BRTA fixed route service area and/or hours of service or door-to-door service for convenience rather than necessity. Every pickup would require a $7.50 Yellow Non-ADA Base Ticket.

Drivers can escort passengers to and from the front door of the primary building upon arrival at both the origin and destination. The driver would not cross thresholds into interior areas of doctors’ offices, homes, or apartments. Should individuals require this additional assistance, a PCA, companion, friend, or family member should accompany the passenger as the driver will not provide this additional assistance.

Non-ADA Additional Ticket

Pink Non-ADA Additional Ticket: $2.50. Always accompanies a yellow base ticket.

This ticket would be used for each additional town(s) of travel that are outside the pickup town. For example, if someone is traveling from Pittsfield to Lee, the driver must receive 1 yellow ticket and two pink tickets.

Reduced Fare Bus

Reduced fares for bus service are available through the BRTA in accordance with Federal regulations which require that public transportation be provided at one-half the base cash rate during non-peak hours to persons who are elderly or possess a valid Medicare card. The BRTA permits persons who are 60 years of age or older, possess a valid Medicare card, and persons who have been determined mobility impaired to ride for one-half fare at all times. In accordance with a Massachusetts interagency agreement, the BRTA will issue a “Transportation Access Pass” to persons who have been determined eligible by the Federal standard: “any individual who by reason of illness, injury, age, congenital malfunction, or other permanent or temporary incapacity or disability, including a person who is wheelchair bound or has semi ambulatory capabilities, is unable without special facilities or special planning or design to utilize public transportation facilities and services effectively.”

Service Concerns

Should you wish to file a complaint regarding your recent paratransit trip or offer suggestions on how to improve BRTA’s paratransit services, please complete the complaint form below and send to the BRTA at info@berkshirerta.com. Or, contact the BRTA at 413-499-2782, extension 3.

ADA Concern/Complaint Policy

In compliance with the American Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) is committed to providing the highest quality fixed-route and paratransit services. In addition, the BRTA is committed to ensuring that no customer is denied access to its services on the basis of their disability.

If a fixed-route or paratransit customer feels they experienced a violation of the ADA while using the service and wish to file a concern, the following outlines the process for recording, investigating, responding to, and maintaining ADA concerns.

Receipt of Concern/Complaint

Customer Service Representatives receive the concern from customers or their representatives via the telephone, e-mail (form on this page), mail or in person.

In order for a concern to be investigated, customers or their representatives must provide an address, telephone number, or email address. Those concerns without contact information will be classified as comments.

Details such as the day of the week, date, vehicle number, route number, and time of the incident should be included. Any additional relevant information to assist in the investigation will be helpful.

Upon receiving a concern notice, the complainant will receive an acknowledgement receipt.

Investigation and Follow-up

Any concern that alleges discrimination on the basis of disability will be designated as an ADA concern/complaint. The Civil Rights Officer will be responsible for following up with the customer.

BRTA’s fixed-route or paratransit provider has five (5) calendar days to investigate and respond back to the BRTA Paratransit Manager with their findings.

The BRTA Paratransit Manager reviews the findings and determines if the issue is valid or invalid.

Valid concerns/complaints are forwarded to the Civil Rights Officer who will determine what, if any, remedial action will be taken to address the complainant’s concerns.

The Civil Rights Officer will notify the complainant in writing of BRTA’s decision regarding the concern typically within seven (7) calendar days after the investigation has been completed.

If complainants disagree with the determination by the Civil Rights Officer, they can appeal the decision in writing within thirty (30) days from the date of the determination letter. The appeal letter should state the reason(s) the complainant believes the decision was in error. The appeal letter should be mailed to: Administrator, BRTA, One Columbus Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Tracking and Record Retention

The Civil Rights Officer will be responsible for tracking all ADA concerns/complaints for the purpose of establishing trends in allegations of discrimination. The Civil Rights Officer will maintain a summary log of all ADA concerns/complaints. In addition, all documentations and materials gathered during the investigation are maintained for no less than five (5) years.

Submit ADA Complaints to BRTA

Please click the link to obtain the ADA Complaint Form in English or Spanish.

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