The Care-A-Van paratransit service is a door to door service, which means the paratransit buses pick up riders — at the house door if rider needs assistance — from their homes, appointments, shopping, events, etc., and take the riders where they need to go — and up to the door of the destination.
The Care-A-Van gives priority to ride requests that have been pre-scheduled (like a medical appointment) and tries to meet as many “same day” requests for rides as possible. However, same-day requests cannot always be met to the satisfaction of a potential rider. If a rider does not need the driver’s door-to-door assistance, the rider may find it quicker to use the RIDE’s blue buses, if the rider’s starting and end points are near one of the RIDE’s routes. (The RIDE blue buses are all accessible with either a lift or a ramp into a low floor bus.)
Eligibility to ride Care-A-Van:
All seniors, age 60 or older, are eligible. (Suggested donation of $1 per one-way ride.)
Persons younger than age 60 can become eligible to ride Care-A-Van in one of two ways, as shown below. Either way, the rider younger than age 60 is required to pay a fare of $2 per one way ride.
- For short-term use of Care-A-Van (up to one month), the potential rider is required to provide a letter from rider’s physician stating: (a) the rider’s need to use Care-A-Van, (b) that the rider is not able to drive and not able to use the RIDE’s blue bus services, and (c) the anticipated length of time that the rider is anticipated to need to use Care-A-Van (extensions can be obtained). The Swan Lake Senior Center will also ask the rider to complete a rider demographics questionnaire.
- For long-term use of Care-A-Van, the potential rider must apply to the Sitka public transit system (through Center for Community) and be found to have a disabling condition that makes the rider incapable of using the RIDE’s blue bus services. This is called ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) paratransit eligibility, and if the rider is found to be eligible will be able to use the Sitka Care-A-Van door-to-door services. An ADA paratransit eligible-rider will be issued a card that will allow rider short-term use of paratransit services on any paratransit system in the country. (Local rules will apply about fares and about the length of time that a “visitor” can use the service without registering for local paratransit services.)
Personal Care Attendants escorting paratransit riders: Each rider who is eligible may bring along one personal care attendant, at no charge, if the rider needs the attendant’s help during travel on Care-A-Van, or needs the attendant’s help at the rider’s destination (such as the attendant helping the rider to do rider’s grocery shopping). One attendant rides free with the eligible paratransit rider.
How to Apply for Paratransit ADA Eligibility: click below to get these documents, or ask for them at the Swan Lake Senior Center, 747-8617.