Paratransit Eligibility and Certification

Paratransit Overview

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title II, Section 223, provides Paratransit services to individuals who, because of their disability, are unable to travel on the fixed route system operated by RTC.   The ADA of 1990 specifically outlines the criteria to be used by transit agencies when determining eligibility for ADA Paratransit services. This 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.

 

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.  Your eligibility certification will be based on ADA eligibility guidelines, including a face-to-face interview an environmental check and/or a professional verification. Each applicant is evaluated independently based on ADA requirements.

Learn about our Free Mobility Training program

The RTC offers reduced fares for veterans, youth (6-17 years) / students (K-12), senior citizens (60 and over), persons with disabilities, Medicare eligible persons, and Mobility Trained customers. Passengers are required to present their reduced fare transit I.D. photo card, current school (K-12) student identification card, Veterans reduced fare I.D. card or Medicare card when paying a reduced fare and purchasing or using a reduced fare pass. Eligible riders may apply for the RTC reduced fare ID card at the Bonneville Transit Center. The forms of identification listed below will be honored to prove eligibility.

Learn more about RTC Fixed Route Reduced Fare programs 

Interested in an appointment?

If you are interested in applying for eligibility, you will need to schedule an appointment with the RTC’s Certification Office by calling: (702) 676‑1815 or (702) 676‑1834 TDD for the hearing impaired Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Upon request, the RTC will provide complimentary transportation to and from the Evaluation Center.  If you need transportation, you call RTC Customer Care at (702) 228-4800 anytime between 7:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M., seven days per week, one to seven (7) days in advance of your scheduled evaluation to reserve a ride.

What to expect at your appointment?

The application process will include an in-person interview and functional evaluation or testing of the applicant to determine what barriers prevents the applicant from using the RTC’s accessible fixed route system. The functional assessments are conducted by independent professionals who are not affiliated with the RTC.  It involves observation of an applicant attempting to perform functional tasks that simulate a fixed route trip, such as climbing steps, crossing a street, walking measured courses, taking cognitive tests, and other activities.

The RTC’s Functional Ability Assessment Process is used to identify the specific barriers to the applicant’s independent access of the RTC’s fixed-route transit service.  There are various components to the evaluation process, which include the verification of disability, the applicant’s own assessment of his/ her ability and possible functional ability. The RTC also welcomes information from health care professionals regarding the applicant’s ability to use fixed-route service, but it is not required.

  • Bring a picture identification card issued by the DMV or other official agency for positive identification. Renewal clients bring your RTC ADA Paratransit Services photo identification card.
  • Bring the Mobility Aid you use when traveling outside the home, even if your use of the aid is only intermittent.
  • Dress appropriately for an outdoor evaluation. Please be advised minors are not permitted on the assessment course unless they are being evaluated for service. If you attend your appointment with a minor child, you must bring another adult that can supervise the child. The RTC is not responsible for the care and supervision of children when their responsible adult is out on the course.
  • You may bring medical documentation or specific information from a health care professional that explains how your disability prevents you from riding fixed route bus service, but it is not required. Any information used in the determination of your eligibility may become part of your file.
  • Please be prepared to have your photograph taken.

Learn more about Paratransit eligibility process 

What is a functional ability assessment?

Functional ability assessments are evaluation tools used by the RTC to assist in determining whether an applicant has the independent ability to access RTC’s fixed-route transit service and, if so, under what circumstances. The assessments are conducted by independent professionals who are not affiliated with the RTC.

  • Applicants who experience a physical disability may participate in a Physical Functional Ability Assessment outdoors, which may include negotiating uneven terrain, cross slopes, curbs, and crossing streets.
  • A portion of the course may be conducted outside, dress appropriately. 
  • Applicants who might have difficulty using fixed route transit due to a developmental cognitive disability may participate in the Functional Assessment for Cognitive Transit Skills (FACTS) designed to evaluate the individual’s bus travel skills, community safety skills and general orientation.
  • Applicants who might have difficulty using fixed route transit due to memory impairment may participate in the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) designed to reveal memory issues an applicant might be having and examine functions including attention and calculation, recall, language, ability to follow simple commands and orientation

What are the categories of eligibility?

Applicants who are determined eligible for RTC Paratransit Services are provided eligibility under several categories.

  • Unconditional – The applicant is determined to be functionally prevented from independently accessing fixed-route service at any time.
  • Conditional – The applicant is determined to be functionally prevented from independently accessing fixed-route service under certain circumstances. Paratransit Services may be provided when the interaction of the individual’s disability and the environment or special circumstance create a barrier to independent use of the fixed-route service for a particular trip. Examples include those with extreme fatigue after treatments such as dialysis, or an individual with vision impairment to negotiate a dangerous area required in order to reach a bus stop.
  • Temporary – The applicant is determined to be able to learn how to use fixed-route service with training, or if the disability or medical condition is temporary in nature.

What is the Appeals Process?

Whether an applicant is determined eligible or not for Paratransit Services, it is important to know that all of the RTC’s transit vehicles are fully accessible. The RTC’s transit fleet includes low-floor coaches with kneeling capability and either a ramp or lift. In addition, transit drivers provide accommodations by making stop and route announcements. The RTC also offers free training programs provided by Transit Mobility Specialists, making use of the RTC’s fixed-route system possible for everyone in the community. Individuals who are capable of using the fixed-route system are encouraged to do so whenever possible.

Applicants who are determined ineligible or who do not agree with the RTC’s established conditions for the use of Paratransit Services have the right to request an appeal. The request for appeal must be filed with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada within 65 days of the date on the initial letter of determination. In a notice of appeal, the applicant shall identify in writing their name, address and telephone number.  The applicant may also choose to include information to support the appeal. For applicants recertifying their eligibility, access to ADA Paratransit Services will continue through the receipt of the Appeal Hearing Officer’s decision. 

Notice of appeal should be mailed to:

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada  
ADA Certification Supervisor
600 S. Grand Central Parkway, Suite 350
Las Vegas, NV 89106. 

Reasonable accommodation will be made for applicants who are unable to submit requests in wiring due to their disability.

Once a request for an appeal has been made, the applicant will be notified by mail within 60 days with their hearing date and time. If necessary, arrangements will be made with ADA Paratransit Services to transport the appellant to and from the appeal hearing meeting. The appellant may bring a second party or advocate to assist with the presentation.  In preparation for your appeal, you may contact the certification office and request a copy of the functional assessment used as a basis of determination.

The appeal will be heard by a contracted Hearing Officer for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) ADA Paratransit Eligibility Appeals. The Hearing Officer shall prepare a written determination that shall be delivered to the RTC.  The written determination shall state the Appeal Hearing Officer’s reasons for confirming, remanding or overturning the RTC’s initial determination of eligibility. If no decision is made within 30 days after completion of the appeal hearing date, there will be a presumption of eligibility granted to the customer until a decision is rendered. 

The appeal process is the final decision within the RTC.  If a customer does not agree with the Hearing Officer’s decision they can:

  • File a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in the City of Las Vegas
  • File a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights in the Federal Transit Administration
  • Start a new application if there has a been a significant change in condition, new diagnosis, or new mobility aid


View the RTC ADA Paratransit Eligibility Appeal Documentation (PDF)
View the RTC ADA Paratransit Appeal Request Form (PDF)