Certification Frequently Asked Questions

How is the ADA involved?

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, Section 223, the Regional Transportation Commission provides transportation services for individuals who, because of their disability, are unable to travel on the fixed route system. RTC ADA Paratransit service is designed to provide those with disabilities equal access to public transportation. You may be eligible for the service if, because of a disability:

  • You cannot independently travel to/from fixed route stops.
  • You could use an accessible fixed route vehicle, but the route that would be used is not accessible.
  • You cannot independently navigate the system even though you can board the bus.

Is this something my doctor can prescribe?

Eligibility for RTC ADA Paratransit Services is not a medical decision or something that can be prescribed by your physician.  It is primarily a transportation decision.

What is eligibility based on?

Eligibility is based on an individual’s disability and functional inability to use the fixed route transit system.  Each applicant is evaluated independently based on ADA requirements.Operational issues are not considered in the eligibility process. These are issues that affect any individual, whether or not they suffer from a disability. Operational issues that are not used to determine eligibility, include:

  • Age
  • Distance to a bus stop
  • Lack of bus service to an area
  • Overcrowded buses
  • Weather conditions
  • Trip distance and comparable travel time on fixed route

FTA FAQ page https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/frequently-asked-questions

Disability alone does not determine paratransit eligibility; the decision is based on the applicant’s functional ability to use the fixed route bus and is not a medical decision. The Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in Appendix D to 49 C.F.R. Section 37.125 explain: “The substantive eligibility process is not aimed at making a medical or diagnostic determination. While evaluation by a physician (or professionals in rehabilitation or other relevant fields) may be used as part of the process, a diagnosis of a disability is not dispositive. What is needed is a determination of whether, as a practical matter, the individual can use fixed route transit in his or her own circumstances.”

What if fixed route is not available for me?

The unavailability of fixed route service alone does not determine eligibility for an individual who might otherwise be able to use the fixed route service where available.  In addition, the lack of a bus stop or its distance from an individual’s residence cannot be considered when determining eligibility.

What is the service area?

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is required to provide complementary Paratransit service to origins and destinations ¾ of a mile beyond the fixed route transit service area.  Therefore, if you wish to travel using ADA Paratransit Services, the origin and destination of each trip must be scheduled within the core service area for Paratransit in order for the RTC to accommodate your transportation requests.

Can I apply if I live outside the service area?

Yes, an individual can apply even if they do not live within the service area.  Customers living outside of the service area are responsible to get into the service area in order to use Para.

Can my child apply for Paratransit?

Yes; however, a child under the age of 6 applying for Paratransit will be assessed with their guardian.

Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

You are allowed to attend the appointment with another individual.  The Eligibility Technician will direct questions to the applicant and expect the applicant to provide the answers.  If the applicant is unable to provide the answers the person attending the appointment can assist when needed.  However, only applicants are allowed to participate in the functional assessment.

Can two people (husband/wife or mother/daughter, etc.) be assessed at the same time?

No, separate appointments need to be scheduled for each applicant.  Each individual must be interviewed separately; however, the appointments can be scheduled in a way to allow each applicant the opportunity to attend with the other.

What is a Professional Verification Form?

A Professional Verification Form is mailed to applicants with their appointment confirmation letter.  It allows the customer to provide the RTC with the contact information of the providers they feel are best able to answer questions related to their functional ability.  The RTC may use the form to contact those listed if they need more information related to your disability.

Does the doctor need to fill out my professional verification form?

No.  You can fill out the form and list any professionals (this includes caregivers, social workers, physical therapist, etc.) who have knowledge of your health conditions and how they prevent you from using the city bus.

What will this evaluation consist off?

You will meet with an Eligibility Technician who will ask questions about the disabilities and or conditions you experience and how they prevent you from using a regular city bus.  The interviewer will then determine from that interview if you need additional functional assessments which are performed on site by trained professionals with a medical background.

What kinds of assessments are performed?

Your interviewer will determine what assessments, if any, need to be performed.

The RTC administers a Physical assessment to assess mobility, a Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) to assess cognitive ability related to memory deficits and a Functional Cognitive assessment (FACTS) to assess a developmental cognitive disability.

What happens if I don’t finish or participate in an assessment?

If you do not successfully complete a functional assessment your paratransit application will be considered incomplete and you will be asked to return to finish the assessment or provide medical documentation to explain why you are unable to participate in it. 

How long does the evaluation process take?

The interview and assessment process can take up to 90 minutes.  After the interview and assessment are complete the RTC has 21 days to make a determination of eligibility.

Why does it take 21 days?

A determination may be made sooner however by law the RTC has 21 days to review the file and any information provided by professionals regarding your functional ability.

What if I don’t have documentation from my doctor?

Documentation from a doctor is not required to attend an appointment or an appeal.  Documentation provided can be used to assist in making determination but Paratransit is not a doctor prescribed service it is based specifically on the barriers an individual has using the city bus.  Any information received from professional providers will be used to determine if that criterion is met. 

Why didn’t the RTC contact my doctors before denying me?

Paratransit service is based on an applicant’s functional ability to independently use an accessible fixed route bus.  If the applicant demonstrated the skills necessary to safely and independently access fixed route then the RTC had enough information to make an eligibility determination.

What can I do if I’m denied?

Denied applicants have 65 days from the date on their denial letter to request an appeal.  The appeals are done by a contracted provider that is not employed by the RTC. The Hearing Officer’s decision is the final decision of the RTC.

What if my appeal is denied?

If your appeal is denied and you do not agree with the final determination, you may complete a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) complaint form available at www.fta.dot.gov or file a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in the City of Las Vegas www.nvd.uscourts.gov/

If I was denied, how long do I have to wait to reapply?

If an individual has a significant change in their condition, a new diagnosis or they have a new mobility aid, the applicant can request a new assessment.  If the above does not apply, an individual can reapply after three (3) years from the date of their original denial.